"We don't stop playing because we grow older; we grow older because we stop playing."
Play. Such a lost, needed pastime. In my new leadership role, I find it more necessary than ever to model playing and having unstructured, adventurous time. Making time for it. Yes, here at work. I have written about play in the past. I've shared the reward of reconnecting with my inner child. And I've seen the positive consequence of the virus of play infecting my new department. And I couldn't be happier about it.
I'll be honest, though. As much as I'd like to say that I do this as a means of being a really effective leader...that's not altogether honest. I do it because, quite simply, I don't know how to function without play. It's a part of who I am and how I exist on a daily basis. Every day...a little play.
I have so many posts to add to my blog; more intellectual, introspective, reflective posts. Things that will generate conversation about how to effect positive educational change regarding racism and narrowing the racial achievement gap. Posts that will share the journey I'm on rediscovering myself...huge. You have no idea; I have no idea. ;)
But today I'd like to share more lighthearted information. (Because I'm not ready for the above.) So, the one type of play that has helped me through the last few months is listening to music, dancing and singing to some of my favorite tunes.
I'm not an actual singer or dancer...which is obvious to anyone who catches me in my office listening to music, dancing around the room, singing as IF I knew what I was doing, as if I knew all the lyrics. :) BUT, I have learned I am a much more creative, constructive problem solver and leader...when I move. I have to move to think. I really do. I used to read textbooks and edit papers in college by walking up and down the dorm hallways reading things out loud. I continue that tradition here at work. People can see that I'm having fun with the process of figuring out challenges, staying hopeful that there is a constructive path, and sharing the brainstorms that cross my mind along the way...all because I'm "moving" about my office.
So this is one small token I offer to anyone out there looking for a small, positive change in daily routine. Let your creative process free. Allow yourself to reconnect with your natural inclination to PLAY. Whatever form that takes. And LIVE IT. It's contagious. And when others see it, the entire atmosphere of thinking and learning changes for the better.
Educators. Students. Community members. Much more unites us than divides us, particularly knowing we all wear multiple hats. Building relationships. Thinking BIG.
Challenging and supporting one another. Developing engaged, empathetic citizens. Please join me in pondering how best to nurture these common ground connections.