Taking Time to Play
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP
Career Transition & Job Search Coach
For today's video message, click here.
"Play"...that is a word that I don't always identify with, I am afraid. Even when I was a child, my best memories were not from playing but from having my nose buried in a book. Oh, I enjoyed riding my bike and playing softball at school, but I loved to read, and I read every chance I could get. I love the Madeline series and every one of Dr. Seuss' books. As I grew older, I read the Sue Barton, Nurse, series. Because I thought I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up, Sue Barton was my role model. There were 7 books in the Sue Barton series, and between my two best friends and I, we circulated them between us numerous times...and then I found Phyllis Whitney who wrote wonderful mysteries, many of them with strong female characters...and the list goes on.
Even today, I would be hard pressed to say what my favorite "play" activity is. I love movies, I still love a good book, and fortunately, I love my work so much it often feels like play even when it really isn't.
The reason I am thinking about "play," however, is that as you read this, I am at the beach finding some "play" time. I will still be doing some work...some things can't be put off for a whole week. For example, on October 4 in the evening, I will be helping my co-facilitator, Nancy Flanagan in launching a brand new online course for VCU on the topic of Teacher as Change Agent. This project has been in the works for 4 years, so even though I am going to be out of town, I am still going to be helping with the launch of the class.
I will also be working on homework and grading papers for my class at the University of Richmond, but again, I enjoy that so much, it doesn't feel like "work."
It occurs to me, however, that even when we love our work, we benefit from "getting away" every once in a way. Just yesterday, I offered my workshop on work-life balance, and I was reminded that I teach that topic as well as the on the topic of stress management because it is true that we teach that which we need most to learn.
So, I want you to consider...what do you do for play? Do you have a favorite activity that you have put aside for a time because you are too busy? Might I suggest that taking a break is a good thing. If you don't believe me, check out this article from Huffington Post. It offers 9 reasons to take a vacation asap.
Our brains need a break from work on occasion. Science shows us that our brains need to be refreshed periodically, and a break in your normal routine is a perfect way to refresh your body, your mind, and your spirit.
So, whatever you may be doing today, know that I am off at the beach taking some "me" time while I try to balance all of the other things that are going on. And I want to remind you to take a break and play every once in awhile. You will be glad you did.
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