flying by the seat of my pants

do you ever stop to visualize the ridiculousness of common phrases?
i do.  this person did too, and this is what it looks like to her.
very similar to my mental image.
Tonight I'm going to be flying by the seat of my pants... but I'm wearing a skirt, so maybe not flying at all?

For the first time in a few weeks I don't have anything written for tonight's scheduled blog post.  All of these posts are always impromptu--I write them--I edit minimally--and sometimes I just post them a few days or weeks later, but today is REALLY impromptu.  I'm going to write, edit (yeah right), and post all within the next 30 minutes because I have somewhere to be and something to immerse myself in.

This style of writing is how I started this, it shouldn't be that significantly different, but we'll see how it goes.  It feels a little scarier than I'm used to feeling here lately.

If I'm being completely honest, which I usually am, I can see a typical pattern coming up in these "months."  I'm nearing the end and becoming all too aware of how far off I am from where I want to be.  I haven't, in this case, done nearly as much playing as I wanted to and I feel... well, honestly I feel fine about it.  That's the thing about this radical self love business.  I am very generous with the acceptance and forgiveness.  So, I haven't played as much as I wanted to... so what?  I'm still here, I'm still growing, I'm still learning.  That's plenty.

(somewhere inside the critical voice chimes back in to ask whether we should be more concerned about how I'm ever going to get anything done if I forgive myself for not doing things so readily... but I'm not going to go there right now.  My 30 minutes is now 25.)

I ruminated about play and whether I should feel bad about not doing it all day and I realized a couple of things.

  1. I have this belief that play has to be silly (goofy, loud, and big) to be play--I'm wrong.
  2. Just like with anything else, play exists in every day and taking the time to see it is just as powerful as intentionally practicing it.
With that silliness belief fully engrained I began this play focused month intending to practice some act of silliness each day... and many days I did, but as life started to get more complicated and weighed down by things like packing, moving, and unpacking I recognized that, while it probably would have helped lift my mood, I was far too stubborn to act silly.  It's something I still intend to work on.  I know it will work, so why don't I do it?!  I am confident, like all resistance, that my resistance to silly is blocking the way to some joyous business and I want to witness that joy, but I guess I'm not there yet.  Maybe next year.

In the meantime, here's what I have learned about play and how it manifests in my life: 
  • When I am delighting in something, I am being playful.  Hearing a sound (the dishwasher--swoon!), smelling a smell (mmmm... jasmine), savoring a taste (hello dark chocolate almonds with sea salt) I am tapping into my playful self; connected to my senses and my core self... and that's play.
  • When I "play" with my son, I am being playful.  I don't always look like I'm playing.  Sometimes I look like I'm watching and others like I'm just following along, but letting him lead the play defers to the true expert and (hopefully) builds his leadership skills too.
  • Laughter is play.  This blog is play.  Organizing my desk is play.  Honestly.  The first is obvious, maybe even the second, but the third... yes.  Organizing my desk is play.  As a child, I played library (by writing codes in each of my books and filing them accordingly) and I got joy from it!  Just because my play isn't silly, doesn't mean it isn't play.  When I am experiencing joy and satisfaction--I am being playful.
  • My relationships are play.  When I say what many of the other people in the room are thinking, make a joke, tell a story, listen and reflect, hug-kiss-snuggle someone I love, pay a compliment, give feedback I am playing.  I've never been described as subtle or quiet, but maybe my play is.
Without having read any of those books on play that my PhD candidate friend recommended, I've made my mind up about play; all on my own.  Silliness may still be a goal, but play... I've got that one down.  

It's in everything I do when I choose to delight in and discover the joy in my every day.

Time to go.  Have playing to do.