Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's Play!

I've got a story to tell you.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk, merrily working away, with my iPod firmly plugged into my ears.

Now anyone who knows me, or has seen my desk, knows I am only happy when I can be surrounded by groovy things I love. In the case of my desk at work, it's a large collection of snow globes that I have inherited over the years (to the point that my colleagues now buy them for me when they have holidays), a few toy cars, a stuffed toy giraffe that is wearing a leopard print coat and hooker boots, a few little wind up toys that hop and jiggle and spin and Super Baby and Captain Underpants toys.

Yes, I am childish. Just ask my friend Kylie.

So I'm sitting there happily clacking away at my keyboard, grooving to something fun on my iPod, when along comes this man down the corridor. This man is impeccably turned out. Very high quality tailor made suit, good professional haircut, with the distinguished silver at the sides, carrying an expensive leather compendium, totally exuding professionalism and "high up-ness".

He gets to level with my desk, spots all the toys and trinkets, and breaks into the most beautiful, enormous smile. Then proceeds to stop and play with all the toys, shake the snow globes and chuckle to himself. All without saying a word to me. After about 5 minutes, he puts down the little cow-truck and makes his way off to his meeting or whatever important event he's going to.

It was a delight to watch.

It got me thinking about the importance of play as an adult. How often do you play? Whether that is goofing off with a friend, or just tinkering about with something like Lego or the stress toys on your desk?

On Saturday, Kylie and I were at Robina, and we found a games and puzzles store that had some boxes of the most wonderful little wind up toys. I wanted them all for my desk at work. We must have wound up every single type of toy and tested it. Then we found an Australian Geographic store and played with the stuff in there for awhile. My favourite was the giant dinosaur head on the wall. Check it out:


As adults, I wonder if we're trained not to play? It's either seen as a waste of time, or immature. People look down their noses and say "Be serious." For me, I'm not sure that being serious equates to being sombre. I know myself that I feel so much more relaxed if I can spend a little time tinkering with something, or goofing off with friends than if I "buckle down and be serious" all the time. Not to mention that I can be completely serious about something while also seeing the humour in it, without needing to be sombre.

It doesn't hurt to play sometimes. Go buy yourself a little Lego kit. Or a Matchbox car. Head to a toy store and don't just look, play with some of them. Get yourself a little wind up toy for on your desk at work. Take a photograph with some big display prop. Laugh.



Nicole Grant said...

So true. I agree with you 100%

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this:

It's a very interesting theory.

Anonymous said...

I've seen your desk and your most impressive collection of Snow Globes. They are quite wonderful!

I'm currently reading Julia Cameron's Walking In This World, and she suggests that it is important that artists learn to play rather than practice. And I think I learnt this lesson myself by devoting an entire day to just being kid-like and playing computer games with my cousin yesterday...

Unknown said...

I am a big fan of colouring in, doing board games and checking out what's new in toy stores. I am going to buy the most pretty colouring pencils and a really nice colouring book soon - would like some really nice landscapy designs intricate and interesting or livestock/wild animals etc to colour rather than a crazy clark Disney themed horror - Yes playing is good and I play a lot just ask my colleagues

Sleepydumpling said...

Erik - thanks for the link, I wonder if I can get my hands on that book now?

It's good to hear that others see the importance in play. I learn best when I play too. Nothing better than "tinkering with it" to find out how something works or how to use it.

John - in our old office the snow globes lived near my desk. When we moved, I was the one to pack them up, and the boss told me to put them on my filing cabinets. Somehow they've become my collection!

Brenda said...

Totally agree!

One is never too old to laugh, play and be silly.=)

Lee said...

I think I make myself fairly clear on this topic :P

Sleepydumpling said...

Lee love, you're the king of play! I love that you leap in with all of yourself for all the fun things you do.

If anyone here hasn't seen Lee's blog, go check it out. It rocks!