let’s bring back play dates and nap time

Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

“Ready or not, here I come!” – we all remember the thrill of hide and seek. Now, some of us, depending on the day, hope to hide away from the world and never be found.  Taking time to play is important.  Although play is mainly a focus for children, somehow, when we grow, we think the rules change.


 I believe play is crucial at every stage of our lives.


Remember the feeling of nap time?  For some of us, we looked forward to it everyday.  I had a favorite spot where I slept in the afternoons.  I remember the soothing sound of a plane passing by the cloudless sky.  For others, it was the longest, most dreadful hour.  Now, many of us wish we had taken advantage of that precious time to sleep.  Spaniards, known for brilliantly incorporating rest into their lives have a daily siesta.  While some sleep, others use this time to grab a café con leche with friends at a nearby cafetería (coffee shop).  Laughter and a casual atmosphere can be the perfect break from a long day at work.

A few years ago, when my sister was visiting me while I was living in the Silicon Valley, I remember her lying on the front lawn playing with my cats.  I remember thinking, in my four years living here; I haven’t taken the time to lay in my front yard.  Sure, I’d walk to the park and found other ways to convince myself I was having fun, but honestly, I found my schedule overly planned, and even worse, boring.

I wanted to reintroduce more play into my life.  My husband and I now bring a deck of cards to play at a coffee shop, we play backgammon as a way to break up busy nights, we take long walks after dinner to visit and burn some calories.  We’ve sung songs together, cooked something special on an “ordinary” night, just because.  The way we spend every day is a reflection of our lives. Although our skin may loosen, our thoughts may grow more narrow-minded (or for others more accepting), inside, we are still that same little boy or little girl yearning for affection, laughter and fun. We want to pick special flowers, talk to little creatures in our yards, ride bikes around the block.


 We want to be told we’re wonderful and good enough just the way we are.


Let’s embrace that little boy or little girl inside of us and have a little more fun.


other fun ideas for rest and play
  • Set up a tent in the backyard and spend the night outside.  It’s a cheap and fun way to change-up the week.  Plus, the only scary animal around the tent will most likely be your own dog.
  • Look through old recipes you’ve stashed away and make a favorite treat.
  • Cut up some fruit and cheese, and bring some crackers and water along, and walk down to the neighborhood park for a quick picnic.
  • Read a poem.  Need a good book?  Go to the local library and get some.
  • Turn on some fun music and have a quick dance party in the living room.  If you’re embarrassed, make sure the curtains are drawn.
  • Make up a story when you go out to dinner.  Maybe say that you’re on a first date, or you’re visiting from another state.  Use your acting skills in good fun!


feature image provided by Scott Anderson


  1. I love the dance party idea! “Make sure the curtains are drawn” ~ good tip!

    It sounds like you and your husband do a lot of things together, like making dinner or going for a walk together. That changes anything from being a chore, into quality time together.

    Lovely post, great food for thought, thanks Jessica!

  2. Colleen, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for commenting. Now go play! 😉

  3. Jessica, your adventurousness in everyday life inspires me! Many times, when I’m trying something new and feeling intimidated, I tell myself to channel my inner Jessica. The way you dove into everything in Argentina head first made me yearn to be more adventurous. Miss you, and calling you soon :)

  4. Katie! It is so wonderful to get a message from you. Thank you for your sweet words. You too inspired me in Argentina…your courageousness from a dog bite to your patience with learning a new language and culture was admired. I am looking forward to your call.

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