Play should be a major part of everyone's life. Why do so many of us believe that once we are past our childhood, play has no place in our lives? Having fun and playing is part of life, hopefully from beginning to end, and many times in between. Children are the masters of playing and having fun. They embody this ability naturally. Adults have to work at it, and we could learn a thing or two from them.
When children play, they experience a wealth of concepts. When playing alone, they learn individualism, self-improvement ("I like this game! and Can I do better than I did last time?"). When playing with others they can be exposed to healthy competition and teamwork ("We can win if we work together”) Playing can drive curiosity. "How can we make this game better, faster, easier/harder to win?" Some kids take games/toys apart not necessarily because they are destructive, but they what to know how it works.
My curiosity extended to my Great Grandmother's radio, the oven door, my uncle's transistor radio and the family living room clock. My Great Grandparents thought it would be a great idea to give me my very own (real) 8 oz. Claw Hammer, flat head & Phillip's screwdrivers. Once a month I went around the house making sure every nail was hammered and every screw was tightened, at least the ones a 4 -6-year-old could reach. I can't imagine why I love taking computers apart and rebuilding them 😉.
As adults many of us erroneously believe that play is just for kids. Wrong!!! Play is for everyone! It inspires laughter and bonding. When our grandkids were little, my wife would play football, basketball, and fly kites with them. While I may be a bit physically challenged, I have had my share of R/C car races, Nerf Rocket launches, and I play a mean round of indoor balloon volleyball. Once, when our daughter was little the two of us got in big trouble for having a water gun fight in the house. She made us stop just because an itty-bitty drop of water ALMOST landed on the drafting drawing homework my wife had been working on for a few hours😲.
For adults and children there are many ways to play, physically, mentally, verbally etc. Each one has its own advantages. Playing catch, running, jumping, rolling down a hill or even walking can be fun, and it keeps us mobile, strong, and flexible. Strategic games, Word games and puzzles keep our minds sharp by inspiring problem solving, increasing our vocabulary and shape recognition. Verbal games like 20 questions, Truth or dare, the license plate game (think long road trip with young kids and no electronics) They spark conversations and improve the thought process and communication. Billiards uses geometry! Even video games have benefits… improved manual dexterity, problem solving. You don't think so…then you figure out how to cross the lava pit - save the girl - change weapons - unlock the secret door - grab the ancient rune and destroy the 4 headed half dragon half human monster before he crushes you with his tail or annihilates you with a stream of fire. In real life, this translates into seeing available options and putting one into action quicker and more successfully than most.
If you can't think of anything to play, watch a kid. I have seen a stick and a piece of string entertain a kid for hours. If they are outside, add a rock and life is golden! As a small kid I had a rocket ship for 2 weeks. That's how long it took me to destroy the box the new refrigerator was packed in! Do you still need ideas? Blow up a balloon and serve it volleyball style to your unsuspecting better half. The next time your sweetie asks for a pair of footies/socks from the sock drawer, gently toss a pair and aim for the head! Then rapidly lob 3 or 4 more pairs…Let the footie wars begin! (Note… If you are single, the last two also work on your children no matter their ages and some friends). Life is gonna throw curve balls all the time. Instead of getting knocked down by them, pick up your bat and swing for all you are worth. If you miss don't worry, soon enough life will throw another one. If you make contact, try to knock it out of the park!
Remember, we can all play. My Sister-in-law majored in recreation. She gets paid to help people play!!! We are never too old to play. My Great Grandmother and Grandmother were two of the biggest pranksters I've ever known. This week I watched 2 videos of a couple I know in my age bracket. They took turns making Snow Angels. I really dislike winter, but I loved watching them enjoy what life gave them that day. Hummmm!!?? No! No snow angels for me but maybe I'll go out and craft the perfect snowball and wait for my wife to come out!!!
So many things to do in life. We fill the hours with these things and try not to get lost in the void. We have projects and hobbies and appointments. We have repairs that need to be completed. Events need to be planned. Purchases that we need to remind ourselves to make. We need to reach out to family and friends. Meal plan and prep needs to be a thing. In addition to all this, some of us make it even more fun by throwing in an 8-hour workday! Oh! Don’t forget to make time to exercise!? If only there was a way to…
Monday, August 10, 2020, while doing the “work from home” thing in our home office, I was about to have lunch and the power went out. This is not an unusual occurrence. From time to time we may get a hit that takes power out for 5-10 minutes. I roll with it. Laptop still has battery power… Router is down but I pull out my always charged jetpack and I’m back online in a couple of minutes. I adapt.
This one was a little bit different. Being engrossed in my work as I am at times, I hadn’t paid attention to any news reports. I didn’t have to drive anywhere or be outside, so I didn’t pay attention to the weather reports. At least not until…
March 8, 1985, just over 34 years ago. I began a relationship. I had no idea what the future had in store for us. At the young age of barely 22 I didn’t know it at the time, but I had met my soulmate. We had known each other for about 6 months. We met at work. One night after work we were having dinner & drinks with coworkers. I had been with the company for a few years, Brenda, for just a few weeks. In-between the group babble, we spent the evening chatting and getting to know each other. Laughter and conversation came easy. We decided that we needed to go out for drinks without the crowd and continue our conversations. Before the scheduled time, several of our coworkers felt it necessary to dip in my Kool-Aid. They felt it was their duty to, in hushed tones inform Brenda that I was... (dare I say!?)
December 24. Christmas Eve. One of the busiest days of the year. People are busy getting their last -minute shopping done, wrapping presents or in the kitchen preparing all sorts of yummy goodness. Some have already started their celebrations. My family is no different. In my life all of the above is usually true plus one more VERY IMPORTANT event....
Kim C Wells
Expressing myself through written word. Hoping to evoke emotions, invoke thoughts and actions.
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