• Posted: Dec 28, 2008 14:37:35
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Problems call for solutions. But no matter how serious, sustained, and earnest the effort solutions will not always come. What to do?
Take a walk. Enjoy the sunshine. Perhaps indulge in a bit of comfort food. Read the news. Check your email. Listen to a bit of music. The mind needs an occasional break, opportunity to gain a fresh foothold. It requires play. But, what is play?
Imagine a fence post whose job it is to stand its ground, bear the strain of rails or wire in coordination with its peers, to untiringly endure throughout cold and heat, ice and rain, and all matter of attack from critter, insect, mold, fungus, bacteria, and sometimes caustic gases of atmosphere. It is a grueling and thankless job. And in the end, the post is crushed.
Now imagine your neurons and muscles straining to solve a problem, locked in a conflict, vigilant against threat, worried over lack of options, frustrated with lack of progress. Eventually, the strain is crushing and neuromuscular systems begin to fail and then die. Is the remedy more discipline? More incentive? Less sleep? Harsh words? Greater threat? More chemical stimulants? No, the remedy is relief, a chance to reorganize, to revive, to refresh.
That reorganize part is important. Just try sitting in one position for too long. Eventually it's painful. Change your position, stand up and walk around for a bit, and the pain subsides. Why? Because the work assigned to those sore muscles and nerves is reorganized, their job is suddenly different, they fall under a different regime. And the result is less pain, renewed strength, and greater flexibility.
The brain is no different. It needs its chance to play, to reorganize, to gain fresh perspective, new insight, perhaps a change of objective, a new plan, renewed opportunity for hope.
May you always find pleasure, rejuvenation, and inspiration in very necessary moments of play.
Sunday, January 6th, 1991