Children do it, animals do it, why have some adults lost the ability to play? Play is using imagination and creativity; getting lost in the flow, carried away even. Play is so important to childhood development and I also argue- to adult happiness. Now don't go play on the monkey bars (unless you want to), but really think about what is fun for you. Where do you find release; where can you loose your self in the moment?
Play has been put on the wayside for many of us. There is alot of pressure in our society to be productive, to accomplish long lists of important things. Play is a guilty pleasure.
Escaping is not play. Escape is trying to drown out your life with something else, like alcohol or food or TV or the internet. I will sometimes escape with a long book-hide out away from my family and escape to another place, and not come up for air until the book is done. There is a fine line between escape and play; play energizes and feels good-escape does not.
I am so guilty of this. I have nearly lost play in my life. I have actually gotten to the point where I don't know what to do on a day off if I don't have (domestic) work to do. My cycles go like this: work, work, work, burning-out, work some more, escape....work, work, work....
Incorporating play into my everyday life is one of my biggest goals, it ranks right up there with learning to grow my own food, and spending time with my kids. If gardening and planting and cooking become all work and no pleasure then what is the point? If I take something which I consider play and overdo it, make it another entry on my to do list then this experiment is for nothing.
Fun for me is horseback riding, drawing and painting, biking, getting lost in a book, flying a kite, planting and gardening. There are more but those are the biggies.
Please tell me how you play! And I challenge you to try to play a little every day!