Wednesday, March 07, 2007

remember to play

I've been working too hard lately - writing proposals for new business, tending to all my volunteer commitments - and when I fall into bed at night, I'm exhausted.

(Oh, wait - I'm also fasting. No wonder I'm so tired!)

I love what I do (organize, write, and study the Alexander Technique), but sometimes I forget to take a breather and really play.

Tonight I was busy at the sewing machine, making some dress-up clothes for my niece for her fifth birthday. She's a princess, and she loves to dance around in the things I create. I can't wait to give her these gifts: two capes sewn from silky lining material, and a wedding veil I made from some old tulle I had lying around.

Sewing is not really playing for me - I have a Home Economics degree, and sitting at the machine feels like more work - but my imagination is delighted by the colours and textures of the fabric. As I picked through my stash tonight looking for something to give Meghan, I felt like a kid again. I, too, loved to play dress-up as a child; wrapping myself in luxurious fabrics, I was a fairytale heroine.

These days when I want to play, I colour - like a kid - with crayons. Among the million other things I do, I'm also a trained artist, but - as with sewing - trying too hard to make "art" feels like too much work. So I give myself license to be entirely free with the crayons, and I'm often amazed at what I make when I'm not really trying to do anything.

Don't forget to play. When you're organizing your life, make room for your own grown-up equivalent of dress-up clothes and crayons. And then lose yourself in the playing...

copyright 2007, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow

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