Monday 160: Playing

Leaf Dance Quilt

Monday, 6 June 2016

This weekend marks the last week of full time work.  Next week is summer hours.  What does this mean?  No more 11 hours days (those start again in August, I guess), just very short days where I can actually have a life.  And, as I jokingly say, I need to practice for retirement as I don’t want to be bored.  And this is why there are no news updates for the first Monday in June about the debt pay-off and the financial savings and savvy I display.  Instead, this is about the importance of playing.

There are people who write lists and accomplish things.  This is done, that is done, this is yet to be done.  We are not like that.  For us, there is a very real need for idleness and time to think and time to make things and time to read and time to do something that is a pleasure, not a necessity.  This can make people like us feel lazy and rather guilty when we compare ourselves to others who are more industrious, who can tear off the fascia boards on their homes and plow the back forty.  We don’t.  We try to do as much as we can, but there is always that breaking point where we either stop or decide the impingement on our time is not worth it, and will pay for it.

Play is essential for everyone.  Having fun.  Celebrating.  Sitting on the beach.  Climbing a tree.  Reading a book.  Learning something for fun rather than school.  I spent this weekend cutting out pieces for a quilt – with more to still be done – and scanning and editing film negatives.

I don’t normally quilt, but I do enjoy sewing.  I don’t like using rotary cutters as I always seem to mess up whatever I cut.  So, I bought a quilt package with all the cloth in it – the material – and am cutting out the pieces prior to sewing.  The colors caught my attention as they are the blues and greens I enjoy.  And then I got it home, pulled everything out, and thought, “Why the hell am I doing this to myself???”

Why the hell, indeed?  I realized in that instance that I have lost the ability to focus on singular activities.  I’ve been running ragged and multitasking for months.  I do this, run to that, become crazy, and remain crazy.  It is hard to sit still and focus on one thing, here pinning and cutting out pieces, and more importantly, getting into the rhythm of it.  I also looked at the directions and felt overwhelmed even before I started.  It’s then that I realized that I find it so very difficult these days to focus on one thing alone without getting bored and restless.  However, the quilt is quite small and not difficult to piece; it is called “Leaf Dance” and you may find information about it here.

“All work and no play makes Jack (and Jill) a dull boy (and girl).”  Dull as in not using my brain, dull as in learning to be helpless, dull as in not figuring things out, dull as in just existing, dull as in hiring someone to fix something that I might be able to do on my own.

I hope to change this during the summer, and figure out what the hell to do about my next year’s schedule before it kills me.

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