Hot lava, forts in the living room, and other, totally grown-up fun
Maybe the rug in the living room was always hot lava and you had to leap onto the couch to keep from burning your feet. Maybe you had a mischievous invisible friend to blame for losing library books or trimming off the cat’s whiskers. Perhaps Barbie and Ken selflessly gave up their dream house to nomad My Little Ponies. Maybe you enlisted your neighbors to help you protect the backyard from the attack of nearby pirate ships. Hours could be lost dreaming up adventures. Sometimes in adulthood, our childlike sense of fun can be on the back burner so long that we start to feel like automatons. Highly responsible and productive, sure, but robots just the same. I could launch into the research-supported health benefits we adults have when we play or how fun is hugely important for emotional resilience and stress relief, but for today, let’s skip being responsible grown-ups. It’s the weekend after all! Wouldn’t it just feel really good to play? So my challenge to you this weekend, whether you have just 10 minutes, an hour or two, or the whole day: Take a vacation from being an adult and play. Out of habit, your responsible grown-up brain may make excuses to get you out of fun or tell you that playing is a childish waste of time. Those thoughts are hard to escape in our culture. But humans, like animals, thrive when we’re having fun. I promise you that you aren’t the one exception. Acknowledge those productivity-centric thoughts. And then offer them some much needed, no strings attached vacation time. Blow bubbles on the porch. Doodle, craft, or scrapbook. Dance to the music in the grocery store and pull out your best moves when you pass the security camera. Dream up some preposterous fan fiction for characters in your favorite book. Get ice cream with colorful toppings and name all of the gummy bears. Grab your bike and scout your town for the best make out spot. Make a fort in the living room. Bring a glass of wine if you want. You’re an adult now, damn it! When you look back on the week, month, year, won’t it be nice to remember the fun you had instead of just the hours you worked and errands you ran? I’d love to hear what you end up doing, so please leave a comment and fill me in!
Like play, rest is an amazing (and essential) way of caring for ourselves. Join me for the Self Care Day Retreat in Chapel Hill on October 16! Save your spot here.