PLAY TIME!

Today’s post comes from Jacque

               Recently I sold my psychotherapy practice. From the time in 2014 when I made the decision to do so, it took 2 ½ years to bring the process to completion. The last year of this period of time was so busy, I could not even participate in this blog anymore because there were so many demands on my time and energy. But now I am moving on to a life with fewer demands. I am not retiring, but I will work much less. After orienting the new owners of the practice to ownership, during October and November, I am now out of the office for two months, working via a telehealth website. The goal is to detach.

               I am writing this post from Arizona in front of the TV, with HGTV “Property Brothers” airing on Cable TV. It is hard for me to believe that for the first time in years, I have a little time to watch whatever I want. For hours. I can sit here and watch an over-privileged couple somewhere in Canada, be meticulously picky, arguing with designers about the windows and granite countertops. On the air.  It is doing a great job of distracting me away from results of the recent election, which I could obsess about until I live in an inner world of pessimism and despair. No Thanks. Watching obsessive people with silly décor standards is preferable to that.

It is Play Time for me.

img_0221When we arrived in Arizona in early December, both Lou and I were sick with a virus we picked up at the family wedding for which I made all the pie (see the past pie post). It took forever to recover. When I did recover I ventured out to the park in the center of town. There I discovered an area of the children’s playground I had not seen before. There is a little play area filled with gongs and xylophones and mallets. It is crawling with children banging on the stuff and having a ball. A Sonic Playground.

When I was a kid, I never could have even have dreamed of a playground like this. But I know I would have loved it.   So after I get bored with the Property Brothers, I plan to venture down there during school hours, so I can have the instruments to myself, and make some music, as loudly as I want, for as long as I want.   I will watch the fountain spout for a while, then mosey on home to take my girls, the dogs, to the dog park. That is not optional. The dogs are used to a big yard to run in, so the confines of our little condo require the dog park daily.

Then I will start sculpting with clay and playing games with grandchildren. I doubt that I will be stuck on HGTV for long. By the second week of February I will be back in Minnesota. The condo renters will be here for 2 months and I will be working 3 days per week at the practice I sold, and at another practice in Savage. I anticipate that. I love what I do.

But in the meantime, it is the Sonic Playground and Play Time for me.

What do you do when it is time to play?

 

 

 

 

77 thoughts on “PLAY TIME!”

  1. i sit in the hot tub and scan my favorite sites and web pages
    if santa doesnt bring bluetooth speakers my birthday is just two months later
    listening to bb king play merry christma baby in iphone speaker is funny when i think about the warehouse full of wonderful speakers i have
    speaking of which i need to go to said warehouse where i have 8-10 daily workers helping me with current project
    jacque try a firestick and netflix
    i can recommend mozart in the jungle and suits for the next forseeable free time
    thanks for posting and enjoy uour time
    i think now may be tome to experiment with medicinal brownies or grogs
    ho ho ho

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Hey, tim, I have Netflix and Hulu. I am currently bingeing on Nashville TV show which features a lot of drugs, romance, drama, and CW music. I also have the last season of Sopranos to finish.

      Soon my eyes will be square.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That sure looks like Fountain Hills (my folks’ snowbird winter home). If so, swing by Sunset Gallery off of Avenue of the Fountains. Jane (the owner) is a delight to chat with and is one of the few left-leaning folks you’ll find in AZ. And if you now have some time and you enjoyed the Sonic Playground, go check out the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. It’s amazing!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My folks also had a condo in Fountain Hills in the 80s. I visited once, it was barely a town then…and peopled with retirees/snowbirds as far as I could tell. Good that it has grown to include young folks and kids. The Sonic Park sounds and looks amazing.

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      1. xfben also has connections here — lots of Midwesterners here. The town is full of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, S Dakota, N Dakota license plates and Lutheran churches. Town now has a population of about 25,000 year round.

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  3. I am taking a week off starting tomorrow at noon. I plan to bake cookies and read and hang out with daughter. We agreed we are having a very low key Christmas dinner, probably just spaghetti and leftovers . I need to take time off this time of the year to regroup and rest for the next 12 months. The playground sounds delightful.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m going back to chess with a focus on the Russian masters. It seems best to fall in line with the incoming administration. In actual fact, I have a book of thousands of openings to analyze. It should take all of four years.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Since I retired it seems like all time is playtime…unfortunately for the house. I am a bit addicted to Netflix, especially foreign tv shows…especially crime mystery series. British and Scandinavian in particular. I also consider the two bookclubs I belong to as playtime…anything social that includes food, also. I thought before I retired I would try to schedule my days around have-to dos and want-to-dos but mostly I tend to the latter. Schedule be damned. Enjoy, enjoy, Jacque…you’ve earned it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have but haven’t been able connect…just watched Nobel…a Norwegian series about Norwegian soldiers in Afghanistan. Another favorite is Dicte, a Danish crime reporter. And like Happy, Vallley, too.

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        1. When I was young we didn’t know much about the need for protecting our hearing from loud noises. I shot clay targets weekly without ear protection. Now I deal daily with compromised hearing. Some TV programs I can hear well enough, but with many I need subtitles or closed captioning. I’m delighted I can access closed captions for most programs. With some programs the closed captions run a few seconds after the dialogue, and that is weird to process. Having subtitles available is one reason I never go to movie theaters.

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  6. Wonderful post, I was just imagining a time when I never have to leave the house unless I really want to. I think the anticipation of my long week and predictions of another storm are getting to me today. Enjoy the days outside while you are in AZ and all that sunshine.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I hit the golf course when it’s time to play. Except when it’s too cold of course. Then I go XC skiing or ice skating. Nothing like concentrated exercise to clear my mind of everything else and just focus on either hitting perfect golf shots, or not injuring myself or freezing off appendages on the ski trail. 😉

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Virtually all of my time is now play time. Actually, it isn’t easy adjusting to having that much free time. I haven’t been very lucky with books lately, but I keep trying. There are many superb miniseries on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

    My favorite activity is to fire up my photo editing program (Lightroom) and fool around with old photos. The images I edit are either those I shot with digital cameras or slides I took a long time ago and now have scanned. It is sweet work. I listen to folk music on the computer while I fool around with all those sliders, making subtle changes to color temperature, contrast and all the other aspects of images. (Remember that photo I gave you of Lost Creek Falls? It wasn’t a pretty shot at all before I ran it through Lightroom.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yesterday five old farts standing and talking blocking a key point in the aisles. One man bloviating about how now that he is retired he has no need to rush. He can do whatever he has to do when he wants to. No more rush.
    15 minutes later I was waiting for Sandy sitting near the checkouts. An old man was checking out from a power cart. The mam’s right arm did not work, It looked as if from a stroke. He was at the express lane because a manager had seen him waiting in a line. She brought him over to check out his is 8-9 items. No belt. The man had to lift the items up onto a small space by the till. They were small items but he had use hid left arm and reach across. Comes up behind him Mr Bloviator and starts piling his more than 12 items in the space where the slow man is placing his. The manager pusinh his items behind the other till not in use and asks him to wait. Then it takes the slow man some time to stand up take out his wallet and take out his card using only one hand. Mr. Bloviator was puffing and fretting behind him until he could not stand it anymore and pushed the his items into the space.
    OLD PEOPLE!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Second story. As I was waiting a scruffy old man sat beside me and starting a pushy conversation. So help me, he looked like Compo from Last of the Summer Wine. Then the man asked me if I had any pain. He snuck a product out of his pocket trying to sell it to me, telling me it would take away all pain. I told him to stop his pitch. He did not. I left. Later I realized it was probably a product he took off the shelf in the pharmacy area.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Playtime for me involves reading, Netflix, Hulu, making jewelry and maybe getting my butt back to karate. It’s been nearly a month and it gets harder and harder to get back into it — mainly because now I’m getting out of shape and it’s painful to start up again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, I get the out of shape and painful part. I need to restart yoga and am procrastinating for the same reasons! Once I do start I feel good. Going to the gym now. Really. I am going.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. My playtime for the day is my favorite playtime–going to see a dr. This time in Burnsville. Betting this will be a waste of gas and time.

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        1. He said I don’t have psoriatic arthritis and is otherwise not interested in my pain issues. But then he wants me to have an elaborate MRI for which I will have to get a driver to drive me to the Cities to see that I do not have the disease he says I do not have, but if the MRI shows I have psoriatic arthritis then he will prescribe drugs that cost $4000 a month, which I cannot afford. Says I do not have carpel tunnel and told me all the tests done by everyone else are meaningless. Then told me to wear carpel tunnel braces for the carpel tunnel I don’t have when my GP, the orthopedist, and the physical therapist said I must keep my wrists active and not immobilize them. Then tried to prescribe a $400 a month drug for my eyes that my eye dr. says she does not want me to use until she is tried every other option.
          So, you see, I am spitting frustration.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow. It had never occurred to me that play couldn’t/shouldn’t be oriented toward a goal. I guess that eliminates the artwork, book-related crafts, research and a large portion of the things I choose to do for pleasure. Which begs the question, what exactly is play and does it depend on what you choose to do or in the attitude with which you approach it? Is everything that is not obligatory play? For myself, I would not have considered watching television as play. It’s too passive.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. “Play is repeated, incompletely functional behavior differing from more serious versions structurally, contextually, or ontogenetically, and initiated voluntarily when the animal is in a relaxed or low stress setting.” VanFleet et al., 2010, p. 7.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. So says VanFleet, et al. Is this as it applies to children? I can concur with the voluntary initiation and the low stress setting, but I question the incompletely functional provision.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I would maintain that cooking differs from artwork, book-related crafts, and research. Those things are all optional. With cooking, the goal is to eat what you cook, and eating is not optional. It’s necessary for survival. You can make cooking fun, but ultimately it’s all about forestalling death.

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  12. Oh, I can hardly wait! 1/2 day of work tomorrow and I am off for a week (except I will have to go in tomorrow afternoon to wrap up loose ends and then participate tomorrow night in a panel discussion sponsored by the Department of Public Instruction after they have a public showing of a documentary about trauma and how it affects children in school). THEN, I will be on holiday!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I think we will stay close to our children, so that may mean Brookingd, SD, or even back in Luverne, MN. Daughter will graduate from college this May, and is applying for jobs in Vermont, Maine, Oregon, and Washington state. She say she just wants us to visit, not live nearby. I think we are Great Plains and Upper Midest people.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks for the reply. And good luck. I’ve heard Luverne is nice. Don’t know much about Brookings. The pheasant hunting wasn’t productive there the one time I visited, but that won’t keep you from enjoying the place.

          My daughter works in Human Resources In Portland. There is a chance she could give your daughter advice related to working here.

          Just like you, I’m Great Plains and Midwest people.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I have been amazed at the number of people who retire to the Sioux Falls area. Do you remember early on we on the Trail developed a Baboon retirement community. You could always join us here in the Cities a la Jim. Where has Jim been?

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  13. Like Chris, this time of year I enjoy being out on an ice rink. Husband started flooding our back yard again – weather has been ideal for spraying until yesterday (and today) when some of his hard work is likely to melt. Pooh. It was just getting to a good thickness for actually skating.

    Other playtime includes some of what has been mentioned here: wandering through a museum, seeing a play (nothing like Shakespeare outdoors in the summer), laughing with friends. Had a grand time a couple weeks ago playing with all of the “stuff” at Leonardo’s Basement – I think I need to play there again (they have an evening coming up where you build a Rube Goldberg device as a group….).

    Oh, and baking. We don’t have a Christmas tree yet in the house, but we have four kinds of cookies so far (including krumkake). Julekage needs time to rise, so that will happen Friday when I’m off work and have time to play with yeast and cardamom.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Morning all. I love to play – is this “just a big kid” syndrome? Crossword puzzles, solitaire, leaf piles, silly gift exchanges (and yes, the Christmas Raven DID make an appearance this year), cards and paper crafts and, of course, reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi–

    I’ve just spent some quality time perusing the Google Map of Fountain Hills and finding memories from 14 years ago.
    When we were there ‘Pisa Pizza’ was the place with wonderful garlic bread. Oh. Uh… I see ‘Ha Ha China’ is still in business… under new ownership! (And that sure shouldn’t hurt…)

    Jacque– good for you. Enjoy your time there. I remember the fountain. I showed the blog to Kelly last night (it was her uncle with the place in the Copperwynd area of Fountain Hills) and we both felt… not quite ‘melancholic’, maybe wistful?

    When I have playtime, I spent too much time on my cell phone I’m afraid. Solitare is big. And I channel surf on the TV. I always enjoy finding old movies.

    Classes are over here at the college…(I got a ‘B’ in algebra!) — it’s quiet and I can spend hours ‘putzing’. I’m a good putzer. I work slow… frequently get distracted. So far this morning I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer dealing with files and updating things. I did a couple minor jobs and have a couple others laid out here and ready— soon as I am.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, that’s right. Sometimes when I see a big formula I still involuntarily flinch, but then I recover and break it down and it’s OK. 🙂

        By no means do have it all, but it’s a start.
        Next semester is “Contemporary Concepts in Mathematics”. ‘A problem-solving based Liberal Arts course for the student who wishes to acquire a broad background in mathematics.’
        Sounds like fun, right?

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  16. I have to laugh about the many references to Netflix. About a year ago, my grandson hooked my TV up to Netflix on my former DIL’s account. Once I learned how to change the input and sound bar functions away from regular cable, I was set to sail. And sail I did! The sheer novelty of no commercials made non-stop watching wonderful. The problem quickly became being unable to stop watching (I watched series only) because, with no commercials, one episode bled into another into another. Each episode left unfinished business, so I was compelled to watch the next one just to find out how the previous episode played out.

    Early on, I discovered House of Cards. I binged, doing little else for hours at a time but watch. One day, my grandson dropped in. I told him that I’d just finished all 12 seasons of House of Cards. He was silent for a moment, then said, “Noni – do you realize you watched for 13 hours a day for one week running??”. Gulp.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And now I’m going to glom on… my 30-day free trial just ended and I made the decision last night to keep Netflix. I won’t say I’ve binge-watched anything yet, although quite a few Columbo episodes have been seen. We’ll see how it goes in the next six months whether we keep it long term. 30 days doesn’t seem a fair assessment period to me… it’s still too new that first month, like a new toy. For me if I’m still using it consistently after 3-4 months is a good measure.

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    1. I am just starting the cookies now, so I won’t have one until later today. I am trying cookies I have never tried before, and I think that will be my topic.

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  17. Congratulations on having survived and thrived during adulthood! I am in my late fifties, with a crazy-busy independent group practice in Chicago that is the major preoccupation of my time…though not of my inner life, which naturally pivots toward the life of the mind. As much as I enjoy being a psychotherapist, like you I look forward to moving beyond the grinding demands of keeping the whole enterprise going, and retiring to some quiet spot on the planet where I can mull over what it all has meant. Not that I will ever find an answer to this question…but the best questions are unanswerable. Perhaps you will find my WordPress blog to your liking – http://www.therapyviews.com

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