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Taking Play Seriously

Posted By Gabriela Zabalua On August 19, 2011 @ 11:35 am In Notebook | Comments Disabled


Last week, Segunda launched phase one of her plan: Eat [2]. And, once the tapas-induced fog cleared, she knew her adventure with Lady Piola [3] 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 [4], 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 [5] led Segunda to this first realization, then maybe another flight was just the ticket. When I arrived in Scotland [6], 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 [7]. 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 [8] and laughing [9] as if they didn’t have a care in the world. Soon, I was asking a local to dance [10]. 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 [11] – I secretly envied their supposed freedom. Now I know it wasn’t about being single, [12] divorced [4] or married [13], 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,


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2011/08/19/taking-play-seriously/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/blog10.jpg

[2] Eat: http://www.aarp.org/food/experts/denisse-oller/

[3] Lady Piola: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/pets/

[4] post-divorce: http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-01-2011/more-tips-on-late-life-divorce-and-your-money.html

[5] tapas: http://www.aarp.org/food/entertaining/info-04-2009/jose_andres_small_plates.html

[6] Scotland: http://www.aarp.org/travel/destinations/info-03-2009/scotlands_sacred_isle.html

[7] Laughter: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-06-2011/laughter-health.html

[8] dancing: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-tv/info-10-2010/dancing-with-star-corky-ballas.html

[9] laughing: http://www.aarp.org/personal-growth/life-stories/info-06-2011/laugh-latino-comedians.html

[10] dance: http://www.aarp.org/personal-growth/life-long-learning/info-2007/dancing-keeps-your-brain-sharp.html

[11] dating: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/love-sex/info-04-2011/ready-to-date-again.html

[12] single,: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-10-2010/women_and_long-term_care_patricias_story.html

[13] married: http://www.aarp.org/personal-growth/transitions/info-05-2011/5-weeks-marriage-tips.html

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