All work and no play makes April a dull girl
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The other day, I was walking my dog by the park. I saw a white car pull into a parking space and three small children bolt from the backseat toward the playground. They were probably about as excited as I’d ever seen children at a park.
And I’ve been to Disney World and Disneyland.
Their laughter and elation made me smile as I remembered how great it was to be a kid. I instantly longed for the days when all it took were slides and teeter totters to make me as happy as Joanie when she loved Chachi.
I wonder if they’re still together.
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I’ve always loved a good playground. Who can go wrong with swings and jungle gyms? The unfortunate part about playgrounds is most of the equipment is built to accommodate a certain age range before it becomes too awkward to play on them. That is obviously intentional, as playgrounds are typically built for kids. What I really want to do is go back to the days when playing was a top priority.
And trust me, I took playing very seriously.
Sometimes it just seems so unfair that being an adult has to be so serious. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that money drives so many adults. And money is serious. So we are forced to sit in long meetings and push ourselves to deadlines that cause us to be so stressed out, we even get sick.
Time for recess, people.
And when I say recess I don’t mean a working lunch – the worst invention adults could seriously force on people. Do we really not have an extra hour out of the day to sit down and eat a meal? Let’s just make eating work so we can make sure we’re still getting paid.
Kids would never dream something up like that.
I came to Colorado for a couple of reasons. One of the biggest drivers was my fear of spending my entire life in a cubicle. I didn’t want to move in and out of my 8- to 10- hour days like a robot. Unless that robot was Rosie from “The Jetsons.”
She was, in a word, cool.
In my corporate life, I had all the great stuff a dedicated career brings including, and especially, free pharmaceuticals. That’s an exception, I think, depending on where a person works.
There was a piece of me that just wanted to write and ski in the Rocky Mountains. So I did it. Eight years ago, my Indiana friends and family thought I was crazy for leaving my nice corporate gig to be a writer. I’m sure they still do. Really, I just wanted to be back on a playground.
Colorado may be the closest thing to it.
We all have to work, even if the almighty dollar isn’t what drives us. We have to eat and have places to live. Sometimes we have to feed other people, and dogs, so we have to work even harder at more than one job.
Work isn’t usually a playground, unless you’re in charge of an actual playground. Then technically it is.
For the most part, work is just that. Work. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to make work feel like play. And sometimes work has to feel like work.
There’s no way around it.
I just hope people can take the time to not be so serious and have some fun already.
Take the dog for a walk and notice a child’s laughter on a playground. Maybe even have the urge to run over to the swings and jump on one.
As adults, we often allow life’s problems – caused by home or work – to weigh heavy on us. If we can learn anything from our own childhoods, it’s that there’s always a place to get away and play.
Money comes and goes – mine goes faster than it comes – but what’s most important isn’t just how much I make or how quickly it leaves my hands. It’s being excited by something as simple as a slide or a teeter totter. Or maybe a new, or gently used, car.
Happiness comes in many forms and most of us can invent, and re-invent, our lives in pursuit of it. Whether that’s taking a high-powered corporate route or the path of a writer in the mountains who really just wants to laugh, the decision can be ours.
Just let me know when it’s time for recess.
– April E. Clark will be back in a bridesmaid dress this weekend. Be ready for fun, Kendra. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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