Monday, 23 January 2017

Taking Time to Breathe

Things have been quiet on the blog front because of all the busyness I have been involved in. Top of the list of things to do is the Playwork Campference, the first ever conference I've helped to organise. It's happening in February and is based in California and you might think "Wow, such a beautiful location" but actually it's been oddly stressful to be so far away from the project you're working on. I literally have no control over what happens! But everything will be fine - I have a great team around me.

Weirdly enough, the busier I am, the more I seek out ways to not work, to get outside, or to unwind my brain. I have noticed that I watch TV less, but go for walks more. I have less fast food, and spend more time making stuff from scratch. It seems counter-intuitive that with an ever increasing list of things to do that I might be playing more, but I am. I can more effectively tackle the list when my play needs are met first. It doesn't make any sense, but it really works.

I've been walking everywhere. To the shops, to the park, to the post office, to the post box. I've also been wandering in the woods, through all the puddles, in the river and across vast fields. It's been lovely just to walk. One foot in front of another in a predictable, methodical way, discovering unknown views, never-seen-before mushrooms or previously unnoticed architectural features. I've walked for hours and hours since Christmas. It's been awesome.

What I haven't done much is bake, but that hiatus was halted with these scones! I did 4 plain, 4 raisin and 4 cheesey ones, all be request of various members of the family :) They were wonderful.

And here is a sample of the biscuits I made the day after the scones. They are lovely vanilla biscuits and there ended up being 50 of them! So many yummy business :) Yay! :)

I'll be off to the USA very soon and will be hitting the ground running. Having these moments to myself - to breathe - really makes a difference! It makes me more efficient, less scatterbrained and far more focused on what needs to be done. To me, this makes perfect sense. Just as a runner's arms needs to pump the legs along, our work is pushed along because of our play. 

Without play, my work gets really difficult. I find it hard to sit still, to stay focused and to come up with new ideas when I haven't first had some time to play. If this is the case for me, an adult who's supposed to be responsible and mature, a person who's supposed to be above the childishness of frivolous activity, then what of the children? I feel sad that children who are programmed to play are being asked, almost forced, to sit down and focus on things they're not interested in. I have enough trouble doing that as an adult. 

Another ironic twist in this busyness is that when I spend too long typing too fast, my wrists begin to hurt. I reckon it's mild repetitive strain injury - nothing serious - but a massive part of me is attributing pain to my hands doing the wrong types of activities. Sure, my fingers have always been pressing keys - I grew up playing a piano for hours at a time - but I guess nowadays I spend days at a time typing, and humans hands just weren't designed for that. Time for them to do a little kneading, mixing, doodling, chopping, photographing and making.

So I'm going to go off and do a little doodling before bed. Hope you find a little time to play today too. More soon!

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