Living

Tangent from Maureen: Childlike Play and Imagination

Last week, Maureen commented that playing and being creative with her grandson brings her a lot of joy. I have a 4 1/2-year-old nephew, so I also know how much fun it can be to have the opportunity to spend time with a small child. When I’m with him, I can be in the moment and act completely silly. I may eventually be known as his wacky aunt, and that’s okay with me.

But my nephew lives on the other side of the country, and I don’t get to spend as much time with him as I wish I could. FaceTime definitely helps. However, I don’t need to wait to see him to experience the relaxed, creative energy that comes from childlike, creative play.

I’m not the only one who knows this, clearly, since adult coloring books became extremely popular a few years ago. Coloring inside the lines isn’t really my thing, though, so I got a pack of magic markers to just doodle and draw.

OOLY Calligraphy Markers
Calligraphy Markers // $17.99, OOLY

When I was a kid, one of my favorite mediums was Plasticine. I just loved working the colorful modeling clay in my hands, kneading, twisting and balling it up to create a shoebox full of tiny furniture and food for my homemade pom-pom creatures.

Even at work we can incorporate some play. I keep Pinch Me Therapy Dough at my desk. Scented with lavender (other color/scent combos are available), I get the satisfaction of squishing the Play-Doh-like substance along with aromatherapy. It’s way more effective than a stress ball.

Maureen reminded me how much I love being crafty, especially when there’s no goal associated with it. There’s something really soothing and fun about the activity of creating when you’re not concerned with the result. Life would be so different if we approached everything in our lives this way. That’s a lot to ask, though, so in the meantime I’ll honor my inner child. I’ll smush some clay and play with messy paint and enjoy both the process and the surprising outcome.

What activity do you enjoy to just let go and be in the moment? Share it below!

Note: Want to be featured in a tangent? Share your tangent in the comments and I might tangent off of yours!

Robyn Kern is the Tangentier. A long-time writer based in Los Angeles with a degree in screenwriting and an interest in mindfulness, many tangents led her here: a place where people can come to find and share inspiration, dwell in each others' passions, and learn how to surround themselves with what they love on the daily.

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