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Adding A Little Play

Today I am giving myself some permission to play.  So I am reaching back in to the archives as a reminder of the importance of play.

Yep, even though I have been sick, even though I haven’t ‘accomplished’ as much as I SHOULD have this week. (Those would be my mongers talking)  My nearest and dearest and I are sticking with the plan we made earlier this week to enjoy the 70+ degree day taking a hike with our dog.  So voices be damned–after spending the morning in the office–I am heading out to play!  Where could you add a little play in your life??

Originally posted in October 2009

Yesterday I decided to take the day off and go hiking.  I have wanted to go hiking for awhile and so I cleared my schedule and grabbed my dog Mocha and off we went.  I have a tendency to not plan well but this trip I remembered to pack a lunch, my camera, and water for me and my dog.  I also have a tendency to be pretty intense about my hike–my mission for this hike was to get away, clear my head, enjoy the scenery, take some good photos and basically have the afternoon to play.  However, as I started the hike I noticed I was going at break neck pace and my mind was racing…Was I going fast enough? Was I burning any calories? Did I pick a trail that was too long? What if someone saw my dog was off-leash? (illegal in this area–but I did put her on leash whenever we walked near people!!).  Fortunately about 15 minutes in I became aware of this behavior and realized, this is my afternoon to play, this is not my afternoon to worry or get a workout or be timely.  This is my afternoon to wander, to look around, and to watch my dog run with abandon through the trees and smell every fabulous scent she could find.  I realized I had to give myself permission to play.

At first I was a little sad, permission to play!?  I thought how sad is that I need permission?!?!  But then I realized I do, I need permission to put aside my to do list, my calendar, my workout and just play.  And play I did, I jumped in streams, I checked out woolly worms, I stopped by a lake and ate my lunch, I took 100s of pictures of the beautiful changing trees, I played for 4 blissful hours.

So many times in our lives we plan a vacation, plan a party, plan a fun event and we get lost in the worry.  We get lost in the stress of the planning and we miss the moment of fun.  We miss the play part.  To live happier we need to include the play.  So my challenge to you is give yourself permission to play, whatever that means for you, swing on a swing, blow bubbles, laugh until your belly hurts, just play.

How do you play?  Let me know what you do when your give yourself permission to play?

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