The Many Meanings of Work and Play

About a decade ago the ‘work & play’ concept came into my life. Since then I seem to discover new meanings for it in various parts of my life and the world at large. What I once perceived as a word for necessary tasks has become a word of joy and purpose. What I once perceived as a word to describe leisurely and happy activity has become a word that I interject to define the beneficial part of any activity.

In my business, I label myself a Work and Play Coach because I am focused on helping others build a business from home that they love – to play while they work. A home business also requires us to mesh our home and business life – to create a balance between our business (work) and leisure (play) time. And I’m a really big advocate of doing hard work to excel at and achieve personal pursuits – the ‘play hard’ philosophy.

Work or play - Work and play

When I first started developing the idea of being a coach a couple of years ago, I didn’t want to just focus on the business skills part, although my marketing and administration experience leads me to coach people in this area. The Life Coach role closely aligned with how I saw myself helping others, but it tends to focus mostly on the personal side of encouragement, which I’m definitely called to do, but just didn’t feel that was the only area to specialize in. I saw the need in my own life and in the lives of many others to have a rewarding career – to fulfill the calling on my life – but still put my family first. The home business model has worked well for this purpose.

For these reasons, the Work and Play Coach title seemed to fit well for me. Creating Work and Play became my coaching and training business name to encompass the various ways that I add value to people’s lives – not just for their personal life and not just for their business life, but to show them how to beautifully mesh the two and create the life they are meant to have.

Fun Fact

When I mentioned the work and play term came into my life about a decade ago, it was in the form of a business as well. The first business my husband and I ran together was a small engine business called Work & Play Motors. It was a fitting name to describe the range of small engines that were used for various types of outdoor work and play.

The Patient Endurance of Work and Play

Have you thought of the many ways that your life relates to work and play. Sometimes there’s a little bit of work to have lots of play and then there are situations where you have to work a lot to achieve the best kind of ‘play time’. When I write out my personal and business goals each week I section them out with the heading Work for my business tasks and Play for everything personal and family related. I’ve just started doing it that way for the last couple of months and maybe a few months down the road I’ll change the way I organize my goals again, but I share that to connect to the work and play concept that runs through so much of my life.

I use the words work and play interchangeably:

I worked on my business today.  OR I played with some business stuff today.

I worked for two hours cleaning the house.  OR I played around the house cleaning and making it look wonderful!

I played board games with my kids today. OR I worked with my kids on developing skills through board games.

I played with some pixels (one of my favourite sayings). OR  I worked on graphics.

These are a few of the ways that I’ve personally used work and play interchangeably. How I see it, the harder I work the better my play time is. Whether it’s work I’m doing for my home, my kids, my business or any other ‘work’ activities, there’s always an exceptional benefit from my effort that relates to building play in my life and the life of others.

In fact, I feel one of the most fulfilling tasks I do is the work I put into my children’s education. It is work to plan and spend time teaching my boys and it’s not always sunshine and happy tales. But the freedom that homeschooling brings them and our whole family is well worth it and represents lots of play whether it’s ‘official’ learning time or just more free time to play in areas that interest them most.

Over the 12 or so years that I’ve known the God of the Bible, I have gotten more and more in tune with the life I was created to live. The will of God for my life gets clearer the more I seek Him in various ways and I discover more about what is truly right for me and my family through this grand relationship with Jesus.  Doing hard things that is often called work is exactly what we should be aspiring to do regularly. If you’re not doing things that are hard then you’re not growing and developing. We need to work hard in every area of our life. But that hard work needs to have meaning and purpose if we’re going to get the big reward of play from it.

Don’t just do hard work because working hard has a certain level of status in our culture. Do hard work because it’s taking you closer to the life you’re meant to live. I’ve worked hard on many things that really weren’t moving me forward in any area of my life. That was avoidable and didn’t provide any benefit in the long run. Of course, sometimes we only have that knowledge in retrospect, but the older and wiser we get the more we are able to quickly identify what work is worth it and what work is not.

The beautiful promises of God that are strewn all throughout the Bible are about the play we can have in life from the fulfilling work we do.

From Hebrews 10:36 –  Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Patient endurance, or perseverance, to keep moving forward and doing the hard things emotionally, mentally or physically is what I like to call the good life! There will always be the unexpected in life that we need to overcome, the challenges that we need to face and the difficulties that we need to plow through. Whatever way you look at it, we need to choose to work in many different ways, so we can attain the experience and knowledge that gives us the greatest play time of our lives.

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