17 June 2009

This Used to Be My Playground.



As we embark upon another impossibly heat sweltering but short summer, I have become nostalgic towards summers past. I can reckon back to a time when my only concern was how many times mom was going to yell at me to come in for dinner before she got really mad.

As time goes by and responsibilities grow forth, summer play time becomes replaced with endless work hours. If you are lucky, you might be able to take one week of paid holidays off, in which you proceed to waste away catching up on the errands you don’t have time for during the other 52 weeks of the year.

The other day, Joanne and Steve, were going to the field down the street to play baseball and I ended up joining them (along with mom’s boyfriend Gary and my sister Jennifer). We ended up having one of the most enjoyable evenings I have had in along time. It didn’t cost anything or require any long commutes or planning. It was just a spontaneous game that we truly enjoyed. Memories were made that evening (“I’m throwing with my tetnus arm” and “thank-you Bob Uecker”).

At the end of all this, I started yearning for uncomplicated play time like we did when we were kids. When we were kids, we didn’t think about how stressful our school day was or how busy our day was going to be tomorrow. We certainly didn’t use either as an excuse to not do anything but stay home and zone out to mindless t.v. for hours on end.

Nope. We put school behind us as soon as it was over and rushed home to play outside for hours on end, not thinking of what school was going to be like tomorrow. Yet somehow, as adults, all we do now is reflect on work and prepare for work. We have lost the ability to just play without a worry in the world. We have so few parks anymore that haven’t been ripped up and turned into a condo unit, that the few places we do, they sit their idle except for the few kids who aren’t playing video games.

Well I say no more. I’m done with living my life without play time. I’m taking back my childhood spirit. Bring on the baseball games! Bring on the cheap family events! Bring on the bocce ball, and the outdoor skating, and the swimming centers!

Because if there is one thing I know, I was a hell of a lot happier as a kid then I am now, so clearly the way I am living my life now just isn’t working! I’m taking back play time!

2 comments:

Junior said...

We totally need to take back play time! I've been trying to schedule a date to play tennis with my bestie for two months! TWO MONTHS!

'Member when you'd open your window and call out to the kid in the next house "Wanna go outside?!" and hear from them "Yes!" and you'd just go outside and play! Oh, I miss it...

Dani said...

Totally! There was no complicated e-mailing. No "let me consult my calendar...um...I think I can fit you in on the fourth Sunday of July". It was a window and a loud voice.

Or never mind that...you didn't have to make plans. All you had to do was show up at the park/hangout spot/someone's backyard and your friends would be there (or on the way there). It was an assumed meeting of the utmost importance. There was NOTHING more important than play time.

And you played games made up on the spot, with arbitrary and fluidly changing rules. There were no coaches, no practice sections. Just fun!