Every moment, every memory, and every interaction are potential writing topics. We, as writers will find a way to write some aspect of our lives into our works. Friends, family, and even your 8th grade field trip to Gettysburg are fodder for plot lines. Whether you intend it or not you will find similarities in your writing to the people around you. I have spoken with many friends who assume I wrote about them in certain pieces and I just have to laugh- I could have and didn’t even know it. Moments matter. Some of the best memories in my life are the tiny ones. Not the huge family Christmases or reunions. They are the times I sat at the water’s edge trying to catch frogs while my Grandfather fished, or the time my Hubs pulled over on the side of the road just to pick me flowers. Those are the moments that have left a mark in my mind. Games were not a high point in my home as a child. My mother ran the house on the adage, “If you have time to lean you have time to clean.” As I got older and had babies of my own, that particular idea was tossed out the window right along with corporal punishment and food restrictions. No, thank you.
Well that hit a gloomy note. Let’s find the fun in our day by wiping the cookie crumbs from the pages of Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane. Today my cuppa is filled with a lovely blueberry smoothie. I need to enjoy the fresh blueberries while I can. Nibbles, candied dates. So healthy with a touch of sugar coma. Balance is important. Off with you! Fill your cuppa and pocket some nibbles and join me on page 124 and we shall remember what it was like to play and how to bring it back.
First off, play is not sinful. It is not a waste of time. Play has a purpose in the lives of children and ours as adults. Some experts fear that we are losing creativity, negotiation skills, communication, and compassion when we don’t have a little fun in our daily lives. Experts believe we should engage in “free play.” Free play is aimless and creative fun. It involves running, jumping, and random silliness.
How is this beneficial? In children it helps them understand the movement of their bodies and what they are capable of. It also teaches them how to navigate their imagination and people skills. It builds teamwork when playing kickball and learning to win and lose gracefully. It is a way to practice movements and ideas without judgment or penalties.
“All work and no play makes **you** a dull **pronoun**.” We have all heard this old adage. It is the only one that truly states that if you only focus on the tasks at hand you will never enjoy the moments that were waiting for you outside of work. You can PLAY with the big person brain. It is essential for brain development. Remember a few posts back when we chatted about Miracle-Gro for the brain? The stimulation of BDNF? This supports the growth and advancement of neurons and it fights the effects of stress. Play can be a stress reliever.
Play can be solitary, but it is far more fun with a playmate. I could easily climb on my bike and peddle off on a ride, but it is far more fun when the Hubs is firmly beside me on our journey. I get the opportunity to see the trip through his eyes and him through mine. Play promotes neuron growth throughout our lives which truly keeps us young. Physical play keeps your body younger and healthier and mind play does the same for the brain. Stop playing= stop developing- stop healing- stop recreating our body and brain- stop enjoying life.
So, what did you play last? Solitary on the computer counts. Yahtzee? Awesome. Did you go to the gym and take an aerobics class? Play with your children? Your dog? These count, don’t stop.