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Creativity and Play: Links from Jen (177.2)

Posted Jul 19 2011 12:00am
Jen has written several insightful posts ( here and here  and here , and there may be more but those are enough for you to get the general idea) about the work of author Brené Brown, PhD.  I really identified with Jen's posts and the information she shared, especially about shame.

I finally looked at Dr. Brown's website today, and read several of her blogs.  I've bought both her books on my Kindle today, and expect to start reading them this week.

A couple of her blogs stood out to me today.  These are things that are absolutely missing in my life. 

Creativity --she says, "As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning." 

And Play --she lists this quote from Brian Sutton-Smith: "The opposite of play is not work; it's depression."

She also writes:
"Stuart Brown has done wonderful research on play - his book has really helped me get my head and heart around play. Rather than defining play, Brown proposes seven properties of play.
One property of play is that it's time spent without purpose. In our culture that's also known as an anxiety attack. Our TO-DO lists are so extensive that we feel like slackers if we're not working to check off tasks every single minute of the day and night. Even sleep has started to feel self-indulgent.
Brown also identifies losing track of time as an important property of play.

I can't remember the last time I was creative or played.  I don't even know what would constitute either for me.

Almost everything I do is related to getting a task completed, even when it's a fun task.   Now there's an oxymoron.

The quote "opposite of play is not work; it's depression" really hit me.

I need more play in my life.  I think my trail running was the closest I've come to play in a long time (and that was in the guise of a workout, but ultimately it was an adventure and fun).  I know that scrapbooking has been a creative outlet, but right now there is so much stacked up and disorganized--I just feel behind and it's a task, not creativity.  I don't play with my kids--that's left to their dad; the time he spends with them is always play, and he's really good at it.  My time with the kids is almost all business--homework, chores, appointments, activities (singing for Sophie, gymnastics for Luke), errands.  We watch movies together and have down time, but often even when that's happening, I'm folding laundry or doing some other housework while the movie is on.

I don't know how to have fun.  Or, better said, I don't allow myself to have fun.  There is always too much to do, too much to clean, too much on my shoulders, and if I don't do it, who will?  Ultimately, I think those thoughts are prideful and martyr-driven, and are the example that was set for me by my mom and my grandmother.

Yet another area to improve and grow. But this one, by its very nature, should be fun filled.  Guess I'll put "have fun" on my next to-do list.  :)
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