When was the last time you played? And I am not referring to playing with your child in this case. I mean, when was the last time that YOU played? Think of something you did as a child that you loved so much. Listening and dancing to music. Lacing up your skates and jumping on the ice. Pulling out your paints and a canvas. Dusting off the old guitar and strumming some tunes. Picked up a book and fulfilled your desire to just find time to READ!
We put so much emphasis on the importance of work. We dedicate so much of our time to focusing on clocking in and clocking out. The shocking reality is that most people find a job they can tolerate and count down their days to retirement. (Steve Siebold, Huff Post, 2013).
“A recent poll found that 70 percent of American workers are disengaged from their jobs. Of the 100 million people who hold jobs in America, the survey found that 30 million are actively engaged, 50 million are not engaged and 20 million are actively disengaged.” Steven Siebold, Huffington Post, 2013.
Most people promise themselves they will have fun. Once they retire. However, the reality is that most people are so depressed, worn out, worked thin and fed up. That following retirement, IF THEY RETIRE, they have no more passion left.
AND WAIT….Due to our life of consumption, our desire to buy more and have more. Most people can’t even retire when they want to. The new retirement age they say is actually 70. We are wasting money on things we don’t need. Living in homes or paying rent we can’t afford. We are spending without saving and we are stressed as…..
you get the point.
“The vast majority of these Canadians retiring without an employer pension plan have totally inadequate retirement savings,” said the report, which was authored by pension consultant Richard Shillington. Among all Canadians ages 55 to 64 without pensions, half have only enough savings to last for one year.” Shawn Maccarthy, The globe and mail, 2016.
I get that not everyone can do what they are passionate about. I refused to just be content in my job. I have always been this way. I always felt that if I truly did what I loved, that the rest would come. I don’t think I am an anomaly. My happiness isn’t based on luck. I am not lucky. I don’t even work hard. Because what I do, I don’t consider work. I do what I love because I find value in it for myself and for others around me. Needless to add….my work is focused around play! My husband would say the same for his work. We both bring home a family income that we have budgeted to include saving for short-term emergencies, long-term living, and play.
This brings me back to PLAY MORE. Play makes us happy. It is critical that we take the time, find the time, to do what we enjoy doing. If we graduate from school or college, get a job doing what we don’t necessarily love because we have been conditioned and raised to believe that it’s important to make money, we lose ourselves. Unless we take the time to carve out time to play. Revisit our passions. We need to make the time to do the things that bring us joy, NOW. Why wait till you retire to travel, take up painting, learn a new language, take up dancing lessons?
Part of the draw of moving towards a more simple and minimalist lifestyle is the ability to free up more time. “Less time wasting time” is my motto. Stuff ways us down. We need to clean it. maintain it. organize it. More stuff just wastes my time. It isn’t just the physical stuff either. There is also the relationships stuff. Clearing out the relationships clutter. The relationships that require too much effort; the superficial relationships, the “beneficial” relationships, the emotional suck up my energy kind of relationships. Clearing those out, freeing up more of my time was the best decision ever! Now I make time for quality relationships. meaningful friendships, that hold value in my life. I engage in play with those friendships. We go to shows, concerts, movies, for a run, etc…
My children’s schedules also took up a significant chunk of all of our free time. It was so important for us to really reflect on what sort of value all these extracurricular, super competitive activities were imposing on our family. Not only mentally but financially too. Was it worth it? and at what cost? I wanted my children to do and learn things that they loved and enjoyed. Sure swimming was important (my mom drilled that into my head) but was hockey, skating, soccer, music, guitar lessons, taekwondo, skiing, and basketball all a must do?
We had the boys really think about and choose only one extracurricular for fall/winter and another for spring/summer that they really enjoyed learning and loved doing. In addition to this choice, they can do swimming lessons in the spring (my mom insisted).
By simplifying our lives, we have had more time with the kids, more time to ourselves and more time to play.
This week, I headed over to the arena and went for a skate while my son had his own hockey thing going on (I love to skate). I also got tickets to a concert and went out with one of my best friends to dance and sing the night away. My husband and I headed out for a leisurely run together and had some time to catch up. I took the boys to the library and took out some books for myself because I promised to follow through on a promise I made to myself to read more before bed and leave the electronics out of the bedroom. I loved to read, let me rephrase that, I LOVE TO READ and yet I always told people that since having kids I have had a hard time finding time to crack a book. That wasn’t the truth though. I did have time. By minimizing my screen time to certain times of the day…I suddenly realized I had time to read. Actually, I also had time to pay more attention.
What do you remember doing as a child that brought you so much joy? when was the last time you really played? I have some pretty amazing people in my life that have taught me this value. I respect them so much; artists, singers, band members, hockey players….that despite having grown up, still find time to do what they love. Play. This post is for you guys.
Till the next post,