hope that I never stop playing. I enjoy it immensely
and I get a lot out of it--a lot of learning, a lot of
relaxation, a lot of perspective, and simply a distraction
from the other things in my life that tend to be more
stressful. I like playing with kids who aren't
worried about all the things that adults worry about, I
like playing with adults who also recognize the importance
of play, and I like playing on my own, just enjoying my
time and my ability to spend it doing something fun.
Sometimes it's kind of tempting to think too much about
play. The best part of play is its spontaneity, the
feeling that we're just doing something fun just for the
sake of doing it. Most of our sports have become too
intense and too competitive for them to be tons of fun any
more--we still say that we "play" football or
basketball or baseball, but unless we're playing with
someone else who's just out there to have fun, the fun can
very quickly go out of these games.
Do you play enough? Do you do things that are fun
simply for the joy of doing so? Do you allow fun to
be fun, without thinking about it too much or allowing it
to become too competitive? Many of us watch our kids
play, but don't play with them. Or we watch our dog
play, but we don't play with it. Play is something
that can take all of your focus and concentration and
allow you to spend some time completely immersed in an
activity that can make you feel relieved, exhilarated, and
thoroughly rested mentally.
Play is so important to us that I very often wonder why so
many of us do it so rarely. Why might that be?