What is the opposite of play?

What is the opposite of play?

If you said the opposite of play is work, I’d like you to hold that thought.

This weekend Nelson and I explored the miles of forests and rivers around our new home. We discovered (for a second time) Gorges State Park which has an astounding 20 waterfalls within the park’s boundaries. We visited DuPont State Forest and were reminded of the magnificence of Bridal Veil Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls. Our view of Lake Jocassee in the distance was excellent and made us wish for warmer weather paddling days ahead. So did finding several canoe launches for the French Broad River.

Sunday we ended up on a dirt road that was, in a couple places, really scary because of the snow and ice.It was all worth it when we discovered a lake I’d camped at and kayaked on nearly eight years ago! Our most exciting adventure happened during our drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway Saturday to go hiking in the snow. On our way up, up, up, we slid off into a ditch.


Thankfully, there were a lot of other folks out playing in the snow and in short order they hitched a chain between our truck and theirs and pulled us out. We busted a tail light and dinged the bumper, but all’s well that ends well, yes?

With that list of goodness, let’s get back to the opposite of play.

This past year, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about whole-hearted people. About people who have well-balanced lives. About people who are happy.

Brené Brown has been top of my list. And interestingly, she discovered through her years of research that the opposite of play is NOT work.

The opposite of play is depression.

Think about that for a minute. Really think about it.

If the opposite of play is depression, then work can fit into either of those things, right?

Many of my clients fit play and work together:

* A video company team spends time together each day watching hilarious (or horrible) YouTube videos

*The book publishing company that has adopted the attitude of being SPARKly

*”WordPlay” will teach you how to be a better writer and has really fun and thought-provoking exercises to help

*Martha Beck, preeminent Life Coach says, “Play until it’s time to rest. Rest until it’s time to play.”

Sadly, I can go the opposite direction, too, and list people I know who put work and depression together as naturally as chocolate and peanut butter.

Rather than dwelling on the negative, let’s focus on play! Think about the last time you played. Nothing structured. You just got silly. Or you got lost. Or you got so into your hobby (or your work) that you lost track of time.

This playtime is essential for wellness. For being whole-hearted. For having a happy life.

Oftentimes during a Make Some Room Rendezvous, a client confesses they want more TIME. Time to play, time to work, time to read, or write or even to do nothing.

It’s such a gift to help clients get organized, systematized, and in control of their schedules and lives.

It’s such a gift to have those same clients call me and say, “Work is getting done. And I have more TIME now to do whatever it is I want.”

Make some room,


P.S. I’m scheduling the March Make Some Room Rendezvous sessions. I’ll do a few in April, too, and then they won’t be available until the autumn. Don’t miss out!

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