“Go play with your friends!”
With that, mothers almost everywhere when we were young could get us out of the house, out from underfoot.
We were less able to do the same with our children. We’d have to *take* our kids to play “dates” with friends, and organize their schedules and sign them up for teams, hire tutors, and --God Forbid! -- we could never send them out on the sidewalks or to the parks *alone*.
So I had almost forgotten about the concept of simply playing with friends. As the Good Book says, we put away those childish things.
But, oh what fun it is to revive them! Literally, to put life back into playing with friends!
I started this week. Good, better organized friends signed four of us up to learn to play bridge again. We’d all played in college, but our skills were rusty, our confidence nonexistent, and our card tables gathering dust in garages or attics, if not given away to Goodwill.
We have a lot to learn – they’ve changed some of the rules in the last 40 years (Imagine that!) – but rousing those dormant brain cells made us absolutely giddy. We can’t wait to go back next week. And in the meantime, we’re playing again (shifting work schedules, delaying dinners, doing whatever it takes – we’re hooked!) “just for fun” before the next class.
I think of these re-discoveries of self as small, but significant steps on the journey to the third third. The bridge will, of course, be good for my brain, and the friends for my heart and soul. But remembering to play – ahhhh, what a gift! It’s like a free ticket to part of the next great stage of our lives.
For more on bridge, just in case I whet your appetite, we were directed to the following sites by our extraordinary teacher at the Bridge Academy of North Dallas:
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