Monday, April 6, 2009


My good friend Therese Borchard at Beyond Blue has been urging me for some time to do a blog piece on the benefits of play. Her piece today, Do Something You Love, serves as a timely reminder why I need to get crackin'. Therese writes:

Last summer, when I was going through a bout of depression, a friend told me to do what made me happy as a kid. So I tuned up my mountain bike and headed to the trails for a few hours. Afterward I treated myself to an ice-cream cone: mint-chocolate chip with LOTS of chocolate sprinkles on top. That was exactly how I spent so many summer days as kid.

My brain recalled it, because I could hear a voice say, "Oh yeah. I remember this. It was fun ... before your dad put you on treadmill and a diet and you were afraid to eat ice-cream again."

What happens to us when we get older? Are we programmed to actually forget how to be happy?

Remember what it was like when you were five? When you and your friends had that feeling of never wanting to stop? Until your moms called you in for dinner?

Why can't we bring back some of that?

Trust me, I will be writing an awful lot on this. Play is a vital element in our recovery. So much so, I contend, that if you are not spending at least part of your time acting like a child then getting through adulthood is going to pose a major challenge.

In the meantime, in case you have forgotten what play is like, here is a video from my two resident experts, Rocky and Bullwinkle at age six weeks. Enjoy ...


Anonymous said...

cute kitties but not monkeypantses.

happy easter to you and your family, humans and in fur.

John McManamy said...

There is only one Monkeypants.

Anonymous said...

struggling, but starting to remember "play", as I have been told I have reactionary depression and ptsd the medications have not been effective, but the times I get to really play and let go have been so helpfull, and the more I allow it to happen the better (and longer) a feel good. so simple, yet so important.

Goddess Diana said...

Dear WSM John,

Thank you for your thoughtful piece about PLAY. Thank you for SHARING and letting me see within you. Yes, so many things you say are true.

Programmed to forget OR are we hardwired to reMEMBER when we enter back into our bodies and let our senses run the SHOW. Tee hee!!!

Mountain biking and ice cream eating. Yummy!!!

WHY is a tough question. It might satisfy the MIND, however it does not move us forward. Perhaps, WHAT can we do to bring back some of that?

The great thing is that there is NOthing to bring back. It's WITH & IN. We help reMIND others and ReMEMBER how empowering it is to use our bodies to BE in the PRESENT. Just like kids and dogs-gods and Meows.

Wishing you,
Peace & Love, Just Because,

Anonymous said...

This is so true and should be practiced by all peoples' of all ages. Live, Play Enjoy while your young and you are always young so always live, play and enjoy life to its fullest. I remember when I was 17 and had my first car a 77 Firebird with T-tops. Nothing would stop me from wahing that car at 10-11pm so that I could wake fresh to my nice clean car the next morning. Well this past Monday night after bowling for 3.5 hours on my league team we were outside shoting the bull at 10pm when I told the guys I wanted so badly to wash my one year old Toyota Camry and that I was going to go home and do so. They all laughed at me and said no way not me bro I'm going home and chill out. Well I went home and did just that washed my car pulled it into the garage dried it off and when I was done it made me feel like a million bucks. The whole time I was washing it I felt like I was 17 again now at the young age of 48 I know that I have not lost that playfull spirit and that it will be part of my life forever......Try it everyone do something that your not supposed to do at your age because people feel so..They are so wrong...Stay young PLAY! PLAY! PLAY!

arasiyalkalam said...

very super site

John McManamy said...

Many thanks, arasiyalkalam, and please keep checking in.