paper clay sculpture
Everyday Life

Remember to Play

Times are not easy, but that doesn’t mean we have to be serious all the time.

I don’t minimize the seriousness of the times, but if you’re like me we can get wrapped up in the daily stress of life and stay in our heads too much with planning and worrying.

Yesterday I decided to stop and play. For my children that usually means doing something physical –  slack lines, kayaks or runs in a park. For me that means experimenting with unfamiliar art supplies.

I began by gathering the supplies (paper clay, newsprint and masking tape) and headed outside to sit in the sun. First I had to give myself permission to fail; permission to be new at something, to make something that didn’t have to sell and didn’t have to spark a new class. 

Here’s what happened. I sank into the moment. I noticed the song birds and the sound of the wind whispering through the newly budded trees. I noticed the pattern of pollen and leaves falling through the air. I felt the sun on my face and listened to the sounds of my family inside the house.

Eventually each person in the house wandered over to see what I was doing. They had an open invitation to join me and each one did; creating a piece that was uniquely “them.” Sometimes there would be a silly exchange with jokes, sometimes a heartfelt talk about the times, sometimes just the quiet comfort of being together working through a common problem. The dogs even flopped down with us, content to sit in the sun and keep watch over the yard.

I ended the day feeling less stressed. While working with the clay I found myself coming up with solutions to problems that I had been having in my jewelry studio. As a family we enjoyed the connection outside of daily life. It’s not all magic and unicorns, we still have to face the reality and worry of each day, but perhaps I’ll be a little more patient over the next few days and worry a little less. Having the space to play reminded me of how much fun it is to explore and create.

Give yourself the gift of play this week and see what happens. I’d love to hear about it!