Today I came across a daily post prompt that I found intriguing. The question asks, “Do you play in your daily life? What says ‘playtime’ to you?” I rarely look at the writing prompts on WordPress. But for some reason today I browsing around and I’m pretty glad I did because the idea of playtime is interesting to me. I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person that focuses too much on what I need to do and not enough on balancing those tasks out with things I want to do. The prompt by the Daily Post asks writers, artists and photographers to SHOW playtime. While I wouldn’t define myself as any of the three, I would like to describe what playtime means to me, and how important I think it is to carve out time in our days for leisure activities.
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”
– Roald Dahl
One of the things that has resonated with me throughout my life is something my high school guidance councelor told me during orientation. He said the key to success is knowing when to work and knowing when to play. As a senior in college, these words often are in the forefront of my mind when I’m starting a paper the night before it’s due … you know, procrastination is the ultimate result of not balancing work and play effectively. In my opinion, balance of work and play is one of the keys for a happy life as well. So how do we find the balance? I think it’s easier said the done and requires more of an effort for some of us. With that being said, I think practice helps. As we get older, we learn which projects take us X amount of time, when to do them and when to sit back, relax and have one or 12 glasses of wine. (Who’s going? I’m certainly not.)
“When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
What does playtime mean to you?
For me, playtime doesn’t signify a particular activity. Rather, it’s an all-encompasing word that describes any activity that let’s me breathe. Activities that allow me to laugh, let my hair down and feel stress-free. Some get these fixes through athletics. Some get them through volunteer work or packed social calendars. I get them through quite spaces, Bon Iver and watching a nice snow fall with a cup of coffee in my hand. I also get them through rooms filled with laughter, Katy Perry and relaxing in the sun’s rays. Play isn’t a definitive thing. It can evoke different feelings and thoughts in all of us. Afterall, we prefer to reach fulfillment through different activities.
“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
I find it incredibly difficult to capture play. Sure, I can take a photo of my nephew riding his bike or my dad playing his bass. I can photograph my mom shopping or my friends in the midst of laughter. But I still feel like the camera lens doesn’t fully capture it. That indescribable feeling we all get when we can let go of what we need to do and start doing what we want.
“It is interesting that Hindus, when they speak of the creation of the universe do not call it the work of God, they call it the play of God, the Vishnu lila, lila meaning play. And they look upon the whole manifestation of all the universes as a play, as a sport, as a kind of dance — lila perhaps being somewhat related to our word lilt”
― Alan Wilson Watts, Zen and the Beat Way
Until next time,