The other day, I beat my girlfriend, Ava at Gin Rummy 7 times in a row!
Our tournament started a few months ago in the Galapagos Islands. Warm ocean water, friendly sea lions, and no WiFi (gasp!). So, when it’d get too hot, we’d find shade and play cards.
We traveled for 3 months and learned that we had to mix adventure and relaxation with real PLAY.
It wasn’t just cards. We’d go bowling. Find water slides. Only speak to each other in foreign accents. Anything to stay playful. Anything to be silly.
When I play, time becomes invisible. I forget about goals and lists. I become a human being. Not just a human doing.
Sometimes I forget to play.
I know when it happens because I wake up the next day and feel heavy. Like my soul gained weight in all the wrong places. I watch my shadow pace around, it seems anxious…
I read about an elementary school teacher from Boston who moved to Finland to teach. At first, she didn’t understand why the kids there all excelled in reading and science and had so few behavioral issues compared to students in America.
The only real difference she found was that, in Finland, kids get 2 hours of recess each day. Every 45 minutes in a classroom is followed by 15 minutes of play.
That’s it. More time for kids to be kids. More time for beings to be.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a school bell that reminds them to take recess. My boss doesn’t walk over to my desk every hour and say, “Put down your work and get outside! Jonny’s at the tetherball court and he’s telling everyone you can’t beat him!”
So, how do you remember to play? What makes time invisible for you? Do you have a recess bell in your life?
Luckily, I have Ava. She makes me get off the couch and go dancing. She’s my recess bell. Even though she won’t play me in Gin Rummy anymore…
Dr. Seuss said, “Adults are just obsolete children.”
Every day, I wake up and try to become less-obsolete. I look for new ways to play. New ways to use my imagination. New ways to keep my soul light.
Here’s how:Read More