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Remembering how to play
A simple four-letter word that we often forget to use
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There is a magical room in our building with a fireplace + floor-to-ceiling bookshelves displaying color-coordinated books. It’s affectionately called “The Library” + like most libraries, it’s a very under-utilized amenity.
It’s the perfect spot to go on a gloomy day with your laptop or favorite book. Of course, ‘gloomy’ days in San Diego are few + far between. So while we love this room, we rarely go there. When we do, we always talk about how it would be a great place for a ‘speakeasy’ themed party.
Well, last week we made it happen.
We sent out an invitation to our neighbors…
Join us! Friday night, 8pm
Speakeasy Library takeover night! Let’s get together in The Library for an evening of ambiance, music, fine whiskey + wine. Dress to impress. Password is “Luxury Living”
It was such a simple idea. We brought our portable speaker + played a speakeasy playlist. We dimmed the lights. Turned on the fireplace. We lined the bookshelves with dozens of battery-operated tea lights leftover from our daughter’s wedding last summer.
Everyone showed up dressed to the hilt with a bottle of wine or whiskey + we had SO much fun!
What you don’t see in the picture is that the room was an oven when we got there. Since no one had been in the room all day, the A/C (which shuts off when the room is not occupied) had been off all day. It was SO hot + took quite a while for the A/C to cool things down. I was glad I wasn’t wearing sleeves!
We could have easily moved the party outside, but everyone was SO committed to the idea of a night in the library - no one wanted to leave! On top of that, no one wanted to go home. We were there in the library until after 1am - which is BEYOND late for us!
It was such a fun night, we are all still talking about it. None of us could believe we spent 5 hours in the library! It was just one of those magical nights where everyone has a great time + goes home feeling grateful. Sure, a little exhausted from the late hours, but hey - that’s the sign of good fun!
There is something magic about play. Getting together with no real agenda. Creating an ambiance. Dressing up. You can trick yourself into thinking you went somewhere. You lose track of time. You forget your worries.
There are so many ways to bring play into your life. And, it’s more important than we realize.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
If you have kids, you’ve heard the phrase “Can you play?” about a gazillion times.
Maybe you remember when you were a kid - showing up at your friend’s door or picking up the phone to ask someone, “Can you play?”
Have you noticed?
Kids will ask anyone, anywhere, anytime to play. They don’t overthink it – they don’t plan – they just ask. If someone is not available, they keep going down their list until they find someone to play with.
Kids know that when you need to play, you NEED TO PLAY!
It’s not necessarily being with a particular person that drives their urge to play, it’s just the playing itself. They could care less who they are with or what they are doing. They just want to get out + play.
Turns out - that’s not just a kid thing. It’s a human thing. We ALL need it. We need time to unwind. Let go. Explore. Goof off. Interact. Get silly. Pretend. Create. Dance. Sing.
These days, play is not as spontaneous. Even for kids. We plan ‘playdates’ days/weeks in advance. We turn everything into an event. We suck the fun out of things by overcomplicating them.
What if instead, we started to create space for free play? What would that look like?
For kids, yes. But, even more so for ourselves.
My husband + I have been ‘playing’ with play a lot at this stage of our lives. After decades of raising kids, work, chores, etc. it’s been fun to allow ourselves some playtime. To remember what it feels like to play. Freestyle.
We are out riding our bike + kayak. Creating playful playlists for every activity. Stirring up neighborhood gatherings. Attending local events. We are learning how to make everything a bit more playful.
I think somewhere along the way, we forget how important it is. Play.
Without enough play time - we can find ourselves feeling disillusioned, frustrated + disappointed. But, the moment, we start to play, we forget all of those things.
Just like our night in the library.
We put on our ‘play’ clothes. We lost track of time. We laughed. We connected. We recharged. We felt good. No agenda. No real entertainment. Just a bit of ambiance + space.
Playing creates magic. It fills you with that feeling that makes life worthwhile + gives you the energy to reach within yourself + turn up the volume of life.
Kids know the secret that we’ve forgotten. And, it feels good to remember.
Tell me about a recent or memorable ‘playtime’. How did it make you feel?
READ: The Importance of Play in Adulthood | Wanderlust
See you next week?
Meanwhile - you can read thru the archives here. And, please reach out to me anytime!