July 22, 2023

Playing used to mean going outside to ride my bike, play street hockey, shoot hoops in the driveway, or build something with Lego. It made senses to call those activities “playing” because they were fun and carefree. Going to the playground wouldn’t be all that much fun if it were work.

These days, “playing” means something different to me: when I’m turning at the lathe, building something with wood, trying out something on the 3D printer, or taking photographs of the things I’ve made. It’s not quite work but it does have all of the same qualities. It takes time and effort to do those activities. I’m trying to do these things in earnest, trying to learn and grow, and aiming to progress. I want to sell what I make, to be more than just sustainable. If nothing else, I’m putting in the work.

It’s enjoyable, that type of work. It’s rewarding. It fulfils the adage that you’ll never work a day in your life if you like what you do. More importantly, it’s not my job and it’s not what I do for “work”. It’s what I do after work, during my own time – which, in it’s own way is an awkward thing to say, because, surely, all of my time is my time. It’s what I’m choosing to do and I get to make the rules for success.

It is play, same as was riding my bike or swinging in the playground. Then, the point was to go faster, clear a jump, or swing higher. Now, it’s to make a pen or build a box. The outcomes are what I want them to be.

I hope that it never becomes work.


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