As adults, there are so many important things to focus on. Jobs to be done. Bills to pay. Houses to run. Lives to lead.
Anxieties, priorities and busyness can easily take over and it can be hard to let go. Life becomes stifling, worries overwhelming, creativity choked.
But there is an antidote. Play.
I was reminded of just how amazing play is for creativity when, after a recent busy period, I took time out to visit my nieces. They know I love to draw and, the moment I sat down at the kitchen table, they came running over with pencils, paints and crayons.
‘Draw an eagle, aunty Loretta, flying over snow…Paint a mermaid swimming with pink dolphins…Colour in this unicorn like a rainbow. Pleeeeeeease.’
The worries that often niggle at the back of my mind dissolved as we created all sorts of creatures together and sent them on adventures all around the world, only returning to reality when it was time for dinner and a few too many chocolates.
Once everyone was tucked into bed, I picked up my pen and began writing. Ideas hurtled from my mind as if I’d built a slide down to my notebook and covered it with washing up liquid. Characters, dialogue and plot lines squealed with delight as they landed on the page, splashing ink with no concern for lines or margins until well after midnight.
Play stimulates original ideas. It helps us relax and frees our minds to be creative. It also helps us think beyond what seems possible. When we’re running around pretending to be starships, making gravity-defying structures out of wooden blocks or creating creatures that will only ever exist in the imagination, we are thinking beyond the ordinary. Thoughts become free flowing, ideas come out of the impossible.
Make time for play and magic will make time for you.