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Play [publisher's letter]

Publisher Tracy Patterson with her dog sitting in the desert resting up from a hike

Tracy Patterson

I laughed right out loud while reading the article on playfulness on page 12 in this month’s edition. I always considered myself pretty fun-loving, and was even deemed “smiley” by some along the way. Despite my playful nature, I still managed to rock my work and polish off a couple of university degrees. I’m not trying to brag, but instead making the point that we can be playful and still get a lot accomplished—usually more than those who don’t allow levity into their lives.

For me, as the years went by, my smiling, playful nature diminished somewhat. It wasn’t that I was a complete grouch, but the ratio was getting to be too much seriousness and not enough playfulness. As my co-workers and I used to say jokingly in the elevator on the way up to our jobs back in the day, “Okay, we’re almost there, no smiling, no laughing.” Well, the no smiling, no laughing part started increasing over time in an insidious way.

In more recent years, I found myself missing my old, playful way of being. I’d see glimpses of it, but not consistently enough for my liking. So, I set about changing that by seeing the lighter side of things—not taking things so seriously (including myself); remembering to smile and laugh; engaging in fun hobbies; spending time around positive people; watching original Disney cartoons, like 101 Dalmatians, on YouTube; and belting out a song on or off key. Oh, and sweating. A good old workout does wonders to reduce stress and loosen up my muscles, including the “smiling” ones!

And you’ve likely noticed the coloring picture I’ve included in the magazine. I purposely include this to encourage readers to have a moment or two of playfulness.

I find that it’s important, like any other habit I want to create, to remind myself to always incorporate bits of play throughout each day—it dramatically improves my quality of life, makes me way more productive, and is just a lot more fun!


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