So, 2011 is 1/4 of the way finished. Time flies.
March was focused on positive movement and easily could have been derailed by setbacks. If you have no idea what I mean, see The Vanishing Act or The Wreckage, part 2. Here’s the thing that I think happened: I prayed for strength for positive movement, strength to find the good and see the better and courage to keep moving anyway. God said, you can’t know how much you can do until I give you things to overcome. Here’s your “anyway” — keep moving, kid.
So I did.
I applied to a total of 37 different positions, all over the U.S. but mostly in Dallas or OKC. I didn’t have time to worry about things that weren’t in front of me (there is plenty in front of me). I had a wonderful spring break with good friends anyway. I continued my job search anyway. I loved anyway. And now, with the first week of April looming large I have a full calendar of things that I scheduled during March: the month of positive movement that swept me right into April.
April is playtime.
April, although scheduled as playtime way back in January, could not come at a better or more needed time. April is filled with fun activities that always happen in April (Island, Jungle, SAE Boxing, Monmouth, etc. etc.). April is filled with sunshine and warm days that allow time for the park or the river or the lake. April is sort of a lull in school because it’s not midterms and not quite finals and the teachers are bored too. Ironically, yesterday in class we discussed T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, which he begins by saying “April is the cruellest month.” Hate to argue with literary genius, but……I beg to differ. April will be a break, a breath, a moment to PLAY and relish in the fact that this is my last full month of college.
The past few months I have had 4 major goals for the month and I didn’t bother with other small tasks that sometimes added up to help increase my happiness. This month, there are so many possibilities for play that I just have a single goal:
1. Make time to play
Isn’t that enough? That encompasses everything. For example, tonight is Chandler’s birthday cookout which means there’s friends and laughter and sunshine and cold beers and food….that’s playtime. Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty and sunny and I’m considering adopting a dog for the day from the shelter just so he or she knows that the outside world still loves them…that’s playtime. Sunday afternoon, I have a date with my friend Sarah who is going to take some pictures of me….that’s playtime. There are opportunties for play, daily. We have to embrace them.
Because my friend Kate has the coolest blog ever that is filled with fun things, I realized that her project can definitely help my April project. So, although I just said I only really have 1 goal this month, I do hope to incorporate these days into playtime:
April 8: Zoo Lover’s Day
April 14: International Moments of Laugher Day
April 21: Kindergarten Day
April 23: Picnic Day.
April 29: Bicycle Day
So, hope your ready for some celebratory company Kate. For some reason, playtime makes me think that I can’t do adult things in order to play — just things a child would do.
Here are some things that I want to do during the month of April. I need people to keep me company, so please comment and let me know where and when you want to have play dates.
blow bubbles and color with chalk
fly a kite
hike at Lake Thunderbird (no ticks this time, Jackie & Claire)
drive thru safari park in the Arbuckles
patio happy hours (often)
Just for informational purposes, there are so many studies on the benefits of playtime (especially playing with or like children) for adults. I googled ‘benefits of playtime’ just for my own benefit and was amazed by the many articles and studies. My favorite justifications for playtime include a study on playtime increasing lifespan (cool!), decreasing negativity activity in the brain and helping you stay in the moment. All things I could use!
Take some time this month to play, whatever it is that gives you a break from reality and lets you feel joy. If you want to be a part of my project, by all means! Let me know what playtime means to you and if I can join you, all the better for my happiness project.
“. . . it’s worth recognizing that there is no such thing as an overnight success. You will do well to cultivate the resources in yourself that bring you happiness outside of success or failure. The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive. At that time, we turn around and say, yes, this is obviously where I was going all along. It’s a good idea to try to enjoy the scenery on the detours, because you’ll probably take a few.” -Bill Watterson