All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
By Tabita Green
Lately, I’ve been feeling dull. Every conversation I’ve had with anybody outside of work has focused on my book or my work to promote mental health in the schools. In my defense, some people asked—and seemed genuinely interested. But when my daughter started pointing it out, I realized that I needed to lighten up a bit and find a little play in my life.
So this past weekend, my 17-year-old and I drove down to Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, for a weekend of play. Half-way there, I discovered that I had left my backpack, which contained my laptop and Kindle, at home. I was quite distraught for a few minutes, fretting over the fact that I wouldn’t be able to send my Sunday email or read a few more pages of Overwhelmed (a book about balancing work and play). Then my daughter reminded me that it was a good thing. And of course it was!
We spent Saturday afternoon in our hotel room watching a marathon of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” Then I got a makeover for a night on the town. After a bit of shopping, we ended up at a great little tapas bar with superb food. We fell asleep to more HGTV. The following morning I stayed in bed until 9:20 a.m. Yes, that’s 9 freakin’ 20 a.m.! It is very possible that this hasn’t happened since adolescence. After a leisurely morning at the hotel, we brunched (one of our favorite activities) and shopped some more before heading north for home.
Play Is Essential
I may forget, but right now, I’m thrilled to have re-discovered that I need to play. Really play. Forget about saving the world. Forget about writing a book. Forget about chores and obligations. Just for a little while.
Turns out play is an essential component of wellness!
Play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships. ~Margarita Tartakovsky
After that great weekend, getting up on Monday morning wasn’t very difficult. In fact, it was easy! I felt rested. Energized. (And that’s a good thing, because this week has been anything but smooth so far!) In fact, playing sharpened my focus and motivation.
So don’t forget to play. Because, all work and no play makes you dull. And we can’t have that!
Tabita Green is an author, speaker, blogger, and community organizer. After three years of research into mental health and resilience for her book, Her Lost Year, she believes humanity’s future health and happiness depends on the creation of resilient, sustainable communities.