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Sunday, June 9, 2013

All Work and No Play Makes You No Fun! (Just Ask Your Dog!)

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland

It is Good to Play

One day when my son was four I had him at home with me as I was rushing to meet a deadline. Sean loved to play. So I pulled his Legos out for him to play with to distract him while I worked. But what he wanted most was to play with me.

Every 10 minutes or so he would come up to me and say, 'come play with me'. But there I was staring at my computer, sweating bullets, with a blank mind as I tried unsuccessfully to come up with a topic for my weekly article. I would smile at him and say, "just a little bit longer, Sean. Mommy has to work, and then I'll come play."

Finally, when he'd had enough of my putting him off he simply said, "Mommy, it is good to play."

How could I argue with that? I shut the computer off and played with him the rest of the day. And what do you know? The idea for an article that had so eluded me earlier simply popped into my head when I stopped working at it. It is good to play.

The Play Stance

Why as adults do we procrastinate on having fun? Dogs, like kids, know it is good to play. Who doesn't like watching dogs take the play stance shown in 8 year old Carlos Torres's painted tile above? With their tails wagging and rear-ends in the air, dogs bow down to others to invite play.

We could learn from these gurus of play, but too often we just work, work, work. We bow our heads and furrow our brows to invite work, not play.

Instead of responding to the invitations to play, we send our kids and dogs off with a pat on the head and get back to the work at hand. We simply do not know when to put the work down. It's not good for us...and it's not good for our bodies.

Every Body Needs to Play

'Every body needs to play" says 3rd grader Iris Mazariegos-Rodas. Children just intuitively know it does a body good to go out and take a romp. So why do we forget about the importance of play as we become adults?

It is good to have dogs and kids in our lives to remind us that everybody needs to play, smile, laugh and enjoy life. If you have one of these gurus of play in your life--pay attention! Accept their invitations to play. Our minds crave fun distractions. Why not give in to that craving and satisfy your need to play.

  • When was the last time you did something for the sheer fun of it?
  • Have you let work or work worries consume your life?
  • What invitations to play have you rejected?
  • What are 3 fun things you could do this week to let your inner dog or kid out?

 "You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, My God, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!" Dave Barry

Meet the Artists

Iris Mazariegos-Rodas, 3rd Grader Walker Elementary 

The Dog Tile Art Project for the Jackson County Animal Shelter

Debi Blair's 3rd grade class at Walker Elementary school in Ashland, Oregon painted tiles to create a bright, cheerful entrance to the dog kennels at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. Their creative and fun spirits come through in their art. Come on down to the Shelter to see what a difference their tile art makes.

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 For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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