You can almost feel it in the air. It’s been the topic of conversation in most small talk, and possibly in some work-related discussions. Even without using the actual words, it doesn’t take long to figure out that someone is talking about it. The effect of it is palpable-there is an excitement. Will it really happen this time? We have gotten our hopes up before and but were disappointed; should we dare to hope?
Will we really get…a snow day?!
For those of you who don’t live in the south, this may be difficult to understand. We will get the threat of snow most winters, but it doesn’t always come to fruition. But, when it does, it usually causes our roads to ice and since we don’t have the equipment to make travel safe, we cancel things. School, church, sporting events.
And we get really excited. Why is that? It’s not like there is such a universal dislike of our jobs that we will take any opportunity to miss. I think the answer is because a snow day is synonymous with play, and adults rarely get the chance to play.
Years ago, I was working on a paper for an English class and had to investigate the role of play. It’s been a while and I honestly don’t remember much, except that it is a phenomenon I’d never stopped to consider. I thought about looking into this to refresh my memory, but I have heard that doing a Google search on “adult play” can get you into some serious trouble.
At what age do we lose the concept of play? What is it about growing up that means that we can’t play anymore? The desire is still there-look at how we react to a something like a snow day. Why is it that play feels contradictory to maturity and responsibility?
Of all the things that a child has to be taught, he or she doesn’t have to be instructed to seek play. I think it’s one of the aspects of human nature that we were designed to have and that is good. I think that since we are designed for play, we need to recognize and embrace opportunities to play when they arise. There are obviously some situations where it isn’t appropriate, but when we do have a legitimate choice between work and play, let’s sometimes choose play.
Play is part of the good around us. It helps us to escape for a bit from the fears and dangers we read and hear about. It helps us to pay attention to the here-and-now and not think about what lies ahead. And, it helps us to reconnect with our fun-loving side that just wants to be in the snow.