A person leaning playfully on one arm wearing a silly nose and glasses


I just recently saw a TikTok video about a group of friends that were at a beach and decided to play the children’s game Duck-Duck-Goose. The caption read, “Groups that play together stay together.”

Being silly

It made me think about a song from Finding Neverland the Musical called “Play”. It’s at a part of the show where the actors that work for James Matthew Barrie (The author of Peter Pan) are feeling silly and think that the play is beneath them. Mr. Barrie is trying to explain to them why the story is a wonderful opportunity for them to just play. All of this made me think, we should let ourselves play more.

Especially when you’re not feeling well

When you have blood cancer it’s important to let yourself indulge in things that make you happy. I think we tend to forget we have an inner child inside of us and when they’re allowed to play it can make a big difference.

I used to think if I wanted to paint or draw I needed a plan first to create something meaningful or “worthy” of putting my pen or brush to paper. But that’s not true at all! I could literally draw a stick figure with its stick arm stuck in a Pringles can and as long as it makes me happy that’s enough. (That would be pretty funny.) I think so many of us forget how to play for the sake of playing.

What does playing look like?

Playing can look different for each person. I wish I would have let myself indulge in more of my hobbies while I was sick. I think it would have been a welcome distraction.

Now that I’m in remission I try to let my inner child indulge herself more often. I play hide and seek in the dark, I doodle, I build sand castles when I go to the beach, I bake cookies and decorate them however I please, etc. It’s so much fun and brightens up my day every time!

But playing can also be singing, dancing, acting, learning new things, swimming, reading, or even taking a bubble bath with bath toys! Did you know they have chalk and crayons specifically meant for the bath tub? So you can draw and it just rinses off afterwards. There’s also bath bombs, bath confetti, bubble bars, electronic fish that swim around that you can try to catch. I think that last one is for cats but honestly I’d have fun with them too. My point is, there are so many ways to play.

We can play together or apart

I like to do activities by myself because it helps me practice enjoying time alone with myself. I have FOMO and it helps me overcome that fear.

But you don’t have to play alone. Gone are the days of looking for someone to play with on the playground, now we can zoom each other and do things together if not in person. There’s this thing called “parallel play” according to Google it is defined as “...a form of play in which children play adjacent to each other, but do not try to influence one another's behavior.” My best friend and I will call each other since we live in different states and just do things together. It works for cleaning too!

Do you think you could partake in playing more? What would you do? Warm wishes, Katelynn

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