Have you Held on to Your Playful Side?

Playground

Article by Wendy McCance

When I was in my 20’s, I remember assessing my actions and trying to determine if I was acting “adult” enough.  Somehow I figured that a switch would automatically happen and I would be this particular image of what an adult was supposed to be.  I was overly critical of the clothes I wore, the way I presented myself and the amount of adult responsibilities that I took on.  I had lists of goals, and plans for what should be happening in my life at the 5 and 10 year marks.

Over the years, I have realized that this image I had of what an “adult” was supposed to be was somewhat misguided.  Sure I took my future seriously and was determined to land the great job, have a good amount of money stashed away in my bank account, contribute to a 401k, own a home, be married, have children and so on.  All of that worrying about if I was on track and how I compared to my friends was blown out of proportion.  You grow, you change, you become an adult and the responsibilities of life tend to naturally create the “adult life” that I was pushing too hard to achieve.

What I have realized after all of these years is that people can get so caught up in the idea of being an adult that they lose their playful side.  Honestly what good is it to be a responsible adult with out some fun?  I know people who have worked themselves to death.  Their life revolves around their career and they eat, breathe and sleep with their career on their mind.  There is never enough time at the office and the push to achieve takes over and becomes all their life is noted for.

As I have gotten into my 40’s, I am realizing that without some time to be playful, life loses its spark.  For me, seeing my children at play has been great for maintaining some playful qualities.  I have been known to watch a cartoon, run through the sprinklers on a sweltering day to cool off and pack a picnic and ride to the park on my bike for an impromptu picnic.

My oldest daughter decided that she wanted to celebrate her birthday by having a campout in the backyard with a group of her close friends.  A tent was erected, some lawn games were put out, music played, there was a campfire with s’mores and the grill was going with hot dogs and corn cooking on it.  These kids had an incredible time.  I have to say I was envious of the whole campout idea.  What an incredibly fun thing to do.  I’m thinking it will have to be repeated before the end of the summer with my husband and kids.

I think back to my life growing up and what my parents were like.  I’m not sure if it was the time we were in or just the personality of my parents, but they had lost their playfulness.  I would have never caught my parents running through a sprinkler or spending a night in a tent in the backyard.  heck, my parents wouldn’t even get in the pool or lake when we went swimming.  Sure they had friends and activities that kept them busy.  It was that childlike freedom of letting go and not caring what they looked like or who saw them that they lacked.

What about you?  Have you held on to your playful side?  Do you see it as an important thing to maintain?

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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11 thoughts on “Have you Held on to Your Playful Side?

  1. My philosophy is, the older I get, the younger in my mind I want to be. I enjoy being quirky. I acted fairly ‘grown up’ when I was young and now it’s time for me to lead, a work hard and play well life. Most of the time I am a workaholic and I enjoy my new venture but I definitely make sure I keep a young side to me. I don’t have kids and although I get on well with kids, I have never wanted any of my own. I have 4 indoor guineapigs and they are my babies and take a lot of looking after, bless them. I enjoy going to theme parks, going to the cinema, listening to loads of dance music, going to the pub (not for drink as I am a T-totaller) and having a dance. I also enjoy going to see Disney and Pixar films and even go to Kids Club at the cinema, without a kid. It’s very good to do this when you are out of work as a lot of the films on Kids Club are films that have been shown at full price some weeks before and only costs a maximum of £1.50 to see. The only trouble is, I laugh louder than the kids.

  2. I love this post! I’m naturally a playful personality. I used to worry about ”being an adult” in my twenties, just like you did. All that did was further damage my weak self-image.

    You know, I’m a Gen-Xer. I just turned 40, and this is an interesting time for me, because I feel that our generation exemplified the phrase ”arrested development”. My generation watched cartoons, ate ”kiddie foods”, wore ”kiddie clothes”, danced to dance club songs about Speed Racer And Barbies, and was openly, well, childish in our 20s! . Even though time has passed and gray hairs have graced my generation, I believe we still have a lot of playfulness within us. And I think it’s fine.

    I like being playful. My life has been so heavy and at times, downright dark and heartbreaking. I’m moving into a fabulous, confident, joyful era. I want to celebrate everything that I’m becoming and what’s going on in my life. I want to feel lighthearted. I want to dance and be playful. It does my spirit good to be playful.

  3. I was lucky. I had a Dad who was always a big kid. Don’t get me wrong, he was also a responsible parent but he never let the fun of life slip away from him. Somewhere along the way I lost that and fought hard to regain the inner child in me. I am happy to say that ithe nner child is back and I’m loving it.

  4. Somewhat I have moments when I am playful with the grandkids and other times not so much, now when my girls where little was the same…………..lol All of my daughters though love to play with their children which is great, Jessica my youngest (23) is a big kid and loves to run around with kids and play over sitting with adults and talk…………..I don’t remember my parents playing with us kid it just wasn’t something they did…………

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