This past weekend I was at a friend’s surprise birthday party. It was a fabulous “girls only” evening where a bunch of us got together to talk, laugh, eat and drink just a little. It was the kind of night that was healing for the soul. I hadn’t seen many of these “soul sisters” for far too long and catching up with them felt comfortable and important.

But because we hadn’t seen each other for some time the question that inevitably came up was, “What have you been up to?” And I found myself answering, more often than not, “Oh, you know… work, work and more work!”

Now, I run my own business and we recently launched a service line that catapulted us right back into start-up mode, with all the good, the bad and the ugly that goes along with that. We are definitely  bootstrapping this new endeavor and I’m wearing multiple hats – and job titles – as we get it off the ground. It’s exhausting but also exhilarating, being in this place of creation and growth. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it, and for all the struggles and stumbles that I’ve experienced during my years in business I would not have chosen to walk along any other path.

As the evening progressed we eventually migrated from the kitchen and dining room into the living room where we sunk into the soft, pillow-like couches and chairs and our hostess flitted through the room, distributing warm and cozy blankets for us to cuddle up in. The blankets, couch and wine began to take an effect and we settled into a lovely friendship and camaraderie  as the snow began falling gently outside.

That’s when Ginny got her Angel Cards out and offered readings to anyone who was interested. She explained that these cards are supposed to provide guidance to each of us in our lives. We each took turns picking a card and hearing Ginny’s take on the message. A few people picked a card about being more grounded and focused, a couple of fellow entrepreneurs picked the “shower of abundance” card, which prophetically talks about richness and goodness that is on its way. One friend got a strong message in a card about service, and then it was my turn.

I reached for the cards and imagined which one I would like to pull. Abundance seemed the likely choice as I close my eyes and allowed my hand to be drawn energetically towards “my” card.  I picked it out, handed it to Ginny and waited expectedly.

“Ah,” she said, “this is a good one for you. It’s Play.”

“Play?!” I could hardly believe my ears. I don’t have time to play. I have a business to run!

But then I surrendered to the soft couch, the wine and the warm blanket, and let Ginny talk.

“What I’m getting from this,” she said, “is that life is short and you have to make time for fun, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Working hard is good but playing hard is just as important.”

I mulled this over, savoring the idea as if it were some exotic fruit, completely new to my palette. Play hard. Hmmm. That’s something I certainly haven’t been doing much of lately, but maybe it could be possible… As I pondered I began to see not only the possibilities but also the opportunities, where I could leave work a little early and go hiking with my dog, or where I could get out to the barn to see my horse more than once or twice a week.

It was amazing, seeing the possibilities that began opening up once Ginny put that suggestion out there. It’s only been a few days so far, but scheduling a little bit of play in here and there is leaving me with more creativity and energy to approach my work. Maybe those angels really were onto something, after all!

Elin Barton is a long-time entrepreneur, the founder of Ready, Set, Grit and the author of Ready, Set, Grit: A Three-Step Formula for Turning Your Daydream into a Phenomenal Success. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen, dreaming up new dishes, playing with her horse, reading, and traveling just about anywhere. Connect with Elin at elin@elinbarton.com