Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that has shifted its focus to one of overindulgence. We are encouraged to eat as much as we can and drink as much as we can while laugh as much as we can and even cry as much as we can becoming byproducts of family tensions rather than togetherness. Then, the day after arrives and we are encouraged to overindulge in spending and shopping as much as we can. “Is this why we take the day off,” I ask myself? Rather than spend the day fighting for parking, and sales prices which are really just bait to encourage shopalcoholism, and dealing with masses of stressed out shoppers, I decided to dedicate Black Friday to a day of free play. Do you remember having “free play” during summer camp? There was no scheduled activity attached to it and you could do whatever you wanted in the large gym for an hour.
Rather than obsess over the holidays, the diet promises you didn’t keep, or the lurking holiday around the corner, I am offering that you, instead take a day of free play. Take one day this season for the child within. As adults we forget how good it is to let go and just run through a field; or swing as high as you can; or skateboard up and down your block. How wonderful Black Friday could be, if every single adult could spend the day playing, dreaming, climbing, sweating, laughing, running, panting, building, screaming, chasing without a worry in the world. But why limit it to that one day when life has the potential to be so much more sublime. It all depends on how you look at things, and that is not a guess.
I ventured with Stephen and Lucas to a public park in Deland, Florida, where we spent the weekend with family. While visiting this recreational oasis which, included a really cool skate park, I was reminded of the power of play. I got on a big swing and swung as high as I could while gazing up into the empty blue sky. I watched skateboarders practice their dance on metal rails. I watched cheerleaders work their routines and I watched my son run through a flock of ducks by a reservoir. And I had fun. The best kind of fun, free fun, magical fun, the type of fun that allows you to escape your adult worries.