Adulting is hard; it’s time to play

Hey Everybody!

Today’s writing is a bit different. A bit less work related. A bit more me related.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I wanted to go to work, earn money, play football all weekend, play FIFA, stay up late, and eat whatever I wanted. Ok, so I can say that I have officially not eaten cauliflower (Yuck!) since I left home. But jeez, what a swap I had to make for that privilege!

Eat healthily. Exercise. Sleep 7 hours. Drink enough water. Don’t sit in front of the screen all day. See family. See friends. Spend quality time with the better half. Walk the dog. Insurance renewals. Pay bills. DIY. Gardening. Housework. Do the food shop. Work full-time. Be a good leader. Volunteer. Promote my book. Reply to WhatsApp messages. Reply to slack messages. Reply to LinkedIn messages. Reply to emails. Remember to take medication at the same time every day. Network. Follow the world news. Keep learning. Oh, and make sure every behaviour minimises the impact on the planet before we implode.

Yes, my head is a bit full at the moment. Some of the “full” is self-inflicted; I want to make the world a better place and overthink (maybe? probably? definitely?) And the rest, well it’s just the pure joy of adulting.

Everything is feeling like a bloody chore, I’m not the only one that feels like this and we’re not talking about it enough! Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we forgot how to play and how good we felt in the moment, and afterwards.

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My ‘play’ is an hour of FIFA or building Lego with my nephews. But it’s nowhere near as frequent as it could/should be. I could really do with somebody saying, “Clear off and play out whilst I clean the house” or “Go and play whilst I make tea”. (Dearest Wife, if you’re reading this, please take note!).

In the past I’ve not been a fan of the good old office table tennis. It’s noisy and irritating, can soon and easily become a place for the elite or be testosterone fueled and I’ve always secretly been jealous that I don’t have the time (the boundaries!) to ‘play’ at work. But, having the ammenities and the culture to ‘play’ at work is crucial.

Last month my team did a virtual escape room. Initially I was thinking it wasn’t my thing and I didn’t have time. But, I had so much fun, it was so nice to leave the day to day behind for an hour, work with colleagues on puzzles and have fun. Last week we played virtual bingo with the whole company, and again, it was so good.

The science says that play…

  • Relieves stress and refreshes our mind and body.
  • Stimulates creativity, improves brain function and helps us to see problems in new ways.
  • Improves connection to others.
  • Keeps us young.
  • Improves social skills.

I’ve done some googling about adult play (I was nervous about what would appear!) And here are the recommendations:

  • Host a regular games night with friends.
  • Arrange nights out / virtual events with work colleagues.
  • Schedule time in a park or at the beach to throw a Frisbee or fly a kite.
  • Play with a dog!
  • Surround yourself with playful people. They’ll help loosen you up and are more likely to support your efforts to play and have fun.
  • Invest in art supplies, construction toys, or science kits and create something new.
  • Goofing around with kids helps you experience the joy of play from their perspective.
  • Gamify exercise.
  • Join a sports team.

On this note, it’s time for me to log-off, work out what I’m going to have for tea, wash up, walk the dog, feed the dog, go to the gym…. and I am going to practice what I preach and actually play some FIFA on the PlayStation!

Do you find time to play? What are your hobbies?

Have a fun weekend everybody and be a good human,

SFJ.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”

– George Bernard Shaw

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