Omkari Williams

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Yikes! It is August and, here in the northern hemisphere, that means summer is halfway over. Here's my question. Have you been having any fun this summer? Have you been playing? Remember when you were a child and summer meant that you had long days with no school and no real responsibilities? You would wake up early (or late as a teenager) and not make plans but just go with the flow of the day. In the summer your raison d'être was play. All you wanted to do was have fun and enjoy the freedom while it lasted.

Fast forward to today. So you aren't a kid any longer but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be having fun, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't play. In fact I believe that playing is as important for we adults as it was for us as children. The realm of adulthood is so full of things that must be done, obligations that must be met, bills that must paid, and on and on and on. In that realm of doing what we have committed ourselves to and being responsible I think we must make time to play or we will lose our joie de vivre. Even the words "joie de vivre" are playful, don't you think?

What play means is totally up to you. What it doesn't mean is anything that you "have" to do but don't love doing. If you are lucky the work you do is play. If so, fantastic, and get out there and do something totally different anyway.

I've been looking at people's faces this summer. Just observing the expressions that they walk around with. There is a noticeable lack of joy on those faces. Serious, tired, and stressed are the expressions that most of the adults I pass on the street have. Most of the children, except the ones in mid meltdown, look happy. They are smiling, laughing, curious, silly. They are playful and joyful.

Yes, we are adults with the responsibilities that come with maturity; yet play is out there to be had, often for free or cheap. Getting on a swing, with or without children, doing cartwheels on the beach or in your yard, renting a canoe and going out on a lake, having friends over and eating all the watermelon you can consume while sharing stories of your childhood adventures, or doing something that, as a child, you always wanted to do but never did. All of these, any of these, and any thing that tickles your fancy will make the long summer days, and your whole life, sweeter.

Sometimes we get so caught up in being "adult" that we forget how to play. Don't worry, it's like riding a bike, it will come back to you. Once you start playing again you will love it. It becomes a lovely addiction. No twelve step program necessary.

So do what Mom used to say "go out and play."