Running from meeting to meeting, checking off the to-do list – that isn’t really living. Discovering the playful side of life. Spreading joy. Being colorful … clever … creative.
Now, that’s living.
This is the mantra for Be Brave. Lose the Beige. I don’t, however, believe this is a credo shared by many women I know. I conducted a survey this spring of Lady Boomers (women between the ages of 46-65). The results revealed we are a bunch of work-a-holics. Fifty-seven percent said they work more than forty hours a week. We have spent the last fifty years or so working toward academic degrees, developing career paths, cracking our heads against glass ceilings, raising children, volunteering at school functions, serving on Temple and church boards, and managing households. I guess it’s not surprising then that “reliable and dependable” dominate as the leading personality traits or characteristics defining Lady Boomers. Eighty percent of survey respondents said “reliable and dependable” very accurately reflected who they are. Now, compare this response to “spontaneous and flexible” which elicited only a 27% response” or “playful and fun”, where only 33% fell into the “very accurate” response category.
Plato said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.”. I’m not sure I believe that so much because sometimes I think conversations can be a great form of play. What prompted this thought about play was an article I read this month in Yoga Journal. Jenny Sauer-Klein, the founder of Acro yoga, talks about the playful spirit. She maintains that true play is almost like meditation – a way to truly be in the moment. As we get older patterns of self doubt and fear interfere with our ability to play with abandon.
O.K., so instead of arranging play dates for our kids and grandchildren, try arranging one for yourself.