Monthly Archives: March 2017

Can Timmy Come Out and Play?

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I just made a batch of play dough. Green. With glitter. I’m 59. I don’t have kids. I can’t wait to play with it! For those of you worrying about my mental health, it’s not really for me. It’s for a group of kids I read to at our library. But I will not lie to you. I WILL be playing with it, right along with them.

So what is it about some of us that makes us still love to play when we are probably way too old to be considered a kid? For me, it’s not just play dough. It’s games, toys, crafts and using my imagination with abandon. I’ve always lusted after kids’ toys and games, and I’ve always encouraged creative play. Fortunately, I’ve spent most of my life working with kids, so I’ve been able to get away with lots of playing. But I’m sure there are others out there who may be closeted players.

But nothing is closeted at my house…when you come over, you will find shelves filled with games and toys in full view. I have quite the collection of antique games I’ve gotten from garage sales and thrift shops that bring back childhood memories, along with some of the new-fangled games and contraptions that kids play with. And some of my own toys and games from when I was a kid. Yes, I kept them all these years. And I dearly miss the ones that my parents gave away along the way.

And these things do not just sit on the shelves. I get tingly all over when someone comes over to play a game with me. And I find myself toying with puzzles and games on my own, whenever possible. Brain teasers, Sudoku, jigsaws, crosswords…puzzles of all kinds just thrill me and I can become quite addicted to them, given enough free time. I’ve branched out from the good old board or card games, and now also play electronically on my iPad or computer.

I really believe that play is healthy at any age. I know quite a few people who would benefit from a bit of play. Maybe some charades, a dress-up contest or a few rounds of Boggle! Because you can’t play a game and not smile or laugh at some point. And playing keeps your brain engaged. I’m sure there are studies somewhere that show that play makes you live longer, but I really don’t have time to research…I’ve got fresh play dough to squish!

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The Perfect

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We’ve all searched for it, like the Holy Grail. The perfect _________. At first, I thought it was just one particular thing in which I sought perfection. But then I realized perfection was my standard for many things.

For me, it started with the perfect purse. With SO many important features, perfection in a purse is hard to come by. Is the strap long enough, but not too long? Will that shade of blue go with my coat? Are there enough compartments? Are they the right KIND of compartments? Are the compartments easy to get into? Does the purse have a flap, a snap, a magnet, or does it zip closed? Is it large enough for all of my stuff, or so large that it will be too heavy to carry when it’s full? Do I have another purse too similar to this one to justify buying it?

When you finally find the perfect purse, take it home and fill it with your stuff, you discover it is NOT perfect. That flap is annoying! There is NO handy pocket for my keys! This keep slipping off of my shoulder – it will NEVER do! My wallet doesn’t even fit in here! Aarrgghh!

So now you discover you need a new wallet that will fit into your new purse. And the same search for perfection begins. Will the credit cards all fit? Is there room for my checkbook? (Yes, I still have one!) Is it too bulky? Will everything fit? And most likely, when you fill that beautiful new wallet, you will discover it, too, is NOT perfect.

I could go on and on – coats, jeans, cars, houses – in every purchase, I seem to seek perfection. Even in choices for vacation spots, restaurants or radio stations, I want it all! But we never get it all. Perfection is NOT attainable. For those of us who are perfectionists, or with even just a hint of OCD, we will forever be in search of that Holy Grail of WHATEVER. And it always seems to end badly, too. Either we are overwhelmed by the choices and cannot make a decision at all, or we end up with a drawer full of wallets that just aren’t “the one” in a room we really shouldn’t have pained that shade of blue, in a house with a too-small kitchen.