3rd life is a great era to make time to be wild and playful again. As career-oriented adults, there were so many things that needed to be managed and accomplished and often the joy and whimsicality of our younger selves moved to the background. It just kind of happened. You might not even know when. But play is delightful. It is widening. It slows down our experience of time. Maybe you have watched your grandchildren run and squeal as they are on the beach. Maybe you delighted in watching the blissful abandon as your puppy played with another canine friend just giving himself to the moment like nothing else ever existed. Now is the time to rediscover play! Countless authors, scientists, and therapists have told us that it not only adds happiness, but it also helps our creativity and even intelligence.

What would it be like if you gave yourself permission to play? What would that look like? You can bring play into your life in so many ways and there are no rules. Whatever feels playful to you is it. Here are some suggestions to help you rediscover playful ways.

  1. Think back to your favorite past times as a child when you felt happy, wild, and free? My favorite childhood memories include excursions in nature, climbing trees, and running in the fields. How about you? Was it drawing or building things? Was it being on the road with your backpack and your Euro Rail pass not knowing where you would sleep that night? Was it throwing around clay in the pottery studio? Was it in a creative class at college? Go back through your life and look for what triggered that wild feeling of just playing. Playfulness is creative.


  1. Another way to add play is to include lightheartedness to things you already do. You could do things more playfully by dancing through it. I know one guy who took up vacuuming of the house after he and his partner launched 3rd He decided to dance with the vacuum by playing loud favorite rock music he loved during his college years. He literally danced while vacuuming. He said it put him in a good mood for a while afterward because it was so silly. You can go for a walk and add a skip every now and then. There is nobody to impress but you.


  1. Connect with others that invite playful lightheartedness in you. We all have many aspects to ourselves. We tend to be and bring out different selves depending on who we interact with. You may not feel invited to bring out your playful self with your banker. However, your friend who shares belly laughs with you brings out your playful side. Who in your life brings out the playful, whimsical you? Reach out. Cook up some fun adventure together.


You will need to play with the possibilities to figure out what feels most fun and playful for you. You will need to try things. Some you will throw out and some you will keep. The road map here is experimentation. Try it. I know you have heard me say it before, but there are no rules now. You make up the rules and, together, we are hunting for the “just right” 3rd life experience for you.

How about if for the next 5 days, you do one thing that feels playful for you and just ”play” with this idea. Toss it around and see what it does to your day. Does it make you smile? Does it make you feel silly and lighter? What type of things did it for you? Just notice and collect it in your mental/written possibility list.

Thank you for reading my blog. I am passionately obsessed with discovering and sharing strategies that add contentment, joy, and forevermore satisfaction to your 3rd life. Stay tuned for more ways to make the rest of your life your best life yet.