Last night was a rough night for basketball. Not only did Gordon Hayward suffer a horrific leg injury... but three (three!) of the guys I like playing with were unavailable for pickup, because it was "date night."
What are the odds, right?
But it got me thinking, "How come I've never done date night before?"
While technically Halloween is on the 31st, everyone knows that the joy of terror, horror, and benevolent transgressions must be celebrated for the entire month of October.
I started my month by thinking about these adorable and ridiculous Halloween shoes. But soon, I started seeing elaborate displays in some of my neighbors' yards.
"I peed on the campfire last night, and it steamed my lady parts," I told my backpacking companions last night, in what I thought would be a helpful contribution to a conversation about relieving oneself in nature.
The response was one I'd already heard several times that weekend: "Eva! You're... something else."
I suppose it could be argued that I'm socially awkward -- though I definitely don't feel that way. And I'm pretty sure most people don't see me that way. Why? Just because you say and do awkward things... doesn't mean you have to be awkward or unpleasant to be around.
Sometimes, spaces look playful... but you can't actually play in them. image: reddit
Don't get me wrong. I love ball pits as much as the next guy. I spent pretty much every afternoon of my childhood at Chuck E. Cheese (and, unlike kids today, I actually got to run around and play by myself while the parents drank pitchers of beer). I'm all about play, and I'm stoked that so many Silicon Valley startups want ball pits.
But here's the thing: many designers and office managers think their job is complete once they've got that ball pit installed.
Creating a playful office space requires more than that.
I love my friends. That's why I'm mean to them.
"Hey, man. There's this really cool Exeter party on Friday. I'd totally invite you... but, honestly, you're kind of a clinger, and I don't want to have to babysit you."
Being driven by a desire to win means that when you achieve your goal, you’ll feel joy. Being driven by a fear of failure means when you succeed, you’ll feel relief.
Whether training for your high school swim team or trying to make it to the pros, you've probably experienced a plateau. All athletes do! There are tons of physical reasons -- and one very mental reason -- why this happens.
I recently returned home from an epic Southeast Asia trip -- I went scuba diving in Thailand, slowboating and mountain biking in Laos, hiking and surfing in Malaysia, and five-star hotel-ing in Myanmar.
But among the highlights of my trip was visiting Elsewhere Surf Camp in Weligama, Sri Lanka. When I checked in, one of the surf instructors asked how long I was staying.
"A week," I told him.
"You'll end up staying longer," he smiled.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.
He was exactly right. According to my master's research, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. But due to the ubiquity of technology (read: passive entertainment) and high-achieving childhoods, many young adults have yet to develop their leisure skills.
The fact that they're making less money and are more likely to have debt than ever doesn't help.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. And, unlike many well-known adages that were later proven wrong ("money can't buy happiness"; "don't compare yourself to others"; "don't praise your daughter's looks"), Emerson was exactly right.
Playfulness is a skill -- not a trait. Yet, because of changes in parenting styles and culture, many children no longer learn how to play.
In fact, thanks to helicopter parenting, children are no longer learning a lot of things.
I was recently asked what I, as a feminist, thought of the web comic, "You should've asked." My answer is that there was a lot I liked, and a little I didn't. My favorite takeaway is that men aren't perfect and have a lot to learn -- but neither are women, and so do they!
In other words, people are flawed. We can all do better.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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