There’s a reason that grown-up coloring books are all the rage these days: being an adult is hard! We’re overloaded, stressed out and weighed down by responsibilities, and there’s a part of us that longs for the carefree days of childhood. Scribbling with crayons satisfies that longing and reminds us of the days when we could happily color away the day making purple trees and green skies, and our biggest problem in life was naptime.
Well, adulthood is permanent (and who among us wouldn’t kill for a nap now?) but we all still have a child inside us, and that kid wants to play! Sometimes we forget that life is supposed to be fun. Or even worse, we think that adulting is a very serious endeavor and there’s no room for fun in a responsible grown-up life. But research has shown just the opposite: play is just as important for adults as for kids. If you find that you’re caught up in the endless daily grown-up grind of work/parent/clean/shop/sleep without any breaks for play, you’ll quickly lose your mojo and life will seem like an unbearable slog. Plus you won’t be a whole lot of fun to be around.
Making time for play will infuse your whole life with a sense of joy, and help the daily grind seem less grind-like. It helps if you have children, because they’re a built-in excuse for acting like a kid yourself, but they’re definitely not necessary. Just grab any other human in need of some playtime and try any of the following:
- Go to the park and toss a frisbee around. (A canine companion might work for this one.)
- Go to an arcade and play air hockey or pinball.
- Play mini-golf.
- Go bowling.
- Swing on the swings. (I have really done this. Recently.)
- Play a board game. (In this house we like Trouble, Pass the Pigs, Yahtzee, and Boggle)
- Go see a kids’ movie…with or without actual kids in tow.
- Build something with Legos.
- Shoot some baskets.
- Play jacks.
- Play solitaire or revisit a card game from childhood. (Remember War? Or Spit?)
How about you, boys and girls? What did you love to do as a kid? Do you make time to play now?