As a kid I never wanted playtime to end.
After (successfully) begging my parents to go play with the kids next door, hours later I’d then be resisting the inevitable call back home.
Just another hour, please.
What if they come home to our place to play? I’d offer. Or what if they came over for a sleepover?
This tendency to want “play” to go on forever followed me well throughout my childhood and even into my uni days.
I loved that feeling of complete immersion. An almost disappearing into a magical land kinda feeling, where hours could pass in the blink of an eye.
It didn’t matter too much what I was doing—from picnic bike rides to movie marathons and walking for miles along the beach—just that I was doing it. I was engaged. Fully present.
I wasn’t wondering when it would end.
My parents arrival to pick me up would always catch me by surprise. What, already?!
Somewhere between uni, my first big career job, and moving cities multiple times, that full sense of presence and play started to dissipate. Or at least it took on a new form.
I’d still play and have fun. I’d still be exploring and going on adventures. But now there was this new thought that entered. One that knew there was a finite nature to the activity. I’d awake from it and return—to work, to the to-dos, to the day.
In some ways my career break, burn-out and personal growth journey has really been about a return to play.
To pure joy.
To trusting my intuition. And to choosing to stay playing longer.
Every time that I choose play, my head feels clearer, I feel lighter, calmer and can be more present in my life.
Like earlier this week when I started feeling really sleepy and lethargic during the day—my brain started to say “argghh… this is too hard, I suck, what am I even doing”. But, my heart said “play”.
I put some tunes on and danced around my living room.
I stepped away from my computer and my to-dos and I chose fun.
I chose the thing that would feel good.
When I talk to clients about experiencing more joy in their lives, it’s not really the big stuff that we end up talking most about. It’s the micro moments.
The choices and decisions they make in every moment of every day.
A decision to notice the colours changing in the trees.
A choice to say No to the after work event and rest instead.
The decision to venture into a museum or gallery instead of going straight home to open the computer.
Micro moments matter.
You don’t have to leap from pain to pleasure, from deep stress to pure joy. But you can take micro steps towards more feel-goods at any moment you choose.
Whatever this week has in store for you, how could you redirect your attention more to the micro moments? The micro joys, the micro wins, the micro feel-goods? All of these moments have immense magnitude and the capacity to redirect your life exactly where you want it to be.