My friend Mary has an annual tradition similar to a New Year’s resolution. In January, she picks a word that will set the tone for the year.
I decided to try her strategy this year. My word is play.
If you know me in real life, you know I tend to be all work and no play. My time sheet is fiction; the job just can’t be done effectively in forty hours. Pile on the daily traffic bullshit of living in the DC suburbs and the increasingly time-consuming aspects of owning a thirty-year old house with a one acre yard, and there is no time left for anything else.
But Mary’s strategy is brilliant … one simple word to bring things into focus.
Items I’ve attached to play are things I want to do just for me that have nothing to do with work or chores; things I want to do just because I want to do them. No complicated goals or reasons, just activities that I think are fun.
Four specific things in my play bucket right now: a regular happy hour with friends who are much younger than me, working out at a gym, photography and Italian lessons. Si, sono lo studente l’italiano.
I’m tempted to explain the motivation behind each, but, well … I don’t have to. I’m doing these things just because I want to. Play is my word.
Future play: a hiking club, more visits to the Smithsonian, some Washington Nationals games and a local blues festival.
It’s sad that I need a memory aid to remind myself to have fun; but hey, whatever works, right?
Grazie, Mary. Your idea is wonderful.