Moments For Play

Listening to Evil Jeff’s recent podcast episode in which he was talking about the hiatus he needed to take over six weeks after starting a new job, I was reflecting on my own pressures in also changing jobs. This led to some thoughts about the need to break away from our hobbies to make space for the pressing matters of so-called “real” life.

Except, of course, that it’s all real life. Every moment is a precious opportunity for… well, whatever we choose to do with the time that we have.

When I get home from work most evenings, I have (at best) about an hour between finishing the basics of home life and needing to turn in to bed. It’s a narrow window, a sliver of the day, and I am usually exhausted. There is very little mental energy in the internal battery. Like Evil Jeff, I often opt for something mindless – like watching TV – rather than play.

I can’t help wondering if there’s a way to find tiny moments for play in these times when energy is low but there is a need for escape. Remembering that play, unstructured and impromptu, is the best counter to stress, I wonder what might be accessible in those little spaces between the working day and sleep.

Soloists might opt for ten minutes of play – especially if you are organised enough (or have the space to remain set up all week around) to swiftly gather what you need. I used to slip ten minutes into my working day at my old job, sitting at my desk over lunch and rolling some dice. I know it’s feasible… but I know I’m not currently set up to make it easy.

Perhaps it’s enough that I do 2-5 minutes of tiny prep after I finish the daily blog. But it’s not the same as actual play. Enough days without the activity of the game leaves me feeling hungry to roll dice and take forward the adventure… even though I feel exhausted.

I’m curious what others do. Do we simply let it go, as Evil Jeff and I have done, and admit that we are simply too tired to be able to enact quality play? Or are there things we can do that I’m overlooking? I am curious how others might squeeze play into the tail of the working day.

Game on!


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