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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why Do We Stop Playing?

I watched a YouTube video the other day of a polar bear playing with fruit enclosed in a block of ice.  He/she seemed to be having so much fun! You can search the name of nearly any animal on the planet coupled with the word "playing" and there's probably a YouTube video for it!  My cats are always playing; in fact, Oscar brings me milk bottle "rings" and food bag tear strips that he steals off the counter or out of the garbage so that we can play fetch.  Yes, my cat plays fetch.  He and Mary Shelley are always clowning around, and my Corgi-Pom mix Jack loves a good squeaky toy.

Playing is fun.  Step onto any playground or in any kindergarten class and what you'll see is pure joy.  Think back to your childhood, even your teens.  Remember the fun you had?  Why do we stop playing?

Yes, I know that the demands of the "real world" often keep us from the playgrounds in our minds, but why?  Why don't we visit those lands of joy more often?  I have discovered that when Buddy and I are together, it's like we're kids, even though neither of us really are.  We giggle, tickle, and play.  A lot.  The laughter is fabulous--I laugh with him all the time, even when we're just chatting for a few minutes, like Wednesday night when we Skyped for ten minutes before bedtime.

I feel 17 again, I really do.  My heart flutters with anticipation when I'm going to see him.  I stare into his eyes like I'm examining rare diamonds.  I giggle like a teenager.  I think about him all the time! The only teen activity I haven't picked up--yet--is scribbling his name on my notebook, but that may be coming!

The weather here in North Carolina is unpredictable this time of year, but we've had warm weather--so warm in fact that some of the farmers have already plowed!  Spring comes early--planting will be done in the next two or three weeks.  And with spring comes one of my "playful" goals--I want to go horseback riding.  I haven't been on a horse since I was a kid, but I remember it with such fondness.  My second cousin Jan had horses, and my cousin Nancy and I went up to the farm (my father's Uncle Bill's farm was up the road from my grandmother's house) and rode with Jan a few times.  How I loved it.  I love ALL animals, and horses are just so magnificent.  I haven't ridden in years because I was so self-conscious about my weight.  I didn't want to "break the horse's back"!  But now, I'm looking forward to it, and Buddy says he'll go with me!  Yay!

Now that I'm thinner, I am going to be much more active, and I plan on doing a LOT more playing.  (Buddy and I have talked about going go-karting, horseback riding, maybe even bungee jumping!) When's the last time you played?  (And I don't mean on the computer or your phone--video games don't count!)  Do we stop playing because we get old?  Or do we get old because we stop playing?  If it's the latter, I'm never going to get old because I'm not going to stop playing!  I hope you don't either!

Have a thoughtful Thursday!


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