Life is about play, and why we need more of it

What’s missing in my life? Well many things but one I can identify is time for fun. Messing about, play.

Sometimes I don’t want a goal a purpose to work towards. Measure my success rate, wonder how I’m doing, am I doing it right.

I want to do something without the oversight of my own mind checking up on me.

I want to play.

Children don’t need an excuse to play, they do.

Adults, however, are different. We don’t seem to play a much as children. Burdened with the responsibility of work and daily life we have little time for play. Everything we do has to be for a purpose.

That purpose is what makes it feel more like work and less like play.

The thing is, the play had no purpose other than for you to enjoy it.

Playing with games or creating drawings. It’s not about rules, not about why you’re doing this.

You’re faced with a blank sheet of paper, and the only rules are those of language. So What do you write?

You face with a blank canvas, what do you say?

It’s like life, you have a blank canvas in front of us, there are very few rules, and it’s up to you to make something of it.

Our problem, our difficulty is in thinking that is more to life than there actually is.

So we search for answers, explanations where there are none. Then we get upset when we can’t find any or when the explanations are unacceptable.

Our expectations are what trip us up. We get in our own way. Instead, we should learn to be happy with the existence we do have.

In this case learn how to play, see life a little more as play. To do tasks that have no purpose other than to enjoy oneself, just like children.

They don’t ask why things are the way they are, they just do.

They explore, and build, and connect with no reason, other than to follow that impulse wherever it may lead. Unafraid and always open to whatever happens.

What does play involve?

Creativity, building worlds, houses, stories, creating pictures. It often involves taking what’s inside and putting it out there into the world.

Experimentation. Trying things out because you have something to say. Because it’s new, and where your curiosity has to lead you.

Fun or enjoyment! You have to enjoy it at some point. It’s not always fun doing it, learning a new skill is difficult but you enjoy the challenge or learning.

In our adult life, we have become far too serious and with far too much to do.

We need to rediscover that childlike within. By setting aside time to forget the world, and instead express ourselves.

Games, art, sports, what we call recreation is all about relaxation and having fun.

We’re supposed to be enjoying life, for the most part.

Sure there are times when we have to be serious when things are dull. Tragedy strikes, things fall apart and more.

But in amongst all of that, we need time for fun and adventure.

When is time for play?

2 thoughts on “Life is about play, and why we need more of it”

  1. Love this, Richard! And love that you write to your younger self to tell him what you’ve learned. 🙏

    Just before reading this article, I was talking to my younger self, too! How lovely, the coincidence. 🙂

    • Thank you Shaunalei, yes I write to myself as I was years ago, the wisdom I have accrued. Yes its a coincidence, maybe when we think of our future, we think of our past first.


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