Posts Tagged ‘Perspective’

Wild Weather

Posted: February 28, 2015 in Life
Tags: , ,
Stormy beach

Wild beach day

For the last day or 2 we have been having on again off again snow. I love snowstorms, especially when there are huge snowflakes. I love all wild weather! I’m not quite sure why I love this weather but I always have. Perhaps because my spirit is somewhat chaotic and the wild weather is something I connect with. I love to walk, and be out in heavy snow

storms. When I’m on the beach I love when the weather is overcast and rainy. I revel in waves and uneasy surf. When Colorado had its 500-year flood I was out and about driving and exploring the chaos. You can read more about that adventure here.

I may have gotten this love of wild weather from my mother. We always go out together and explore. I remember when I was a teenager we, my mother and I, were watching it rain the heaviest rain I had ever seen. We were both gazing out of the window fascinated by the power and we were imagining that there was a tornado somewhere. Sometime later we received a phone call from one of my aunts asking if we were safe. She told us that a tornado did touch down in our town and hit the cemetery. We were out the door to explore almost instantly. We love it. In another life we may have been storm chasers as a profession.

I remember another time when I was a young child that we had a huge blizzard maybe the Colorado blizzard of ’82. No, that was over Christmas. I think that year we powered through the blizzard on Christmas day to go to my aunts house for our traditional get together (just the 2 families). No storm ever stopped my family. On another occasion, maybe ’83, after the storm had passed we went out and built snow forts and my uncle came over with his 3 wheeler and we powered through the snow and he would run into drifts and stop then he would throw me into the snow drift and watch me disappear. We played this game for, what seemed to me, most of the day. I would have kept going but at some point he decided I was frozen and we went home. We may have gone back out, but I don’t remember.

As I write all of these events I’m starting to realize my draw to this kind of weather. For my family it’s always been fun and a way to connect. We have always been happy in this type of weather and it has always been a powerful feeling to be out. When the weather was sending others in, we were always headed out. Love, connection, playfulness, and adventure, that’s what I feel in this weather.

Snow play

What are you doing

During the Colorado flood in 2013 my son was with my mom and me as we powered around. At the time he was 3 and now and then he talks about “the big water”. I don’t think it scared him, since it didn’t scare us and we were having a great time trying to find a road that wasn’t closed so we could go home. He may have gotten bored as we spent hours out driving around. He was such a trooper.

As I sit here writing this post the snow has subsided. It’s still snowing but the flakes are small again, not as powerful as before. I still love the beautiful stillness but it doesn’t call me out the way more extreme weather does. As time goes on I hope that I’m able to pass this love of wild weather onto my son. At this point I think it’s very possible since my husband isn’t dissuaded by weather either.

As a family, our motto seems to be:

Big snow? Let’s hit the slopes!

OR

Bad weather?   Well the office will be quiet and I should get a lot done.

Not much stops us from getting out and living. The more chaotic the weather the more we seem to do.

Work or play

Work? Play? … Yes!

For a good portion of my life, work and play have been on opposite ends of the spectrum. Either I was doing productive, necessary work or I was free and playing; but never were they combined. How could they be? In my mind they were opposites.

Which isn’t surprising since even the definitions for these words put them at odds.

Work:

  1. Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
  2. Mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment.

Play:

  1. Activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, esp. by children.
  2. The conducting of an athletic match or contest.

Now, however, the idea that work and play are opposites doesn’t fly for me. The change occurred when I had my son and he started going to a Montessori school at 7 months old.  My son was doing sitting work and block stacking work. At one point he spent months doing container work which involved opening and closing containers that have different types of tops. In Montessori the children are curious and they are driven by their enjoyment of exploration and discovery. It’s also very purposeful because this exploration is how children discover their world, and how they perfect skills such as motor coordination, executive functions, troubleshooting, personal responsibility, and socialization. Every activity they engage in is very much their work. This is where my personal definitions of work and play changed. I now see the words this way: Work has a purpose or result that is external in nature and play is about our inner passion and enjoyment.

So here is my question: When did we as a society decide that work should be divorced from enjoyment, curiosity, and personal expression?

 In David Elkind’s article “The Values of Outdoor Play” he postulates that the requirements for a full happy and productive life consist of 3 things: Play, Love and Work.

“Play, love, and work are the innate drives that power human thought and action throughout the life cycle. Play is the drive to transform the world to meet our personal needs. Love is the drive to express our desires, feelings, and emotions. Work is the drive to adapt to the demands of the physical and social world. “–David Elkind

He goes on to categorize activities from this perspective:

  • Love is something one undertakes of their own initiative.
  • Play encompasses personal expression of the activity
  • Work comprises the products produced that are both original and useful to all.

With this new information let us re-evaluate what it means to play and to work. Our priorities get confused when we separate the two. At some point we decided that earning money at a job is a high priority, but taking care of our physical body is optional. We started to see being busy, stressed and always on the move as success. While relaxation, enjoyment and mental calm we regard as unproductive. It’s time to turn our work into play and our play into work. Or stated slightly differently: Our work should be enjoyable and fulfilling and our play should be honored for how purposeful it truly is. Our play is of the highest importance for our well-being and creative spirit. Embrace it and activate your highest potential. No more Work vs. Play. Let’s make it Work + Play … + Love.

Combine them, embrace them and live a full, happy and productive life!