Thursday, July 3, 2008

Take Time To Play

by Donna L. Watkins

The Fourth of July. A legal holiday they call it. Holidays seem to break up the routines we all fall into. They make us search for "something different" to do.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - La Selva - Collared Peccary Eating A Bread Fruit

We should spend more time celebrating life on days that aren't designated holidays. Our American culture has become far too frantically paced. It's often hard to find somebody to schedule some fun with. People are so loaded with 'to do' lists that they don't believe they have time for fun. Security is not in the stuff you own.

These are thoughts I had last week as I was in my garden watering plants for the first time this summer. I use a sprayer that you can stick in the ground and it will rotate the spray. At one spot I couldn't set it wide enough to water a few transplanted mums without wasting a lot of water to an area that didn't need it. So, I stooped down and used my hands to break up the water spray so the mums could get some of the spray.

As I covered the water with my hands, the spray came up into my face until I got them placed just right. I had to giggle after my startled reaction and then as the water flowed around my hands to the plants I flashed back to childhood.

Remember those hot summer days when you'd play with the hose and jump around pretending to avoid being hit, when in reality it was a delight to get soaked and cooled down? I remembered splashing in puddles after a rainstorm. Water was special to me. I loved to swim when I was a child.

Why do we leave those play times behind? Just because we grow up doesn't mean we can't play. Why not schedule a time to wash your car instead of running it through a car wash! Invite your husband or children to help and make sure you have some fun with the hoses.

Making memories. Do families still take time to do that? Simple, homemade kinds of memories? Life is too rushed and all those tasks won't bring the joy of memories of simple play. Can you find some evening time and a piece of dark sky to view the stars? Looking at the heavens makes everybody dream of something.

Do you take time to dream? Do you teach your children to do so?

It's not too late. If you live by your 'to do' list, then schedule to have some play time. You'll be more effective at what you do the rest of the time, and you'll feel more like life is full of good things. Take time to play!

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