Take Time to Play: It is the secret of youth and constancy.

Just what is “play?” Take a moment to remember your days of play. Remember how much fun you had pretending to WORK? We spent hours of my childhood Playing House, Playing School, Playing Waitress, and the ever-controversial Playing Doctor.* We had great fun pretending to be Pioneers, eking out every necessity of daily existence with our own hands. Even the ubiquitous dolls and trucks we played with had work tied to them. Mark Twain put it best in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: “Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him (Tom Sawyer) to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. “

Whatever your play – be it hiking, fly-fishing, gardening, a round of golf, snow-shoeing, pinochle, or watching college football – the key is to Make time for it. Too often, we deprive ourselves of play because we feel guilty about work undone. Miss the train for that guilt trip, to do your heart – and mind – good.

Bets are, after a reasonable dose of play, and a cup of tea or two – you’ll be better at tackling the tasks on your list! After a brisk walk, or while I’m indulging in a great movie, I’ll drink a cup or two of fresh brewed oolong.

*author’s note: I still don’t know what the big deal was/is about “Playing Doctor.” In my childhood, it meant doling out a few pink smarties, uhmmmmming significantly, and telling the victim to “Call me in the morning.”