When I was little, I played by myself a lot. I also played with neighbor kids. My cousins, too, when I was lucky. Our cats and dogs. Shrubbery. Trees… Birch in particular. My stuffed animals, dolls, and action figures.
As a child, I deeply valued free creative playtime. The places I most fondly remember playing are in the front yard of our house between the front of the house and the trees and shrubbery that lined it. And in the formal living room of wherever we happened to be living that year.
In the living room, I would set up an office, a clinic, a retail store, and once even an airport. But I don’t think I ever made as good a use of it with any of those as I did with my talk show set. I would sit and chat with my stuffed animals and cabbage patch dolls. I would ask them questions. Sometimes scandalous ones that they’d never answer.
C’mon, Fuzzy McTwinkletoes. The people want to know.
I’d ask them what they’d been up to while they were home alone during the day as though their activities were exciting and unknowable. I would dive deep into why they did things. What they wanted to be when they grew up. I had so many questions and they had endless answers.
Looking back I wonder if it sounds sad from the outside. But reflecting on my feelings… these were some of my most joyful moments. This is the kind of thing that I miss when I think of being a kid.
And honestly, I don’t miss much about being a kid so it feels very special.
I hadn’t really thought much about how that form of play as a child informs how I play as an adult until today when the 100th video from my latest hobby was released…
Oh hey, did I mention that we started a podcast? I feel like the answer to that maybe depends on where you follow me. But if it’s only here on this blog then the answer is very much, “No. No, you did not.”
So hey… Rick and I started a podcast about three months ago. And as part of that experience, we’ve been uploading our videos – a mixture of banter between the two of us, interviews with some amazing folks, and shorts that are just… well they’re just shorts made up from fun bits and pieces of the conversations we have with ourselves, each other, and our guests. Today Rick uploaded our 100th video. Of course, it is one of those totally meta experiences talking about our 100th video in our 100th video…
After I watched the video he patched together from bits and pieces of our confessional-style recordings I realized just how much fun this project has been. For us yes.
But also for ME. Because that’s who I talk about on this blog: me.
There isn’t much in life that sets me into the carefree childhood state of independent play. Until this afternoon, I don’t think I realized anything did bring me back to that feeling.
And yet here we are. I’m using my living room to interview people about what their lives are. What their passions are. What they’re doing to thrive in this world. I’m hosting a little talk show from my fancy couch just like I did when I was a kid.
The only difference is that the guests come up with their own answers instead of me having to do it for them. Well, that, and the odd little fact that then these interviews are recorded and shared with the wide world. I mean the wide world isn’t watching them. But they could. If they wanted to. I guess all this is just to celebrate a small win. Not the 100th video, I’ve already celebrated that.
This is to celebrate that I’m still able to play. To feel joy. To have a spark. To have something I want to do now as much as I did when I was a little kid.
I feel like we all need more playtime in our lives. This is mine.
What are you doing to play? I’d love to see your fun projects! If you feel like sharing them let me know what you’re up to in the comments!