My Boxer looks at me with his big, brown eyes, begging to play. I’m busy being responsible and productive. I have things to write on my laptop, future books to consider, and calls to make. He doesn’t care.
He has incredible patience about this thing called play. He stares at me like a hypnotist, his eyes turning into swirling circles. I finally tuck away my latest critical task and get off the couch. He grabs his rooster, a favorite toy noted by the dirt and half-eaten beak.
This rooster crows three times when it hits the floor, which is all very biblical. The warbling sound delights the dog and drives us crazy.
Before I know it I am chasing the rooster down the hallway. My dog is side-swiping me and under-cutting me, and at one point I am slammed against the wall. My dog weighs about 85 pounds, and if you know Boxers they’re serious players.
I move it outside, and we run around the grass. He flies through the air, ears flopping, and I swear I see a smile. That makes me laugh, and before I know it we are both in the moment. I throw my arms up in victory when he catches the rooster mid-air. His tail wags, and several real crows start to join in the fun with their caws of encouragement.
The entire play period lasts about ten minutes, but I am renewed. The dog comes to me, breathing hard, and signals that he needs a break. We walk inside and he drops the rooster by the dining room table to await the next play period. I return to work, and he goes to his bed.
But we are both happier, and my work is reenergized.
You might not have your dog at work, but find a way to play. Talk to somebody who makes you laugh. Race somebody to the bathroom. Go out to the parking lot and walk around. Play a song on your headset and dance in a bathroom stall.
There’s a reason why workers spend too much time on social media at work. If I had a large business there would be hopscotch in the foyer and four-square in the parking lot. I would demand that every couple of hours we spend 15 minutes playing. Yep, I would call recess.
Play is the celebration of work well-done. Play is the tail-wagging part of your day. No matter how big your tail, let it wag. Dance. Throw your arms in the air.
Your work will thank you.