While I did play some as a child, work always came first. In the summer, we’d have a list of chores (most likely crafted to keep us out of trouble) and we weren’t supposed to play until they were all done. I’ve carried that philosophy into my adult life and always felt that work had to come first and work is never done. Two more beliefs that are bullshit – just in case you are wondering.
I also didn’t have a lot of freedom to just hang out with my friends in high school, first probably because I went to a school that was about 45 minutes away from my home so I didn’t have many local friends and then in my last couple of years, I just wasn’t given the freedom to be a kid. There always had to be purpose to the plans being made, or so it felt. I had an earlier curfew than my friends and was embarrassed by it so I just made up excuses whenever I’d be invited to do something.
Then I had my first child at 19 so I moved right into being a parent and I needed to grow up pretty quick. Being married to an alcoholic also affected my perceived ability to just be free and relax and have fun. I was always the driver and I always had to worry about the kids.
So many factors that have made it difficult for me to let my hair down and just have a good time. And what a loss…in so many ways. I have often been viewed as stand-offish or even anti-social but really I was just always on alert and never felt like I could just have fun. I have missed out on events because I just didn’t want to be the driver or go only to end up taking care of the kids in a strange location so I’d just stay home. And, frankly, I didn’t even know how to play.
But playing is really important. It is just about doing something fun…about relaxing…about not having a drive or purpose (other than to have a good time). It’s about laughter and friends and family. Play lights us up inside and fills our soul.
And so I am learning to play…slowly pulling that stick out of my ass. Here are a few of my recent play dates (sometimes with others and sometimes with myself).