Resolution: Play more in 2020

Happy New Year! Let this be one of your New Year’s resolutions:  Play more. Be honest… you need it. Heck, we all do! As kids, all we did was play.  Then, we were conditioned to turn everything we once played in to work. Now, as adults, all we do is work.  We get up and go to work, we go to the gym and work out, back home we have housework and yardwork waiting for us, and occasionally we take time off from work… to attend workshops… work work work work work! Adults associate all their activity inside the world of work.  It’s the grown up thing to do. We start the training process with school work, then we swiftly introduce homework. Music lessons become work; we work on song parts, scales, chords. Sports become work; we practice, run drills, and ‘work on our game.’ I ask you…

Where is the FUN?  

The fun happens when we PLAY.  Play is distinct from work. Kids play. Adults work.  Think of your own experience. Watch kids play. What’s present?  Fun, ease, connection, joy, imagination, creativity, cooperation, collaboration, spontaneity, sometimes even laughter. Watch adults work.  What’s present? Serious, focused, glum, tense, bored, stressed, etc. Of course, there are exceptions to both, but you get the picture.  

Where are you playing in your daily life? When are you doing something for the pure enjoyment of the moment and experience? How and where are you experiencing moments of play?  They don’t have to be hour-long endeavors. For example, I work from home, and I play with my dog and his new toys he got for Christmas countless times in the day… but never for that long.  However, we literally play on and off all day long. Moments of play break up the work… THANK GOD, because I need it!  

Did you once play a musical instrument?  Dust off the case, take it out, and play around with it.  Don’t work on it. Play something simple, but enjoy the sound, and enjoy the process.  One thing I have really leaned in to as a guitarist is that I’ve given up trying to play harder and faster.  Now, I rejoice in playing something simple and slow and playing it well. For some, they love the satisfaction of accomplishing a complicated or complex piece of music.  Awesome! Go for it! However, playing ANYTHING recreationally doesn’t require anything of us other than OUR own enjoyment. We don’t ski, surf, bowl, run, or hike for anyone else’s benefit, pleasure, amusement or entertainment. Our own music making doesn’t need to please anyone but US. 

So, what, when, where, and how are you going to play more this year?  Comment below, otherwise you’re missing one of the KEY ingredients to a habit… accountability. Stay tuned for more on that soon.

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