to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.
activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation
at·ti·tude \ˈa-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\
the way you think and feel about someone or something;
a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior
Playful is my word of the year for 2014. It is a guide I chose to help me make my world a fuller place. I chose this word because playfulness is a behavior that does not come easily for me and it is a word that I absolutely need. I am the person who can carry on deep and meaningful conversations. I can be reflective and find meaning and nuance in life. I can get things done with efficiency and effectively. I can react to crisis with grace and ease. I can be a supportive friend and family member. I can listen deeply. But, to engage in an activity for enjoyment or recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose…well, not so much. So this year, as the new year approached, playfulness became my apparent source of inspiration and desire. I chose playfulness and as I chose her, she, in like, chose me.
There are lots of reasons for my serious disposition…many more than I would want to explore in this blog. I will say that I allowed life to take hold of my adult self. I was propelled into a world of responsibility where I felt it necessary to hold life together for my family. And life became serious. It was about making ends meet. It was about success in my job. It was about supporting my family. And somehow in the midst of bandaid-ing a world that was changing faster than I could tape, the laughter lessened—didn’t diminish but certainly was an ember rather than a flame.
Playfulness was something that was a natural part of who I was when I was young. I got lost in play with friends as a child—games of Barbie dolls that filled a fantasyland; building forts and creating cities in the mud; playing Marco Polo in water lost in time and space; times of kick-the-can in a dusk-filled, raucous neighborhood game.
Somehow, sometime life developed into a serious business. Play became dormant. Asleep. Inaccessible. I grew to be a serious girl. My playful self, known to me as a child, like Sleeping Beauty—awaiting a kiss to come back to life from a long sleep, was lulled into quietude. And this year Prince Charming has come to kiss me and awaken the playfulness inside. Or I have decided by intention through choice of a word to be my own Prince Charming and let the laughter awaken. The journey this year has been fun and it has been about fun. As I take on fun and build time to recreate I feel a lightening. Laughter and fun are evolving into a part of what I do and who I am.
And quite honestly, this change is in attitude—not in circumstance. I am still as busy as ever. I still am responsible and reflective. What is changing? I am building an attitude toward playfulness. I am choosing playfulness as she chooses me. My life’s circumstances really haven’t changed that much. But I am changing my attitude about those circumstances. I am letting go. I am choosing not to band aid. The tape is being replaced by fun and laughter. By lightness.
Thus the focus of my blog this month. Each day I will be exploring one attitude that cultivates playfulness. Play-titudes.
Let the play begin!
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for writers and teachers of writing to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.