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Why You Need to Make Time for Play

Play is a very touchy subject for many of us. We don’t have time for it. Sometimes we even look down on the idea (since we don’t have any time for it!). But did you know that play is one of the very things that increases our creativity? …and our happiness? (All the latest research says this.) You know by now that most of my blogs are about design, but this one is too! How do we design the life we want to live? And who doesn’t want to be more creative and happy?

In case you’ve forgotten what play looks like, here it is in one word: piddling. When did you last piddle, goof off, fool around?

Listen, no one can make the argument better than me…I don’t have time to do that! I’m running my own business; I do all my own social media; I’ve got chair orders out the wazoo; I’m helping the students in my online classes and creating new ones; I try to be there for my friends when they need me; I’m mom to two dogs; I’m the only one who really cooks in my house; My two adult daughters are back home (because of the virus); I’m attending to my aging mother who lives 3 hours away; I’ve got house and yard to take care of…The list can go on and on. And because my list is so long, it’s even more of a reason that I need to schedule a playdate for myself.

Yes, I know this is a silly picture…but I’m playing!

Play will look different for all of us. Last week I decided to make good on the painting class I purchased last fall. I set aside 3 hours to do it. I let myself get lost in the joy of just trying something new. I did not create a masterpiece, and I’ll probably never be a great painter…but who cares, it was piddling around and it was fun!

My greenhouse last summer

Being in my yard and piddling around is perhaps the most fun for me. I try to set aside time on the weekend to do just that. I clean out my greenhouse, plant something new in the yard, and attend to my little garden. Even decorating inside my house with all my dishes that I love qualifies.

In my studio; Photography by Hector Sanchez

And at times, I piddle when I work. Yes, it is possible to have play mixed with your work! It happens when I get to play with fabrics on my chairs. It happens when I start designing a new collection of chairs. And it happens when I work on fabric designs for my clients. How do I know when I’m playing? I know it when I’m having fun!

If you need to incorporate more play into your life, schedule a playdate for yourself. Take 2 hours, half a day, or even a full weekend and plan to piddle, goof off, and fool around. Work will always be there waiting for you in the background—but make the time to play. It will make you more creative and happier. It’s that simple, and it’s the recipe if you are looking for either one in life.

Wendy Conklin

I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

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Styling Guide
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Bring the Chair Whimsy aesthetic into your home with our styling guide!