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Taking Play Seriously

Posted on 08/19/2011 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

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Last week, Segunda launched phase one of her plan: Eat. And, once the tapas-induced fog cleared, she knew her adventure with Lady Piola wasn’t over. The two brainstormed. Phase two struck like lightning: Play.

When was the last time you played, did something fun just for the heck of it?

When I asked myself this question, post-divorce, I came up empty-handed. Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten that life could be approached with lightness, a sense of play. If I stopped being the “perfect” wife, mother, daughter, worker, friend, then (I believed) my whole life would crumble.

Are you telling yourself a limiting story too?

If boarding a plane and eating tapas led Segunda to this first realization, then maybe another flight was just the ticket. When I arrived in Scotland, I was determined to take play seriously. So the plan was not to have a plan. Traipsing across this beautiful country, I wasn’t certain of what I was looking for, until I heard it: Laughter. It spilled from a bar, and that was a problem. I had never been in a bar by myself. In fact, my previous self would probably have judged “those kind” of women. I rushed past, reached the corner, and then hesitated. The laughter beckoned. I took a deep breath, turned around, and crossed the bar’s threshold.

Inside, everyone was dancing and laughing as if they didn’t have a care in the world. Soon, I was asking a local to dance. Who was this woman I had become? Somewhere, mid-twirl, my laugh joined the others. There’s also nothing like a well-timed dip to turn your world upside down. My previous life had been defined by marriage and — though many of my single friends complained about dating — I secretly envied their supposed freedom. Now I know it wasn’t about being single, divorced or married, but feeling at home within.

From the heights of the Scottish Highlands the next day, I scanned the mountain ranges. Something had shifted. There was a bounce in my step. I laughed. The farther I walked along dirt paths, the lighter I felt. I had become disconnected from my body. But now I knew that was changing too. Phase three of my plan propelled me forward.

Join me again next week for another adventure with Segunda.

Un abrazo,


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