Playing without purpose

Doug Peterson and Wil Wheaton got me thinking about play today.

Doug posted “It’s the Little Things” and I’m reading Wil Wheaton’s “The Happiest Day Of Our Lives“. Doug’s post is about remembering to have fun and be carefree; Wil’s book includes stories about picking out Star Wars figures at KMart as a child and creating or re-enacting stories with them.

I love Lego. I read books that were written for children or young adults. I like to play video games. I enjoy many of the pastimes that kids do.

But I wonder if I’ve lost something as I grew up. I wonder if I’ve lost the uncensored play. I wonder if I’ve lost the joyous abandon I used to have.

When I played with my son and the Star Wars action figures that my dad brought for him in the hospital, I found myself wanting to play well. I was worried about whether the story we created together was good, instead of just enjoying the time and savouring the fun of it.

I used to play with those same toys with my brother. I remember the fun we had with the Millenium Falcon, Luke Skywalker, the AT-AT, and more, but I don’t really remember what I was thinking, or how it satisfied me.

When did I lose the ability to play for play’s sake? Why do I have to achieve when I play? Why can’t I just dive in and have fun?

Maybe I haven’t lost the ability (I certainly hope not!), but I simply need to refocus and change my perspective on my play, especially with my kids.

Anyway, thanks for listening. Needed to get that out.

One thought on “Playing without purpose

  1. George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” In fact, Dr. Stuart Brown is a psychiatrist and expert in play who has researched and written extensively about the value of adult play. So get out your Lego and your Star Wars action figures – dive in and have fun! (I have a faerie garden!)

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