Live Simply In August: Play
For years, I sported what could only ever have been referred to as an ugly, dumb, digital, sport-style watch. To others, it must appeared in stark contrast with the rest of my intentionally put-together look. But there was one crucial reason why I willingly downgraded the style score of my wrist: the watch produced a polite but noticeable “beep-beep” on the hour. It was loud enough that it got my attention, prompting me to pause long enough to actually look at the time.
I needed this, you see, because when working, I lose any and all sense of time. My absorption in the task at hand is true flow-state-status. I am fortunate enough that my passion for my work makes it feel to me like transporting, all-consuming play.
Work and play are far too often placed at opposite ends of the spectrum in our society. Work is arduous labor and play is the escape from responsibilities, we’re told.
But when you love your work, and when you create or participate in working environments that invite curiosity and collaboration, work and play become intertwined.
Play is the instrument needed to puzzle through the work. Having a sense of play at work relaxes us enough to notice the obvious, to feel inspired enough to come up with innovative ideas, and to feel motivated enough to see the task through.
Playing with and in our work means that we enjoy the process, rather than endure it. It means that work provides a sense of fulfillment, rather than depletion.
Playtime, in whatever form it comes for you, is crucial to your overall wellbeing. In play, your obligations and insecurities are suspended. In play, your inner self alights. It rejoices in being able to do what it most wants to do, which causes you to experience a sort of sacred bliss.
This month, prioritize play. Inject it into corners of your life that you previously thought had to be all-serious-all-the-time.
Allow yourself to inhabit the freedom of expression and spiritual frivolity of childhood, once again.
(P.S. My best friend sufficiently shamed me out of wearing my time-alerting watch, and ever since she did I look a hell of a lot more respectable and have zero clue what time it ever is and how long I’ve been working for.)
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