Is it just me, or did we seem to have more open, free time as kids than children do today? Likewise, are our adult lives filled to the brim with activities and distractions? When was the last time you took a moment — on purpose — to just sit? No phone, no computer, no spouse and no kids. When was the last time you just spent some time with yourself and your own thoughts?
Maybe for some people, the possibility of being alone without the umbilical cord of the internet tying them to their friends, family and the world yawns ahead like a sentence of doom. But I’m going to put out there that we should schedule more unscripted free time for both ourselves as adults and for our kids. It’s seems like such a rat race today where you must be the first to post something pithy, or you don’t want to miss a second of the stream of data bytes coming from your smartphone. But there’s plenty of research out there that, ironically, to be healthy, creative and happy we must have downtime for our brains and bodies. We must ‘check in’ with ourselves, take the temperature of our emotional health, and hopefully create space to relax. For kids, not having everything scheduled (or over-scheduled) lets them figure out how to entertain themselves (especially if there are blocks of time when they aren’t allowed to plug in to their devices). For adults, we get to play again, maybe even finding weird universes at the bottom of our coffee cups.