It’s Okay to Play: Meeting Marmite

Firstly, Marmite is my dog; a 12 week old chocolate brown Cockapoo; but more about her in a minute.

If you read my last blog, you would know that I have found post-university life quite difficult. Since finishing university, adult life has hit me quite hard and the stark realisation of it is overwhelming. Gone are the days of Netflix binging, staying up till 5am, and running around the room pretending to be walking through treacle whilst making bear noises. Or are they?

My second year was intense, and very hard work, and I was constantly looking forward to each task being over so that I had some down time, and then would be looking forward to the next thing being done, continuing to wish away my degree. My course was different to most people; the hours were long, and the work was intense, and there weren’t societies or loads of socials to attend, so my life was LIPA for three years. Whilst I was busy wishing away the hard work, I wasn’t concentrating on what I was doing which made me feel great everyday. And that was playing. At the core of my degree was the ability to play, and the skills and experiences to encourage others to join, and it is only now, after graduating that I truly appreciate the relevance and importance of this in adult life.

Too often we can get tied down (and I am a culprit of this) with bills, money, work, cleaning the house and making sure your trousers match your top. That isn’t to say that none of these matter, and you should forget to do them all, but in the whole grand scheme of things, they aren’t what I should let my world revolve around. The trousers and top statement has come from a comment that was made to me at the sweet shop I work in last week and for some reason, it bothered me. A member of staff said to me, “why are you wearing those jeans? They look stupid, they don’t match.” I was left feeling totally embarrassed and couldn’t wait to get home to remove my purple jean and blue top combo (which I was rocking by the way!) But then, as I got home, I started to think about why the comment had bothered me so much. As a society, we do not often criticize what other people look like, so the comment appeared rude and therefore made me feel uncomfortable as it is not something I am used to, but I had also been criticized for what I am wearing, which is a personal reflection of how I was feeling that morning when I opted for the purple jeans over the mundane blue ones, that to be honest, deserved a day off. And that comment inspired 50% of this blog, as I said to myself, “if I want to wear a Christmas jumper with matching socks in February, I will, if I want to wear pink shoes, with orange trousers, a pink top and a red hat, I will.” Who says what ‘goes’ and what doesn’t? And who cares?! There are defiantely bigger fish to fry than whether my outfit ‘matches’ and I thought it looked cool, and I will be wearing it to work again.

Too often we tell ourselves that we are grown up now, we have to dress, speak, and behave in a certain way in order to meet some ridiculous expectation we have set ourselves of adulthood. Well, I challenge that.

***

I have never had a dog before, they smell, and they are hard work, and my parents never wanted one, so we had cats, and fish, and the odd worm my sister decided to split in half (she thought they grew into 2 worms). But when we both left for university, my Mum couldn’t quite handle the classic empty nest syndrome, so bought a puppy. I never worried that I wouldn’t like her, anything small and fluffy that has a cute face, I’m sold, but I didn’t expect to feel quite as strongly as I do.

She must know that I am talking about her because she is currently sat chewing my sock.

We have only had her 2 weeks, and I have already been home as much as possible to spend as much time as I possibly can getting to know her, and oh my gosh she is the most fantastic thing. She poo’s a lot, and then eats it, which isn’t so nice, but she is the biggest bundle of energy and has brought nothing but absolute happiness into the house. But one thing that really struck a chord with me is what she has done to my mum and me.

On a normal Sunday night in, we would have tea, natter a bit, watch some telly whilst playing on our phones, natter some more and go to bed. Not anymore. We now sit on the floor, rolling around, throwing various toys to one another and chase a 12-week-old puppy around the garden urging her not to poo on the carpet.

We play, and its great.

I didn’t realise quite how much I missed it. I spent three years at LIPA rolling around the floor and pretending not to enjoy it, but I do and I think everyone loves to play in one way or another. My Dad is the least performing artsy type in the world, he is rarely silly, and I have never ever seen him dance. However, even he likes to play. He loves bikes, everything to do with them, and spends most of the hours of his day cleaning a bike that he cleaned the night before and hasn’t ridden, and messing with all of the little nuts and bolts that attach to the various bits of the framework. This is playing, and he loves it.

My point is, that playing is okay. It doesn’t make you childish, or immature. Run around the park pretending to be a flamingo if you want to, “be the bear” as a lecturer once told me, and wear clothes that don’t match, because life is too short to worry about stuff that doesn’t matter. Meeting Marmite reminded me how great it is to play, and on that note, I’m off to clean up the 2 wee’s she has done whilst I have been writing this, and then we are going to play tug of war with a toy dinosaur.

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