7 tips for adults who don’t know how to play…

Working from home

It’s so easy to work and be busy in our rush-rush, highly competitive, never-ending-to-do-list adult lives.

But it can be awfully hard to justify playing, and harder still to actually play just for the sheer delight of it.

My Michael and I toil long hours and do other income producing things to keep the lights on as we build our dream and fulfill the call on our life. And dream-chasing for a boomer couple can be anything but easy.

We had fallen into the dull routine of all work and the only way out was to “Go play!”

With the excuse {and we adults do NOT need an excuse to relax and play!} of the second anniversary of our first face to face meeting, we absconded for the afternoon and just had fun!

After church we drove across the bridge for lunch at the restaurant on the river where we had shared our first meal. Michael relived the moment by ordering the fish and chips basket like he did two years ago. And that is where we saw the cross.


It was like God was saying, “Enjoy yourselves, kids!”

So we did.

MARINER'S DECK Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

MARINER's Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

MARINER's BOATS Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

OUR BRIDGE Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

After lunch we strolled hand in hand around the deck before heading over to the Walkway Over the Hudson. Michael even took a 5 minute head start so he could walk out on the bridge first and be waiting for me just like he was that lovely sunny morning in 2011 when God wove our stories together.

THROUGH THE FENCE Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball


With flowers spilling over the fence I walked out to meet Michael feeling much the way I did two years ago…a little nervous-excited and happy! He took me in his arms just like he had that day, neither of us saying a word, and held me for a good, long minute.

We walked and talked and remembered how much fun it is to just be a couple of crazy kids in love with God and each other. We asked someone to take our picture and then ended the warm afternoon out with a chilly confection at our favorite art deco diner.


In case you are like us and find yourself forgetting how to play, read on.

We’ve all heard that sitting is the new smoking and with so many of us stressed out and sedentary in front of computer screens all day we need to stand up and take note that play is crucial to good health and happiness.

Putting aside grown up responsibilities for awhile, let’s recall mom yelling:

“Go outside and play!”



And when you finally choose to release yourself from the grown up prison of work-work-work, here are seven tips to help you play-play-play!

1. Schedule a play date. Put it on the calendar. Forget all the important appointments and things to do. PLAY is vital. Play as if your life depends on it because it does. Play reduces stress and stress contributes to disease and can accelerate aging and even death.

2. Remember when you were a kid and you got so caught up in a hobby or game that you lost track of everything else? What do you love to do that when you do it time stands still and you are in the flow? Go do it!

3. If at all possible, play outdoors. God’s creation is magnificent and always puts fresh wind in our sales. Never mind the weather, just suit up accordingly. Michael and I had one of the nicest days at a state park on a very cool, gray, drizzly day. We grilled inside a lean-to, walked around the pond and had the place to ourselves almost exclusively!

4. Don’t blow your budget. That will just stress you out more! There are ample opportunities to play that are free or low cost. Investigate your local newspapers weekend guide for suggestions. We’ve attended art shows and concerts for very modest fees or free.

5. Rainy Saturday afternoons — use your imagination! Just the two of you!! Or put on some jazz and pull out a board game.

6. Crank up the volume and dance to the music! One of my personal favorites!!

7. Michael’s favorite: Super Soakers at 20 paces! He’s been after me to buy these over-sized water guns since we got married, but I keep putting him off knowing that I’ll be the one getting soaked. He’d never let a girl win!! 🙂

There are so many ideas: cooking classes, a jaunt via train into a nearby city for the day, a favorite museum, visiting old bookstores, treasure hunting at a garage sale, or taking a ride and discovering a tucked away town somewhere.

Or you could go on a quest for the ULTIMATE Banana Split.

Since sharing our first one on a bench overlooking a river in Manchester-by-Sea the day after we eloped, we have sampled eight other banana splits in various states with the reigning favorite to date the one we savored at Harbor Scoops in Gloucester on our beloved Cape Ann, MA.


I hope these suggestions tickle the kid inside you whose begging to be let out to play!


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The Alabaster JarHappy Wives Club



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11 thoughts on “7 tips for adults who don’t know how to play…

  1. Dear Sheila
    Oh, you two are such a beautiful couple!! This is not only so true; it is so very, very important! The saying does go that from all work and no play Jack becomes a dull man. Yes, we need to make these playdates every week and them make it top of the priority list!
    Much love XX

  2. My family recently took a small vacation. We had forgotten how much fun they are and how much we need them. We’ve already scheduled a few more!

  3. I really loved this Sheila! And totally agree. Thanks for sharing your adventurous day out with us – it sounds lovely! My husband Michael and I are lucky enough to get one day a week all to ourselves while the kids are at school or pre-school, to do just that. You’ve inspired me with these ideas 🙂

    • I love that you have that one dedicated day for just the two of you. So important for keeping marriages healthy by understanding that first and foremost we are a couple in addition to all the other demands on our time! Enjoy your date days and keep making special memories, Ali. Thanks.