In the classic movie, The Hustler, Jackie Gleason’s character, Minnesota Fats, is a legendary pool shark. Calm. Cool. Collected. If you’re not familiar with the movie, check out the link below…
Imagine the polar opposite of Minnesota Fats, and you have me lol.
Imagine my surprise when my husband Billy asked me to play pool this week. We had just cleaned the garage, which included clearing our pool table of multiple layers of clutter that had graced it for months lol.
A year ago, I probably would have told him “ HECK NO!,” but I’ve really tried to be open to new opportunities.
So I said, “Okay, I’ll give it a shot.” I think he was very happy…
My first night I knocked in 2 balls, which I celebrated—no joke lol. The next night I knocked in 4-wheww progress! The 3rd night, I nearly beat him, with one remaining ball on the table. It felt so rewarding!
As we played, I noticed a different type of interaction between us. A playfulness. Almost a “sexy trash talking” since “friendly competition” just doesn’t fit what was going on…
Our experience at the pool table is very different than our usual firepitting evenings. At the firepit, we chat, and listen to music. It’s a way to de-stress and to connect.
However, that happened at the pool table as well—de-stressing and connecting; however, it was through PLAY.
I never really understood the importance of adults taking time to play, but then I stumbled upon this great article Why It’s Good For Grown-Ups to Play.
Research shows that adults who DAILY incorporate play into their lives, react to stressors differently by “letting them roll off more easily than those who are less playful”. In fact, if adults are deprived of daily play, they can be more irritable, and they may feel trapped in their current situation.
Not everyone plays the same. Some enjoy fooling around with those around them. Others are generally light hearted, and don’t consider consequences of their actions; some play in their thoughts; and others play through interest in whimsical or interesting things. To determine your unique play style, researchers suggest that you consider what you enjoyed playing as a child and try to incorporate that into your life. Regardless of whether an introvert is a natural “player,” makes no difference. Anyone can learn how to play as an adult.
The article goes on to mention that play attracts the opposite sex. I remembered when Billy and I first started dating. A game of basketball at the park, and his silly trash talking. His dancing and singing to me at Walmart. He didn’t care who was around. He was a “player” (not THAT kind of player) with not a care in the world, and that attracted me to him. I’m lucky that he has maintained his playful side.
So, did you play today? If not, when was the last time you played?
Don’t wait till you’re stuck in a rut, cranky, and counting the days till your next vacation. Play does a body good, and it will nurture the relationships of those around you!
Comment with your favorite ways to play! We’d love to hear from you!