This past weekend was the unofficial start of summer. Whoohoo! I LOVE SUMMER! It’s the greatest time of the year!
Here in Western, New York, we do not get much in the way of sunny days. Old Man Winter has deep roots here and he can often malinger well into Spring. Thank God, this month he finally let go. Just last week we had two nights at 36 degrees. Today, it’s expected to get up to 86 . . . unseasonably warm for sure. But I’ll take it!
For many years, I regret that I spent so much time at work. There were so many lost opportunities over the years to embrace the joy of living life more fully. A part of it certainly was employer expectations. By maximizing labor hours for fixed labor cost (salaried) workers such as myself, employers intentionally drive workers to maximize their “performance.”
After many years as a professional IT Director, working long hours became a habit. I became a work-a-holic. To this day, I give my employer outstanding performance, often working in to the wee hours of the night, skipping lunches, breaks, and just grinding away at tasks and expectations. As I look back, I’ve fallen into that trap like many and worked far too many hours in the week. . . hours that I wish I had made better choices on how to spend them.
Play is Necessary for Well-being
So many studies have shown how necessary play is for well-being. Play gives humans the ability to regenerate and cope with the daily stresses that life (and work) challenge us with. Play gives us time to spend building better relations and experiences with others. Play can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Add in family, friends, or a four-legged furball and play can really provide us with priceless benefits and helps us to experience a life worth living.
To be clear, play is not just for kids. It’s for all ages.
You ever notice how much mature and older dogs just love to play? Keebler, even in his geriatric days at sixteen plus years old just loved grabbing onto his favorite chew toy and playing tug of war with me. He had this stuffed reindeer that “grandma” gave him a couple of Christmases ago. While his bones had a bit of arthritic ache to them, playing even for a few moments during the day seemed to put a smile on his face and leave him a bit more rejuvenated and happy.
I’m no scientist. Just an average Joe. There’s much research online about the necessity and benefits of play. You can Google it all yourself if you want to.
But deep down, you KNOW just how much better you feel when you put work aside and you do something fun.
So put down the mouse, step away from the keyboard. Grab the leash and your furball friend, your spouse, child and just go do something fun! Play! Laugh! Giggle! Just let it all go and enjoy yourself.
Trust me. . . you’ll feel better. (Work will still be there when you return.)
“Live a good life. More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.”― Roy Bennett