Our friends have an annual open house on New Year's Day. It is something we always look forward to as we know we are always guaranteed a relaxed afternoon catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and enjoying good food and company all in a welcoming atmosphere while we gently ring in the first day of the New Year. The children play, the adults catch up, the potluck is always delicious and plentiful, and we cherish the tradition of pulling out a word out of a container our host provides to help set us on the right direction for the new year.
My word this year was play. Huh, play, I thought. My friend swears with such sincerity that the container is never wrong, like the words find your fingers...instead of us choosing them, they might actually be choosing us. So, play, I'll play along, what are you trying to tell me?
The word itself might initially conjure up children and not adults. A sort of silly and mindless recreation not really thought of for someone my age. So, do you want me to play more with my children? No, I'm immediately thinking that is not it. This word is entirely for me. I need to play. I need to add some play time into my life. Is that it and what does that mean?
Well, it got me thinking, what can that word mean and how it could apply to something I am lacking to the point where this small piece of paper was drawn to my finger tips? So, I started my quest to applying this word to my life this year by looking it up (yes, I actually did and the definition is at the top of the page) and the word in the definition that caught my eye was enjoyment. Play is another word centered around enjoyment and not just recreation. Okay, now I might be onto something!
Something that I have been presently aware of lately is that I center so much of time in making life enjoyable for others that I lack seeking happiness for myself, but, what if I cut others out of the equation, and just focus on myself for a little while today? Could I find some of my own happiness if I stopped entertaining others and played by myself today?
Okay, paper, I committed myself to seeking out play today, not knowing exactly how or when it would surface, but, I will clear sometime for myself to find something enjoyable to do.
Then, surprisingly, the house cleared out. One son went off with his grandmother, the other two went down the street to play with a neighborhood kid, and the hubby left to run errands. Very rare for a Saturday, so I quickly jumped on it and said, "Okay, so play Mary, play."
Hmm, how do I start? Well, I fed my belly with some really good ramen today so why not feed my soul I thought as I gathered my props.
On went the Sumatra Coffee in the Keurig, up went my Sam Cooke playlist on my phone, and out came the paint and paint brushes from Christmas.The paint easily flowed on the canvas while I sipped my coffee and, half way through the soothing tune of "Bring It On Home To Me", I had an epiphany and realized how undeniably and blissfully happy I was in that moment. I was thoroughly enjoying this very unusual and long over due break from the norm. I was playing!
Through some dark roast, acrylics, and Sam serenading me, I found my own sweet version of this word called play. This is my word and it did find me and as Sam Cooke would say, "It's been a long,
long time coming but I know change is gonna come." Oh yes, Yes it will, Sam!
So, what if it was your turn to play and feed your soul...What would you do if you had some down time?