I just listened to an audiobook “The Power Of Vulnerability” by Brené Brown. Before you judge me for listening with my ears I will tell you, I once won the Easter Seals Read-A-Thon in the 6th grade and that was the tip of the iceberg, ha! Nobody tells you... (okay maybe they do), that the eyes become annoying when you turn 45. I actually would love listening to books anyway, it reminds me of my grandma and how she used to read and tell me stories: “Tell me the story of Heidi again!” and grandma would, talking about Heidi, her friend Clara and the mountains they played on as I drifted to sleep in the twin bed next to hers.
The book I just listened to was really a recording of a seminar Brené Brown did, one of the topics was the importance of play for adults. This resonated with me as you might imagine. To back up, I had a somewhat challenging upbringing, my mom was abused and neglected as a child and she depended on men to take care of her, my step-father was a verbally abusive, perverted con man serial cheater with whom she stayed with for 18 years and had 4 children with. I always felt it was my job to take care of her and protect her as well as my siblings. It wasn’t that I didn’t have any fun growing up but I was made to feel guilty if I had fun without her. My dad would get me every other weekend and when I left she would sometimes cry and when I came home, if I was really excited about some fun I had I would sometimes hear “It must be nice for you.” I learned to tone down my exuberance as to not make her upset and jealous.
As an adult up until I was 39 years old my mom would call on me and sometimes other family members to clean up her messes. It was exhausting, I always hoped things would work out for her but they never did and when she tried to call on me to move her last minute the year I was to turn 40 I told her I couldn’t do it (I was in L.A. taking care of a cousin going through cancer treatment though I was flying home that day). When I got home I had a mild nervous breakdown. That was the year I decided to really allow myself to be creative, I had always wanted to be an artist so I started playing at being one, I made jewelry, mosaics, sang karaoke, competed and put on air guitar shows, started belly dancing again, learned how to pole dance and worked on drawing... I finally began the life I was meant to have. I was blossoming in my 40’s because I let myself play.
I am not saying the last decade has been easy, far from it but I feel that tapping into my creative reservoir that we all possess whether or not you know it (trust me it is there), has made my life so much better.
Even with this cancer label I wear, creativity and play is detrimental to my healing, it fuels me.
I encourage you to play, to be creative, to skip. Stop glorifying being busy for the sake of being busy. We all have an expiration date so find the fun while you are here. No matter how good you are at your job and how many hours you put in, the hard fact is that you are replaceable. This does not mean that you aren’t awesome and unique but that corporate job is just a job...I mean really, any job whether it is fulfilling or not is just a means to pay your bills and fund your time away from your job, hopefully playing, whatever that looks like for you. No judgement, no shame.
Until next time ❤️