PLAY is Not a Four-Letter Word

By: Sandy Swanson

If you happen to frequent Southwest Airlines, as we do at OrangeBoy, you may have glanced at Spirit, the in-flight magazine. I have to say, they do a good job. There are usually several articles in each issue that hold my interest. One edition of Spirit really caught my eye. It was all about fun and how we need more of it in our lives.

The examples they used for adults to model for play are children and kittens. Their ability to play with a ball of yarn, an empty box, or just about any random item they find in their path is fair game for play. The lesson here is the notion that this type of play is unstructured—often the best kind to foster creativity, relaxation and joy.

Now, I don’t have a small child, but I live and work with George (also known as Curious George), our 10 month old kitten. You simply cannot watch him chase flies or knock a paper clip off the desk without smiling. His ultimate makeshift toy is a rubber band. He finds one on the floor at the office, carries it in his mouth to the nearest participant (usually Jack), and waits impatiently until the rubber band is shot across the room for him to chase. (We repeat this step an indefinite number of times until he finally grows weary and searches for a good nap spot.)

I guess we’re lucky to have George around us all day at the office. He provides comic relief, but he also forces us to play with him. It may only be for a few minutes, but it is enough to take a break and focus on something besides work.

In this week and weekend leading up to the Fourth of July, you can feel the excitement building— a holiday with picnics, fireworks, a day at the pool, and maybe a baseball game. Everything is more relaxed—even our clothes. I guess summer is more conducive to play—something we need to remember year-round.

Enjoy your summer, and remember to take some time to play and have FUN. Just drop me a note if you want to borrow George a few hours. He is always looking for new playmates.

©OrangeBoy, Inc. 2012

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