Don’t Stop Playing

Earlier this month, I finished a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. It took me a few weeks to complete because I would only do it for about an hour a week until I got closer to the end. I had been wanting to do a jigsaw puzzle for a while, but just hadn’t found one that inspired me enough to buy it.  I found completing the puzzle to be relaxing especially after coming home from work.  When I told someone about my puzzle they said that I was a grandma and honestly I do feel like a 30 year old grandma. While doing the puzzle I started thinking about how older people and children take the time to do activities that might not seem like they have much of purpose.

Older people and children do have more free time to partake in these activities, but why do we put off “playing” until we are closer to death? At what point do we stop having fun just for the sake of it? Adult coloring books have grown in popularity and I have one that a friend gave me for Christmas that I do every so often before I go to bed. It’s a great way for me to unwind. But coloring is seen as something a child does to foster creativity and learning. Maybe we’re the ones that still have to learn.

There’s definitely been an upward trend in people turning towards activities that cause them to slow down such as knitting, and coloring. I think it’s because we’re all overstimulated, overworked, and overstressed.  As a society we’ve bought into the idea that we must be working 24/7. This is part of the reason why Millennials are now the most stressed out demographic in the country.  We’re so focused on self-improvement that we’ve forgotten about self-enjoyment.

This week take some time to do something that serves no purpose, without a screen. Draw, color, knit, do a word search. Something that takes you out of your head, but isn’t about progressing. It’s only about being. Let your inner child loose, or embrace being a grandma/pa. There’s nothing wrong with slowing down.

Remember, we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. -George Bernard Shaw 


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