Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Work is Play...Or Can Be

When Emily (my niece) was three, she made up this rhyme for me:

Can't play today.
Have to work during the day.

Wow, at three years old, she knew the difference between work and play. Play was fun.
Work kept you from playing and having fun.
One or the other. Either/or.

Yesterday I posted a video on Facebook and asked the following question: If I am at the pool, getting ready to swim, and planning out an article in my mind as I prepare to get in the water, am I at work...or play?

I loved the responses! Some of you said "both work and play," that I was working while having fun and having fun while working. Others of you said, it could be neither, depending on my frame of mind, as it could be stressful for me to swim! Good point. Most of us make a clear delineation between work and play. It's one or the other. So, here's the real question: why can't work BE play?

Why can't work be so much fun that it not only feels like play, but becomes play? Work can be fun. I have a friend who says: "Work is something adults made up as an excuse to play with each other."

What is work? When I looked it up in the dictionary, I found these words: drudgery, labor, and toil. Yuck. That doesn't sound good.

What does work mean to you? Does it mean performing a task or a collection of tasks in order to collect a salary so that you can pay your bills? Most of us are told, at a young age, that if we're to be successful, we need to get serious, be practical and work hard. For most of us, work means having a job.

Work will always require effort towards some end state or goal. It usually involves desire, commitment and discipline. At the same time, work can be play. Play is fun, creative, and imaginative; it's an activity that energizes, refreshes and inspires. It doesn't have to deplete or exhaust. Work is the ability to express who you are in the world -- all your talents, innate abilities and gifts -- and get paid for it. Work is a spiritual act.

1 comment:

  1. I work and play by keeping my eyes on the real estate that's around me when I'm hanging with my family.
    Thank you, Larry Tutino
    PS: I enjoy your articles.