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Fragments and Playtime


This past week the stars were not aligned correctly and my emotional roller coaster was full of long climbs and steep drops. Halfway through the week I decided some ocean time was order to help re-align my galaxy and prevent me from jumping into the Willamette River. I bribed my husband with promises of ice cream and beer (but not together) and we made a date for a road trip.

With promises of sunny skies and high’s in the upper 60’s the weather gods gave us a reprise from the rain and it was a perfect day to head to the coast. My husband and I solved a few of the world’s problems on the way and the two hours passed like two minutes. Ian mentioned his love of building sandcastles as a kid and it was too bad we didn’t bring our bucket and shovel as we walked along the beach during low tide. I watched the families chase their dogs and fly kites and got to thinking about play time. When I go to the ocean it is to help unclog my brain and enjoy the scenery and then go have lunch. Rarely do we bring a blanket and just sit and read or build sandcastles. Something in me longed to go steal a bucket and shovel from a little kid and help Ian make a sandcastle. All this talk about playing in the sand got me thinking: Why we don’t play more?

I thought back to when I started Junior High and my fellow classmates implied playing with Barbies and watching cartoons was sooooo elementary school. I didn’t think it was and in fact, I liked to color and make up stories with my Barbie Doll. But, in an effort to fit in, my younger sister’s Barbie inherited a new wardrobe and a few coloring books.

Now that I am an adult and have Responsibilities, I don’t play as much. I ride my bike to train for events and I go on hikes when I need to clear my head or get out of town for a few hours. We don’t have kids so playing isn’t a normal part of my life. I come from a long line of people who don’t sit still very well and over the years and I have learned the fine art of slacking, but I’m just not very good at playing. I like to explore and go on adventures but I don’t think about bringing a shovel and bucket and building sandcastles or having a picnic in the middle of a long hike. Now my days are filled with lists and chores and the occasional moment of peace in the backyard at the end of a busy week.

Play time has been on my mind for a few weeks now after I got an e-mail from Cynthia Briggs about her latest online workshop which teaches us how to play and make fun a daily part of our lives rather than a luxury. I’ve mentioned her a few times on my blog and no, she doesn’t pay me to say nice things about her workshops, I’m just really like her approach to life. She challenges her readers to get out of their comfort zones and think differently.

I took a little inventory of my own life and found play time fits in right next to getting enough sleep and making sure we have groceries. In the next few weeks I’m going to dig out my stamps and make cards to send to people and plan a picnic and enjoy the river as I walk to catch the train and bring more play into my life as the weather gets warmer.

How do YOU incorporate play time into your life?



About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

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