As adults, we spend most of our week doing things we know, or we are good at, or we have trained to do. That’s totally different from playing. You don’t have to be good at playing; you just have to be playful, engaged, and present. It uses a different part of your being and brain to play. That’s probably why it can be so relaxing to play. It’s a break.
So, we went bowling the other night. Hilarious! We got bumpers, but tried to avoid relying on them. Memories of learning to bowl at girl scouts came back to me, along with the footwork diagram on the filmstrip (ok, I’m dating myself!) and the first kiss behind the bowling alley. I am lucky if I bowl over 100 but, if I do say so myself, I have great form, extending my right arm and crossing my right leg behind me. So I strutted my stuff, and laughed, and was rewarded by a couple spares and one strike and many high-fives. We have now been bowling three times in as many weeks.
The fact that my companions were also bowling in the low range helped add to the fun. Who you play with matters. A good playmate is someone who is after the same experience as you. Nothing is worse than playing a game or sport with someone way more competitive or driven than you are, or vice versa. It helps if you go into the game with the same mindset. Bowling, ice skating, mini golf, kickball, roller skating, ping pong, volleyball, and video arcades all offer opportunities to just let loose and have fun. Certainly there are people who are quite good at these games and take them very seriously, and even become professionals. But these are also games available to the average American without needing a lot of prep or skill or knowledge in order to have fun. And they meet physical and social needs too.
Do something different this weekend. Spice things up, but be ready to laugh at yourself!