When I was a kid, I loved to play with my sister, Lisa. She was just one year younger than me, so we were practically twins. We’d make up elaborate games using marbles or our troll dolls or even with blankets, jump ropes and our parents’ furniture. We’d create entire worlds in our “tent.” Hours went by without any interruption; we were in the flow of make believe.
When we were older, maybe 10 and 11, we played board games or sat around reading Archie comics, but we still loved make believe. With our friend Esther we’d wander the dirt lanes of our town pretending we were on a great journey. I remember there was a lot of giggling, we thought we were hilarious. Sometimes we would take a blow up raft and paddle out to the middle of the lake where we had to battle pirates (or avoid the boys).
As we became teens our idea of fun shifted to music, dancing, dating, but there was still plenty of time just hanging out talking and dreaming. It was then that I floated the idea of being a theatrical make up artist, and no one laughed. In fact, I was good at it, and I did all my friends’ make-up before “big” dates. And it was then that I found my love of cooking and the creative outlet it provided.
I believe that my dreaming and creativity resulted from play and fun. But as we age, somehow some of us (me included) forget the importance of fun. Fortunately for me, I married a man who thinks play and fun are the bomb. I may resist, but he gets me to stop being a grown up and remember the fun of play. And what I’ve found in indulging in play now is that it sparks my curiosity, enhances my creativity and is just, well, FUN.
And I’ve explored how I liked to play and have fun as a kid by writing stories of those times. These stories have given me ideas of how to add some of those activities (or similar ones) back in to my life.
It’s hard to stop working and doing to just play. But in the words of George Bernard Shaw: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Can you add some more fun and play into your life?
Here are writing prompts to help you get there.
Write the stories, notice the patterns, and then add one small thing in to enhance your play and fun.
What did you enjoy when you were 5, 10, 15, 20 …
How did you like to play?
How did playing make you feel?
Do you remember when you would forget about time? What were you doing?
Do you seek out fun? Do you still play? If not, what’s holding you back?
Excited about the idea of creating a more meaningful life that involves play? Download my free guide, 3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love to start designing your best life—a life with more energy, engagement, and clarity.