We learned stuff and played outside and took naps and ate yummy snacks and did arts and crafts projects and, best of all, we used our imaginations together and we believed in magic.
This is the opposite of what our adult lives are like.
Now that we’re adults, everything is about being productive and responsible. Clearly we don’t have time to do arts and crafts projects because, hello, we’re much too busy for that.
Everything we do these days has to have a purpose, a justification. In order to be worthwhile, each activity needs to move us closer to our goals, and what’s the tangible ROI of eating chocolate chip banana bread and playing hide and seek in the park?
Remember hide and seek? Remember flashlight tag? Remember summer afternoons spent rolling down a grassy hill, over and over again until you were dizzy and light-headed, all while laughing hysterically with your friends? And in the winter, remember sprawling on the ground and making snow angels until your fingers were numb, and then coming inside to drink hot cocoa and curl up in front of the fireplace?
I’m pretty sure that those experiences – the ones we’re “way too busy for” these days – are the experiences that make us feel most alive. And sure, we have responsibilities and bills to pay, but how did we let the pendulum swing so far in that direction that we’ve forgotten all about the necessity of play? Because that’s what play is: a necessity.