When You Can’t #VOWplay…

…you don’t get your VOW post up on Sunday and  spontaneously burst into tears trying to finally draft it on Wednesday night.

So, last week, our verb was play, and I was both excited and already frustrated with the word when we announced it. Lin and I are both pretty frustrated and/or completely maxed out at work–not to mention we are trying to juggle relationships and side hustles at the same time–so I was honestly like, when the hell am I going to have time to play?

I did make some time.

One night, made handmade greeting cards and contemplated an idea for a yoga-themed papery line.

One night, I played pick-up sticks (not a sexual innuendo–I really mean the game).

One night, I even researched play, specifically, Dr. Stuart Brown’s  seven properties of play; they are:

  • Purposeless
  • Voluntary
  • Inherent Attraction
  • Freedom from Time
  • Diminished Consciousness of Self
  • Improvisation Potential
  • Continuation Desire

(He has a TEDtalk that I haven’t watched but has great reviews; let me know how it is.)

And then work hours got longer, and my sleep hours got fewer (and I routinely need eight hours–my “old man” bedtime is a thing people know about me). My stress levels got higher, and my spirits got a bit lower.

And I started thinking about something I had read in Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection (obviously…when life goes low, I go Brené):

One of her guideposts for “Wholehearted Living” is “cultivating play and rest.” Brené’s book may not be able to slow the pace of my professional life or give me more time to play, but it did provide a helpful exercise to help keep me in check. (She also recommends this exercise for relationships, and I think it’s pretty brilliant.) She encourages you to make an “Ingredients for Joy and Meaning” List, a list of specific conditions that are in place when everything feels good in your life.

So I made the list or at least started the list.

When everything feels good in my life…

  • I’m meditating every day.
  • I’m doing yoga every day.
  • I’m sweating every day.
  • I’m feeding my body well.
  • My wine is primarily consumed with people and not alone.
  • I’m taking time to plan my week and my day.
  • I’m taking full breaths.
  • I’m getting 8 hours of sleep a night.
  • I’m doing something creative just for me on a weekly basis–not freelancing, not as a favor, for fun.
  • I’m taking sabbath–not necessarily for God but for me–a few hours each week where I am simply resting.

While the list itself may not fix the problem, it’s a bit of a poke for my soul. It’s a reminder to pause and consider why I may be feeling the way I am feeling. To give me an idea about how I can right it.

This week we separate
(and try to find work life balance…though it is wednesday, and it is not going well).

Steph’s PLAY mantra: “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan

Steph’s Song of the Week: Sanctuary by Nashville Cast

& Don’t miss Lin’s post on #VOWplay


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