December 14, 2015

The Mindful Life Illustrated: Make Time to Play.

Mike MedagliaIn our daily rush and routine, too much time can go by with no play, no fun, no laughter.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t seek these things out.

In the past few months, I have really gotten into board games.

I started with classics like Scrabble and then moved onto more complicated ones like Settlers of Catan. Out of this I uncovered a great source of simple joy.

These games teach me so many lessons that I seem to need reminding of on a regular basis. They help me focus on simple attainable goals, while planning for future turns. They remind me of the joy of interacting with other human beings live and not just communicating digitally. They teach me to take things seriously only as far as they create joy and if you lose, let it go. It’s only a game.

There are so many situations in daily life that can be approached in exactly the same way and there are times when it is hard to look at life as anything but a game.

We all know how life will end but it is the living it that really matters. It’s the figuring out the rules then learning how to break them, being bold, taking risks that can reap greater rewards. This is what the game of life is about. Of course, there are times in life that are serious and undeniably hard. But it’s then that it’s most important to take a bit of time to have fun, to play a game, or tell a joke.

Laughter has the greatest power to tip the scales in favour of happiness.

After a bout of sadness or anxiety, a simple moment of laughing out loud is like a hose just clearing away all the stuck-on grief. With time the grievances come back, as they always do—they have a way of filling up our lives repeatedly. So go grab a deck of cards, or a football and find some fun.

Recently, I experienced an emotional dip after finishing up a big book project I was working on. I had to do more drawing than I had ever done before and had to do it in a very short period of time. Prior to this, drawing had been my hobby and my passion but when the book was completed I no longer had any desire to draw left. I was happy to draw for projects that came up but it no longer was a joyful pastime. It had become my work.

As the weeks went by I began to feel quite lost and down. Nothing could hold my attention and, to put it simply, I felt bored.

I know it is crazy to say that when I live in a time with endless forms of entertainment and a phone I carry around with me that can do pretty much anything. But it wasn’t the finding something to do that was the problem but finding something I could engage with, have fun with and think about when I had some free time.

Hobbies and “playtime” are much more important then we give them credit for in the living of a balanced life.

So board games got me ‘unbored’ and became my ticket to a place where things are never too serious and laughter is abundant.

I hope you too can find a good source of play in your daily life.


Check out the rest of our Mindful Life Illustrated comic series:

>>The Mindful Life Illustrated: A Chance to Be.

>>The Mindful Life Illustrated: Still My Friend.

>>The Mindful Life Illustrated: People We Don’t Want to Love.


Author & Artist: Mike Medaglia

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren






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