Be More Playful: mini-mission

You have big responsibilities. Perhaps you are raising children, managing a team, running your own business, paying bills, facing health challenges, taking care of a home or all of the above. Those responsibilities are part of life and they can get heavy. Overwhelming even.

There is a way to take the pressure off, even for few minutes and work towards a lighter look at things. Today’s mini mission to be more playful will help.

Mark and I do a lot of hiking and fun road trips and are becoming more and more playful. A break from responsibility and adulthood gives us perspective and makes us a better couple. Recently we went to our favorite stream in Little Cottonwood Canyon and had a picnic.

We talked about what it was like before we grew up. Before children, bills, worries and responsibility. Before cell phones, computers, email and text messages.

When we were kids we

  • played outside until we heard our parents yell “dinner!”
  • had marathon long games of monopoly
  • played pinball
  • passed notes to our friends. I sometimes dotted my i’s with flowers.
  • said yes more often
  • played army
  • went roller skating
  • built bike jumps

Things have changed since we were children. We know a little too much. We are a little too consumed with responsibility. We are grown ups.

Some things haven’t changed. Mostly, things just get better.  At our favorite picnic spot, we had a contest. We chose a target on the other side of the stream and saw who could hit it with a rock first. It was silly and childish and made us laugh pretty hard.

Last weekend we drove up to the Bonneville Salt Flats to watch some of the world’s fastest cars and motorcycles. On the way we stopped to check out the salt. We were curious. We were playful. We were light. We were happy. This weekend, perhaps a picnic and movie night. Now that I’ve been to Bonneville Speed Week I want to watch The World’s Fastest Indian again.

We have an opportunity as responsible adults to be more playful. Being playful pulls us right into the present. You can’t worry about fixing your past when you are jumping rope. You can’t stress about the future while you are skipping rocks.

If you don’t think you have time to play, remember that playfulness …

  • Fuels creativity
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Allows you to be planted firmly in the present
  • Makes you laugh
  • Softens your heart

Make the time.

Be more playful and not only break away from responsibility, but infuse some of your playfulness and lightness into each and everyday. Those things that become so heavy can feel lighter with a small shift in attitude. Shift from worry to gratitude. Think about your last playful moment or create one on the spot. Turn on your favorite dance music and get moving. Jump up and down, get crazy, play and be grateful for the opportunity.

Go on, be more playful.

What was your favorite way to play as a child?

For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.

Sign up below for inbox inspiration

Comments

  1. Kay says

    Such a great mini-mission! My significant other and I have been doing just that lately. Having an occasional picnic and being more spontaneous!

    The Perseid meteor showers gave us an opportunity to sit out at night in our jammies and stare up, seeing not only shooting stars, but bats darting about, too! One night we forgot about the showers, but one of us had to get up to use the bathroom, woke the other up and said, “Hey! We forgot to look at the stars!” So out we went!

    We are 57 & 58, but still have responsibilities, jobs, grandkids to worry about. This new venture of getting out to play has really made a difference for us. I turned to him the other day as we were out holding hands and walking and said, “Honey, you make me feel young!”

    (We had a field across from our house as a kid, and we’d flatten out the dried grown tall hay and make forts. We also lay in that field and watched clouds, looking for shapes and objects. We also walked on stilts and called to each other across town with a Tarzan yell to find each other.)

    • Courtney Carver says

      Kay, It sounds like you picked a great guy. ;) I used to make forts too. In fact, one summer, I secretly started removing things from my house to furnish the fort. Forks, plates, blankets, food … Don’t tell my mom.

  2. Rae says

    This is a great reminder. Being playful is a part of ourselves that can get bogged down from life. I want to remember to play! Last week I impulsively bought marshmellows, graham crackers and cholate bars to make s’mores. My daughter was so excited we couldn’t wait, so we fired up the bbq and made them for the first time together during the day. It was fun and a nice departure! Want to do more simple things to have fun.

  3. says

    Don’t forget it helps keep us young. I have always tried to be playful but felt I lost a little of that when my sons became adults. Having grand-children has brought that side back out in me.

  4. Kathleen Harris says

    Love it! We have a rather large state park not far from us. I’ve wanted to have a lovely river-side picnic for quite some time. By the way, the food looks yummy!

  5. says

    I felt realy inspired after reading this. In fact, I took my girlfriend to the sea-shore and we had an awesome day doing all the things we used to do when we were young!
    Just some hours of not being the grown-up, working on a nine-to-five basis was the best experience we had in a long time!

  6. says

    Wow! EVERY single time read what you share, I learn something I can apply right away. And this is one I can’t wait to apply. I can’t remember the time I gave myself permission to be a playful, a little permission to quit acting so “adult” all the time. Thanks for such a great nudge!

  7. says

    Great inspiration! We feel more centered in our lives when we do things we enjoy, rather than doing what we have to do and stressing over the things we need to get done.

  8. says

    I’m having flashbacks of playing outside until my mom called. I loved being outside and still do. One of my favorite things to play as a child was pretending to be in a band – I was the singer, and I had a dancer and drummer in my band! Now, I get some much joy from singing with my daughter on her Disney Sing It game. I would never sing outside of my house, but singing my heart out with her is pure joy and fun. Always a great reminder. :)