Play Time: Not Just for Kids!
Have fun, laugh and play! Take time out to laugh at your Self, a funny movie, or just playing around with children and pets. Be childlike, but not childish. This will help to keep you young and light hearted. Laugh loud and long! Laughter is good medicine and you can’t get too much.
Have you noticed that people with a great sense of humor are fun to be around? Their fun-loving personalities are contagious. They are quick to laugh and just as quick to see the good side of people and situations. With a carefree, unhurried attitude, they aren’t bothered by stuff that has others stressed and anxious. You either love to be around them or you can’t stand their positive outlook, maybe because you secretly wish you could be more like them.
By the age of ten I discovered being childlike didn’t win me any points with the adults. I remember practicing my cold, indifferent adult stare. It kept me out of trouble. Well, not always, I got in trouble A LOT. Every chance I got I found a reason to laugh (when the adults weren’t around). Life was hard and it felt better to be silly and have fun.
As I grew up I forgot how to have fun. I was on a serious quest for self-actualization yet I didn’t know it. And I certainly wasn’t having fun. I thought having fun would mean missing out on the serious stuff that kept order and a seeming semblance of sanity.
Was I ever mistaken!
My youngest son helped me to learn to play again. He was a jokester, prankster and all around funny guy. My desperate attempt to understand him transported me into his fantasy world of fun and imagination. And while I couldn’t see the humor in filling the tub with salamanders or letting snakes loose in the house, the baby peasants with their silver-foiled helmets, gliding across the living room in plastic-windowed cars, was pretty funny. Dressing up his dog and cats always gave me a chuckle and I wondered how much those animals must have loved him to put up with that.
Whether you play as a child or as an adult, research proves, it makes you smarter. Imagine, learning being fun and easy. Play research pioneer, Dr. Stuart Brown, explains why play is vital, no matter your age in this Ted Talks video.
Finding humor at my work proved to be a bit more challenging. I remember many heated board meetings while serving on our natural food co-op’s board and later as its manager. My friends included those on both sides of the “board fence.” And being neutral proved challenging to say the least. I understood the opinions and direction each side was presenting, but sometimes the balancing act was a bit more than I could bear. My solution to tense moments was to imagine a comical parody that mirrored their arguments. Playing mental mind games is a great way to balance negative energy when you can’t just walk away!
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There was a particular time I recollect,
during a much heated board meeting.
The meeting had gone on for hours. I stood up to speak and said, “I’d rather talk about,” and in my best Jamaican accent began to sing,
“Day-oh, day, ay, ay, ay, oh, daylight’s comin’ an me wanna go home.”
I looked around the table at the faces staring back at me and I knew immediately who got it, and who wasn’t amused. Slowly, slight smiles crept on faces while others looked on in disbelief. I think I might have muttered something about Beetlejuice and trying to lighten things up, which it certainly did!
As a kid I loved Jerry Lewis and his slapstick comedy routines. He definitely made an impression on me! He will always be one of my heroes.
Laughter, like wholesome food and healthy living, is good medicine.
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