When I was young, playing hooky was fun…as long as we weren’t caught.  Well, today I want to be caught doing just that…as often as possible.   Playing hooky means I’m stepping out of the normal routine and doing something different.   Just thinking about it makes me smile.

My last sojourn into stepping out of the routine was last Friday.   I normally work a full day with one of my clients in New York City.    While I wasn’t spontaneous with my hooky antics, I did plan for an afternoon play date with my friend.

I worked from 9:30-12:30 and took care of all of the important activities for the client.  Then I set out for my fun day.  The weather was a perfect mid-60 degree, not too warm or too cold.  I walked from 57th and Lexington over to 53rd between 5th and 6th.  We planned to have lunch, visit The American Folk Art Museum and then walk around Rockefeller Center.

We ate outside at the China Grill (unexpectedly expensive) and shared abundant and delicious food.   I could feel my body relaxing under the sun’s rays as well as sharing the time with a dear friend.

Then we stepped across the street and went to the American Folk Museum.   This wonderful museum stands on the same street alongside the well-known MOMA, so it’s easy to miss.   For two hours, we were treated to exquisite examples of American Art.    I had a limited view of American Art before entering this museum.  The exhibits of Paula Nadelstern:  Kaleidoscope Quilts and Ulysses Davis, an artist that worked in wood, as well as Henry Darger who illustrated his book with his prolific art pieces, gave me a broader perspective.  The images of their work still linger within me today.

Then we leisurely walked over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.   The streets were bustling with people enjoying a warm spring day.    The inside of the Cathedral is visually active, yet wonderfully peaceful.    We sat in a pew, talked for a while, and just absorbed the beauty of the Church.    At first, I felt I had to look at everything, and then I just relaxed within the presence of grandeur.

After that, we walked over to Rockefeller Center, found a Starbucks, ordered coffee, and sat outside watching hundreds of people walk by.  We were sipping our coffee, chatting about nothing and enjoying the closure of a delightful day together.  Around 6:45, we made out the way to the subway to take our separate trains home.

Outside of the restaurant, the day was relatively inexpensive, and I take away a beautiful memory to review over in my mind as well as share again with my friend…when we visit memory lane together.

I have a strong work ethic, so I never worry about not working.  It’s my ‘fun’ ethic that I’m concerned about these days.     Fun is anything that allows me to feel good.  I can have fun at work and do enjoy what I do.   Though the work routine calls for a break…that’s where playing hooky is perfect.

There are more “To Do’s” on my list than I could ever complete in a day.  Since I can’t complete them all and somehow the world continues the next day, I know we have plenty of time to play hooky.  I now have a wonderful memory of a deliciously warm day outside, stimulated by great art, and sharing this all with a beautiful person…my friend.

Your Thoughts

Do you make time to play hooky?   You can play hooky alone, with a friend, with the kids.   Find time to play hooky…even if it is for a short time.  Work is always there, yet playful memories have to be created.  I know I will plan another day to play soon.

Women’s Group Topics

What ways does each of you add play into your day?   Can play and work be the same?   How often do you spontaneously play?    Do you consider play childish?

Be well,

“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(Pat Brill)


Other Posts You May Be Interested In
What’s This About “Letting Go?”
Cleaning Out My ‘Guilt’ Closet
The Power of Forgiveness



The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin









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4 thoughts on “Do You Know How to Play Hooky?

  1. hi, i love to play hooky, too. makes me find out a little bit of myself and the world around me everytime. and now that i have a son, i make it sure he enjoys the same thing. 🙂

  2. you are right…when I play hooky, it does help me find out more about myself. I feel lighter and then am more open to the experiences around me.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Pat, In the UK – “Playing Hooky” is an old fashioned word for kids that skip school.

    I have not heard it used in this sense before…

  4. Hi Jonathan
    That’s is why I used the word ‘hooky.’ We all know it’s about being a child and skipping school. Used as a metaphor, what can we skip today to add joy into our lives.

    I never worry about my responsibility muscles…they are overworked. My playful muscles that add value to my life need some flexing, so why not play hooky.

    Thanks for stopping by.


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