Tuesday, October 1, 2013

All Work No Play Hurts Your Neck

Something happens to us as we grow up and become adult people with adult people responsibilities. We forget how to play. Writers aren't immune to this grown-up stodginess. Writing might be fun, sometimes, and we might be imagining all sorts of exciting adventures, but that doesn't mean we're having exciting adventures. For example, I may be in bed typing this--with my work computer and work email stationed beside me as I do double duty--but that doesn't mean I'm relaxed. Actually, my neck hurts. I know. I know. You're worried that I'm going to go on about my neck injury again. You're only part right. I'm going to go on about the headstand that I attempted yesterday. And my neck injury.

So, yesterday, I was attempting this yoga DVD and the instructor was instructing the class in how to do a headstand. No wall here kids. You either get your ass to balance or you fall on it. Needless to say, the idea of balancing all of my girth on my spindly, often injured neck, didn't appeal to me. I was trying it anyway. I was trying it because I'm stubborn that way, and because I was worried that I was worried. I know, it takes a minute to get it. I was worried that I had become so fearful that I had forgotten how to play, to enjoy myself while trying new things. So I tried to stand on my head.

 I fell.

Okay, so now I'm not playing at all. I'm gritting my teeth, flinging my legs up, and cursing. So this isn't exactly fun, but I didn't care. After all, I had seen quite a few video game sessions that involved gritted teeth and cursing.

Deciding that I needed help to get my flagging ass into a vertical position, I called my fourteen-year-old son. He was not pleased when I told him I needed him to grab my legs, so that I can stand on my head. But he's a good kid. He stood where I told him and waited as I flung my legs at him. And when my legs did spaztastically fling in his direction, what did he do? He jumped out of the way. I flipped over and fell on my ass. We both burst into laughter.

He dropped to the ground laughing. We communicated with giggles punctuating our sentences.

"You fell," he said, laughing.
"You let me fall," I said, laughing.
"I wasn't sure what to do." Him. More laughing. "Are  you okay?"
Me, laughing harder. "Yeah."

And I was. Because playing, like we did it as kids, isn't about the perfect headstand or the fastest mile time or some other measure of what you're achieving while you're "having fun." It's about laughing, enjoying whatever you're trying to do no matter the results. So the next time you're attempting to play too seriously,  remember to cut yourself a break, measure yourself by how much you laugh, how many giggles burst from your mouth along with your spittle, and how many times you fall on your ass in a spaztastic lump. And if you need a laugh today, here's a video to help.


  1. Farts are ALWAYS funny. Hope your neck is ok today. :)

    1. Actually, it's not bad at all! I'm not big into fart jokes. I'm usually as baffled by them as I am dog humping man's leg jokes, but I found that clip hysterical!