My daughter recently started scheduling playdates with me at 7 pm. She’s very clever because bedtime is supposed to be around 7:30 but once we are playing it always runs over.
Life is hard. Even the best careers can fill our lives with pressure and stress. Many have forgotten the great joy of connecting with their inner child. There is a reason we all reflect on our childhoods as “simpler times.”
Playing is allowing yourself to imagine and create, and the business world could use a lot more of that. In marketing, we see a lot of copycats, and I believe fresh ideas arrive when your mind is doing something light like play.
Most of us know some awesome kids. Sometimes they are our own and other times they are nieces, nephews, cousins, grandkids, or our friend's kids.
I highly suggest that the next time you are around them you take the time to play. Not just the adult version of playing. You probably know the drill, you start off engaged but then quickly get distracted by your phone or the to-do list in your mind. I urge you to dive all into play.
Connect with the child, see the excitement and wonder through their eyes. Follow and invest in the storyline that they are creating with their little mind. Make the Barbies or toys talk and say funning things. Share and create laughs. You will become a happier person by doing so.
I am benefiting from this time too. It makes me drop the stress of the day and forget about deadlines and marketing objectives for a few minutes.
I often struggle with being present in all situations in life and it is something I have been working on. It’s not easy to get there but it’s like a six-hour drive to Pittsburgh, once you make the decision to get in the car you are well on your way. By getting down on the floor and playing, you can also unlock a lot within yourself.
I can’t imagine my late grandfather (a WWII veteran) playing Barbies with my mom and that is how I know it is important to do. Don’t just play with the toys you like. While I would probably rather be playing G.I. Joe, He-Man, or Transformers, Barbies are my daughter's current favorite, which makes them important to me. When my daughter laughs and has fun playing with me, there is no place in the world that I would rather be at that moment.
Have fun and never feel too old to play.