Time of One’s Own
In 1929, Virginia Woolf published her essay A Room of One’s Own, in which she argues that for women to write, to exercise their creativity, they need a room of their own and financial support. For today’s women, a room of one’s own may seem like a luxury; what would really be needed is TIME of one’s own. So many of us are moving non-stop – working outside the home; working inside the home; taking care of families, both the younger generation and the older; and still doing so much of the other unpaid work on which our society depends through volunteering. Even when retirement removes outside work and the younger generation becomes grandchildren rather than children, time remains a precious commodity. Part of the benefit then of Creative Play™ is allocating just a little bit of time each day for one’s creativity, carving out some time of one’s own to allow creativity to flourish. You may not have a room of your own, but time of your own is a necessity and no home renovations are required to get it.
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I had been using this excuse myself for so long that I really had to step back and think about it. I’d just become so accustomed to it that it felt like truth. When I gave it some more thought I realized that this idea is a really common message we hear, either explicitly or implicitly, as we grow up. We live in a culture that highly values work: we don’t take our vacations; we’re afraid to be caught leaving work early; and we commonly answer the question “How are you?” with the reply, “Busy.” Play is considered something for children and part of becoming an adult is leaving those childish pursuits behind. I suspect that losing our creative confidence as we move into adulthood is part of this.
Though child’s play and adult play may take different forms and serve different purposes, it is no less important. When I started creative play, I brought some joy back into my life, my stress went down, and I also started being more playful in general, which I am sure my family appreciates. The Help Guide lists the following benefits of play:
- Relieve stress
- Improve brain function
- Stimulate the mind and boost creativity
- Improve relationships and your connection with others
- Keep you feeling young and energetic.
So the real truth is that you are never too old to play, but a surefire way to make yourself feel old is to have a life that is all work and no play. I’m tired of feeling old, aren’t you?