PDF: A Redefinition

In 1993 the PDF format for sharing documents was launched, complete with an eight page ad in the Wall Street Journal. PDF, as most probably know, stands for Portable Document Format and has become universally recognized as the most efficient way to share files across different devices and operating systems. I recently came across an article that creates a fun, but meaningful twist on the definition of PDF.  The article was written by Denise Pope, who is also the co-author (along with Maureen Brown) of the book Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids. One of the recommends that Pope offers to help support the overall well-being of kids is summed up in the idea that kids need more PDF time in their lives. In this case, PDF stands for Playtime, Downtime, and Family/Friend time.

As our American culture places a high value on achievement, productivity, and success, it is easy to think of playtime, downtime, and family/friend time as things that are nice, but not necessary. What if, though, we were to think of this kind of PDF not in an "either/or," but in a "both/and mindset? Productivity and achievement are important AND so are playtime, downtime and family time. As with so many things in life, balance is the key.

Knowing how much my wellness suffers (along with the wellness of those around me) when I neglect my need for playtime, downtime, and friends and family time in my life, I realize that kids are not the only ones in need of adequate PDF. Like the lumberjack who never takes time to stop and sharpen their saw, I too, became dull and less productive when I get out balance. All work and no play will make Jack, or indeed any of us, dull indeed.

Summer is the perfect time to enhance our PDF, for kids and adults alike. And for those of you with kids in your lives, prioritizing PDF with your children now is a way to create memories and that benefit both you and your children.

PDF is more than just a universal way to share files. It turns out it is also a universal format both for wellness and a fun summer.