Wednesday June 28th 2017

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Make Time for Play Time

I heard a great commercial on the radio today.  So great that I couldn’t wait to get home tonight and blog about it!

It was talking about taking better care of ourselves as adults, and how we might stay younger much longer.  The advice was some of the best I’ve ever heard.  It recommended that we take a cue from our children, and…are you ready for this?  Get out and play!

That’s right, the advice for all of us grown ups was to lighten up, get out there and have some freakin’ fun!  It talked about how good we would feel if we threw a ball around or how our creative side might flourish a little more if we jumped rope.  And then the commercial ended with a brutally strong statement that sort of hit me right between the eyes.  It said, “The day you stop playing, is the day you start aging”.

The message was from Kaiser Permanente.  If you’ve never heard of them, they are a managed care consortium based in California, made up of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and the Permanente Medical Group.

The commercial was brilliant!  And so right on.

So I really started to take it to heart and I thought about how good and alive and well…young I feel when I’m out in the yard throwing the football around with my son or riding scooters with my little girl, or even when I’m walking with my wife.  Swimming in the pool or battling waves in the ocean…riding bikes or jogging with the dog…any type of activity that I might have taken for granted when I was a kid.  And throughout the day, that powerful line kept coming back to me;  The day you stop playing is the day you start aging.

Remember how good it felt as a kid to just get out there and play?  Looking forward to that first recess bell in school or getting home so you could run around pretending to be anything you wanted.  Sports, games, anything that you could do to just have fun and feel alive!

I’ve been thinking about that stuff all day.  Thanks to Kaiser.  And I have to say that I agree with them on this one.  I think we really do start to age, and at the risk of sounding overly dramatic here, really start the process of dying, when we stop playing.  And I might add…stop dreaming, stop believing, and stop laughing.

I’ve said many times that if we’re not growing, we’re dying.  And I have to admit, I love this whole notion that we should find ways to take a break from the rigors of adulthood and capture some playtime!  Walk away from the pressure of being a grown up once in a while and go enjoy being alive.

So how about it?  Have you taken a little time to get out there and be alive?  When was the last time you did something crazy fun…something that made you feel like you were a kid?  And why haven’t you been doing that every week, month and year of your life?  Good question, right?  That’s what I was asking myself all day today.  And honestly, I couldn’t come up with any compelling reasons for not taking advantage of being alive.

The world belongs to the young at heart.

It’s official.  I’m not growing up.

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