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Exciting news, the Playticity Newsletter is back. If you’re interested in seeing what I’m up to, my creative process, want to become more curious, or live a more playful life, you’re in the right place.

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Now let’s get curious!

Last Tuesday, on a beautiful sunny day, I finished all my work early, felt refreshed, energized, and excited about the day. To make things even better, I decided to smoke a little cannabis. I went out for a walk, picked up a few things at the store, came back home, and laid down on my bed, hoping to relax and have some peace.

For a sativa dominant strain like I took in, it is a very heady feeling. Blood rushes upwards and you can have a lot of interesting thoughts and ideas. But this time, the thoughts were coming so fast and furious that I had no time to focus on any of them, let alone gain the relaxation and peace I was looking for. My mind was out of control.

Uday Mittal — Unsplash

I remember in the past how I was able to go for a walk, take in nature, listen to some awesome music, and enjoy the full experience. Now, there was this underlying expectation of what I should do next. The pull to take a picture of the experience so I could post it online, what cool new idea I could share with you guys, or a worry that I may have left the stove on or my door unlocked.

Ive been thinking lately about how stimulated we are as a society. We are always on, and when we are off, we are encouraged to get back on as soon as possible, lest FOMO creeps in, or we are deemed lazy. I stand here about to drink a cup of coffee, and I recognize how coffee is a microcosm of this whole thing. It tastes good, it fills you with energy, and it helps for pushing through fatigue. But what are the costs of this over-stimulation?

This past weekend I went to Costco and Ikea to buy some of the items I need for my new apartment.

These two franchises are masters at getting you to spend more money than you intended before you went in. You all know what I’m talking about, a $20 trip to Costco usually turns into a $200 one by the time you leave. It’s an event, and if your friend, spouse, or significant other doesn’t want to shop, that’s okay, they can enjoy a seat in the restaurant and buy one of Costco’s many greasy, yet delicious food items. Ikea on the other hand forces you to walk all the way through the store until you finally find the item you are looking for (if you even remember what that item is by the time you get there). And to rectify the guilt you feel for spending $100 more than you intended, at the very end lay their glorious, irresistible Swedish meat balls (I’ve actually never had them, but I hear they’re great).

After finishing the Costco/Ikea gauntlet, I felt zombified. The lighting in these places made me feel like I stared at the sun for 30 minutes straight for no reason. With eyes watering, and a crushed soul, I mercifully made it back home and unwound with a nice can of beer.

I’m not sure what I took away from this experience other then — never go through that gauntlet again, and maybe, support local?

At any rate, what I think I’m trying to get at here is that there are so many ways we are stimulated now. Big box stores, coffee, smart phones, computers, TV, all of these things crank us up like a toy doll. The difference is that the doll eventually runs out of steam; we on the other hand, well…

When’s the last time you did this? Jonathan Mabey — Unsplash

ON seems to be our default setting. I’m aware that I very well could be living under a rock and wrong about all of this, and I surely don’t want to tell you about YOUR life. But for me and my life, it seems to be the case that, MORE has become the norm, and LESS has become equivalent to laziness, or giving in, or contentment (what an icky word that is).

What I aim to do moving forward here (until I forget about it or lose willpower, which tends to happen), is slow down. Is to learn to be comfortable letting go. Is to take a breath. Is to do one thing at a time. Is to take in all the beautiful things already happening around me, right here, right now. And maybe, after all of that, play.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch all you players next week.

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Sam Goldberg

I write for overthinking millennials, and the creative voice within.