My Word

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.



Linda V. said…
Love this idea! Play does seem to be missing from our busy lives. Mine seems to be "travel", since Harold is now in Texas. However, in my case, its not what I had planned, so I'll just have to add play to travel, and have fun with it. I travel because I miss him, so I will have fun with the trips and him! Playing in Texas....hmmmm, sounds like fun to me!
elizinashe said…
Sound fantastic!! I'm digging the Italian..and the blues festival is a must!! What a great concept to adopt for the year!! Keep me posted on your 'play' activities!
elizinashe said…
just saw your comment on my blog. let's try and finally meet when you swing by in July. That would be great!
Mary Abbajay said…
Play is great for you! I'm going to be checking up on you to make sure you are living up to your word :)!