Life is hard, y’all.
We grow up and we’re supposed to work hard to “make something” of ourselves; to somehow bring order to the chaos of life. And once we’ve done that, maybe we’ll find that ever-elusive work/life balance…
Real talk: I’m sick of the work/life balance myth.
Work and life are not two separate things. Work is a part of life, not it’s opposite.
I propose we try a different balancing act: Finding work/play balance in our approach to life.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you might be “gravitationally challenged;” You might have a tendency to tip too far in one direction or the other in your search for balance; You might fall down.
Falling is scary.
Falling softly and safely takes practice.
But falling is not synonymous with failure.
A teacher once told me that to find balance one must be willing to fall. Finding balance means falling constantly. “Balance” is really an illusion of stillness; a state of stability created by falling in several directions at once.
Play teaches us the art of falling -and failing- gracefully. It teaches us the art of finding balance.
When children play, they fall. More often than not, they get up and they keep playing, often without missing a beat. If falling meant failure, the game would be over… and what fun would that be? To succeed at play, one does not need to win; One simply needs to keep playing.
The bad news: Falling down doesn’t stop when we grow up.
The good news: Play doesn’t have to either!
Play rewards us for taking risks. It encourages us to get up and try again.
Play makes us resilient: It teaches us how to protect ourselves as we confront chaos over and over again; Because falling only feels like failure if you’re focused on your bruised body (or heart, or ego) rather than on the love of the game.