Get Ready, Set, . . . Play!

Get Ready, Set, . . . Play!

Photo by Cinnamon roll on Upsplash cover photo by Clem Onojeghuo

The good thing about being an introvert is that we can occupy our own time quite easily for hours on end. Reading, writing, daydreaming, and painting are just a few activities that I indulge in frequently.

That’s not to say extroverts don’t know a thing or two about play. When I think about extreme sports or action sports, I usually conjure up images of crowd-loving, adrenaline junkies that have a deep need. Let’s say it together, “A need for speed!” Hey, I’m not above using a cheesy movie quote from Top Gun. The point is I now know this is an awfully narrow minded generalization.

Photo from the 1986 film, Top Gun. 

Any personality type can engage in a sport, activity, or craft of their choosing. What you decide to invest your time and dedication towards is your act of love. Your way of being grateful for life on earth. It’s good to give thanks and praise in any way you see fit.

Let’s talk about all the ways that play can enrich our day to day. I came across some research conducted by Project Zero from the Research Center of Harvard Graduate School of Education and found wonderful nuggets of wisdom surrounding the subject. As defined by scholars, play can be described as generally enjoyable engagement with the imagination. Play can be an amazing strategy for learning and playing with a purpose can support your critical thinking skills and chosen craft. Play can boil down to a “what if” mentality that broadens the mind to see several aspects and possibilities.

Photo by Jake Marty from Upsplash

All this talk about play is leading somewhere because it happens to be my favorite way to start and get unstuck when it comes to painting.

One day, I was getting along just fine with a painting but then was hit with an almost overwhelming urge to chuck it. Thinking that must not be right because the concept of the painting was strong within me, so I took a step back. Thankfully my mind turned to the pumpkins we recently picked up and I made the executive decision to paint several to give to neighbors and friends. Let the painted pumpkin parade begin.


The joy of painting as play took away the pressure of being perfect every single second. It’s hard to take yourself too seriously when you’re painting pumpkins. During those times is where everything really flows. You start to remember why you took up your chosen craft in the first place. Because you love it!

I’m proud to say that my daughter has far surpassed me in the pumpkin decorating category. She can lose herself for hours creating the most beautiful and wildly creative pumpkin carving designs. I love when she devotes herself to that kind of creative play even with her busy schedule. 

Back to the painting struggle. The self-imposed play time worked! I finished that painting and completed another with the same color palette.

Since play leads to learning and lifelong learning leads to longer and fuller life spans, not only do you have permission to play but your brain will love you for it. I would love to hear how you add a little play in your day.

Well I’ve kept you here long enough, now it’s time to go out and play. Enjoy and as always thank you for supporting the arts and artists everywhere!

Cheers and Best Wishes,

Julie (Juju) Hickman

P.S. If you’re so inclined, you can take a listen to today’s song choice by Beau Black





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