I stopped at the beach for 30 minutes and watched this man play yesterday morning, while drinking my tea, (before teaching my Soulful Sunday yoga class). Since living here in Florida, I’ve seen the kite surfers, and always wanted to try. But it’s a pricey hobby, and our priorities are on other things right now. At this point, I’m not sure my neck could handle it anyway, with the injuries from the car accident. My neck did not like a recent NIA dance class I was enjoying.
What do you do for fun? When was the last time you played?
Once, years ago, my friend and I returned home to find HT and our kids, and her kid, playing a card game. We didn’t discuss in front of the kids, but later, we talked about it. My friend and I both had childhoods that got too serious too soon. We didn’t play games. We couldn’t fathom how anyone could just sit around playing a game. What IS that? Who DOES that? WHY do that? Wouldn’t our energy be better spent reading a book, learning, achieving something, etc.? (orphaned at a young age, she went to Harvard, and is a kick-ass beautiful and successful human, btw). Intellectually, we knew it was a good thing, for children to be playing, we were appreciative that they were playing cards, but we didn’t exactly “get it.” Not really. Not in our bones. Incidentally, some of HT’s favorite childhood memories are of playing Yahtzee with his family. He’s always been willing to play games with the kids.
When I think about having fun, about playing, my chorus in Cleveland comes to mind. It was work, but it felt like play. It was serious at times, but being there was playful. It was fun. I miss it. Walking on the beach is a blessing, it’s contemplative, it feeds the soul, but it isn’t play. When I used to practice martial arts, in my twenties, sparring was play. I often found myself giggling with joy during sparring. Taking swing dance lessons with HT was play. A lot of laughter went on with that, as our 4′ 10,” 80+ year old teacher whipped us into shape.
Now, I’m sitting here contemplating not playing. I seriously can’t think of anything that I currently do that is just for fun. (Watch me use the quest for play to stress myself out). And frankly any time I feel playful lately, I feel guilty about it. The world is going to hell in a hand-basket; who am I to be lighthearted? Who am I to have fun?
But my spiritual teachers assure me, you can’t get sick enough to make a sick person well. My sinking, does not help the collective. It’s okay to have fun once in a while. It doesn’t mean you’re burying your head in the sand. It doesn’t mean you don’t care.
I left this post at this, and went off to teach this morning. As I drove home, I was still thinking about it, about play.
You know what is fun for me?
Maybe I’m right where I need to be.