Truth Tuesday: How to Not Be Oprah

I’ve always thought that my high school was missing a few courses and perhaps has a few that may not have been entirely necessary.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was in AP this and IBS that and Type A this, all of which served me in myriad ways.  Like, it’s because of my IB physics class that I know up is really down and because of Pre-Calculus that I know if you can't isolate the “b” variable in a + b = c, you ought to Google it.

So, as I proceed to make some amendments to high school curriculum, just remember that I’m not saying we should nix anything, I’m just saying that there were some classes that would have been very very very helpful.  Such as:

  • Money 101:  Follow Your Dreams, but You’ll Still Have B-I-L-L-S and here’s how to pay them (yourself)
  • You are Actually Not The Center of The Universe
  • Don’t Be That Douchebag
  • Your Liver Matters
  • Don't Get Your Hair Cut While You Are Pmsing
  • How to Not Take Everything Personally
  • People-pleasing is Super Dumb
  • Don’t Should on Me and I won’t Should on You
  • How to be Playful when Life Isn’t

In honor of these findings, I’m happy to announce today that Momma Strong is offering the latter, “How to be Playful When Life Isn’t.”  Look, we believe here that it is never too late to once again do a somersault without getting dizzy or to find crude humor laughable.  And we also want to acknowledge the fact that parenthood has brought a lot of changes to your life, many of them awesome, but - let’s get real - many that are like a giant slap in the buh-bye autonomy face.   Side effects of which involve possibly that you don’t giggle and guffaw as much.  You’re not as sweet as you once were.  You feel weird when you dance.  You forgot what it feels like to have brain space to enjoy cartoons.  Your body feels like a lead rock after a tornado.  You feel offended by everyone and everything.  Your exercise and activity are more punishment than pleasure. You think you're the only one with THIS MUCH on your shoulders.  You breathe in your neck and not in your chest.  When people ask how you are, you immediately say, "Fine," which really stands for Fucked-up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.

Is play something that you now have to schedule in your month?  Is it no longer an automatic response to people and events, but rather a distant memory you’ve decided belongs in that movie about a midlife crisis?

What I know now is that when I’m playful - even when life is handing me crap sandwiches - then it means I’m healthy.  My perspective is good.  My body feels resilient and able to handle the hurricanes all around.  My spirit is willing to be light of heart.  I need less from my external world.  I appreciate more and am appreciated more.  And I can live in a really essential mixture of reality and fantasy without anxiety creeping in and begging me to destroy peace.

Unfortunately, these days, we need some help with this.  Ahem, we need other people.  We need someone to look us in the eyeballs and say, “hey, your playfulness matters.”  And then we need to reteach our body and our minds how to choose play.  THEN- here’s the important part - we need to FIGHT for that play and what it means to ourselves, our partners, our children, our world.

Why is it so important?  Well, if I get to the guts of it, it’s that play signifies a humbled, not-entitled spirit, one that does not need to prove anything to the world and one that does not believe martydom is any way towards purpose and love.  Play is the number one signal that you’re doing the work you need to do to be happy and to be a productive part of a very complex, winding, inevitably up & down existence.

Thus, the activist in me begs you to take this seriously.  I know, we’re taking play seriously.  L-A-M-E.  Which is why you know I missed the high school class, “Don’t be Oprah.”

But, alas, however, onward bound.  We’re here to stand up for that part of you and give you very very very clear ways you can put play back in your real deal, non-spa day, enmeshed, demanding, hilarious, beautiful life WITHOUT the typical retreat hangover.  Now is the time ... Before you’re a star in Grumpy Old Men as the “doomsday character” or “the old lady who hasn’t had sex in 73 years but now wants to get her groove back.”

Spots are limited.  Our last Recess sold out in one week.  Read and then don’t think.