Wednesday, November 5, 2014

60 Days of Play

I'm ready for my hair cut, Mom

I lied.  It was a small lie, but a lie nonetheless.  When the nurse asked me if I was claustrophobic, I said no.  Which is how I found myself in an MRI tube with my eyes squeezed shut praying and doing just about anything to get to a happy place.  To ignore the fact that I was strapped to a table inside a coffin-sized tube for 35 minutes with no way out and told to remain absolutely still.  (I figured I could tough it out rather than risk being sedated--no thank you)

I prayed for everyone I could think of.  That took all of 10 minutes.  Maybe.  It felt like an eternity, but since I couldn't wear any metal, I didn't have a watch on.  Not that I could have looked at it anyway with my arms all twisted up like pretzels inside the coffin.

Next I moved on to just praying for God to distract me.  "Take my mind off this situation.  Help me to shut out the banging noises and the shifting board I'm laying on that startles me every time it jiggles and pulls me deeper into the tube."

An image popped into my head of running through a field with someone, chasing each other with buckets of water in a big water fight.  And I heard God whisper to my soul:

I want to teach you how to play.  You have been focused and serious for too long.  
It's time to laugh and play.

I thought about it for a while seeing as I had nothing better to do.  I needed to learn how to play, but how?  I decided right there that I could not make a list of things to do that would be playful--that would defeat the purpose of learning to play.  Play a game with the kids today--check!  Ya.  Just seems to ring hollow to me.  

It needed to be spontaneous things.  Fun things.  Things that made me belly laugh.  But I also wanted it to be intentional so I wouldn't set it aside or forget about it in a few days.  I wanted it to become a habit.  God obviously considered it important that I learn how to play if He told me so.  

Somewhere between the swooshing banging and the clanging banging of the magnets, the idea to do 60 Days of Play came to me.  This was on Monday, and if I started that day, 60 days would put me at an end date of January 1.  Perfect.  Do something playful every day until the end of the year.  I can do that.

I drove home feeling slightly battered and bruised mentally, craving my Mom's old trick for scary doctor's appointments when I was a kid--slurpees (or slushies or icees, depending on what they call them in your neck of the woods).  But I drove straight home because dinner and my family were waiting for me.  I walked in the door and found this on my counter:

I almost cried.  Hubby got a really big hug and got gushed over.  I smelled them, and took a picture of them, and never saw a more beautiful bouquet of flowers.  So, that has nothing to do with learning to play, but definitely needed to be shared.

That evening I snuggled with Joy and watched a movie.  We had a tickle fight and laughed.  It was as good as I was gonna do that night.

Lizzy dressed up in her Halloween costume
which she did not wear on our date, but she
looks beautiful here so I had to share it.

Tuesday, I took this beauty out on a date.  I let her pick the place and she chose ice cream McFlurries at McDonalds.  I laughed and said okay.  I listened to 15 minutes of her telling me all about Pokemon and evolving and battling.  I have no idea what she was talking about, but she was animated and so I was engaged fully in her.  We talked about life and family and what she loves to do.  We laughed and I tried to hide the fact that I was a hot mess over how fast she is growing up.  She's so beautiful and kind and fun and tall and not my little girl anymore.  But we laughed and had fun and I counted it as my playful act for the day.

And that brings us to today.  Yesterday I bought a new game.  Today we played it.  A lot of laughter was had, someone--not mentioning names, DAVID--knocked me on my bum and made me lose when he bumped into me with his bum.  We played 5 rounds before we collapsed on the ground laughing too hard to play anymore.  

A second opportunity presented itself for some serious fun when Hubby got home.  He put a 90s music playlist on the sound system and the kids and I danced around to some pretty awesome songs like Barbie Girl, Bye Bye Bye, Macarena, and lots of other songs I used to listen to.  My kids laughed at my taste in music and I told them to be quiet.  It was beautiful.

Tomorrow I can't tell you what I will do because I'm not planning ahead or making lists or turning this into a science experiment.  This is about me being spontaneous and jumping in on the fun and laughing until I cry.

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