Our dog Tammy doesn't have too many problems. Sure there are rules to follow, and the other dogs bark at her, but her biggest decision is not to play, but which of her toys to play with. Today she chose the fish, not her octopus.
We have it far easier. We MUST play. If play is NOT on our daily checklist, then the reptilian brain laughs. It knows that we WILL play, it's just whether we play with chocolate candy, another drink, video binges, sports gambling, or my personal favorite – internet shopping for clothes that I return, that is, Walt returns. It's part of the artificial pleasures dance that we do at times.
Imagine yourself as Tammy, innocent, sweet, playful, and not prone to having a good imagination at the end of the day – too tired. Let's make our own pile of play toys that are ready for us when we get home at night.
If we don't have our stockpile of natural pleasures and nifty toys, the reptile will activate wires that deliver up unstoppable drives for artificial pleasures. The key with making your own stockpile of toys is to be sure at least a few of them are naughty, something deliciously private, or decadent.
I'm going to work on my stockpile of toys, but here are some starters:
- dumping the pile of clean but not ironed napkins on the table, then ironing them while watching some really inane television program. (Yes, being "kooky" is allowed).
- buying a package of jacks with a ball, and bouncing it on the kitchen table. Cool!
- a basketball next to the front door, so I practically trip on it, reminding me to go shoot hoops at the schoolyard across the street.
- there has to be something sexual, because when you think of it, sex is pretty funny. (You can fill in the blanks on that one!)
- shop online for designer clothes with a budget of $1000, putting them in the internet shopping cart. Then deleting them!
- putting a sign on the bathroom door that says, "NOT A CHANCE!" then take an entire hour by myself, taking a warm bath with favorite oils and fragrances.
Start your very own Toy List! Our hunter-gatherer genes cause the brain to light up with anticipatory joy when we even THINK about playing!
Children play, and that's how they learn. We can learn that way, too!