Be Playful

Posts Tagged ‘fun

This is a guest blog post from Damien Riley of Postcards from the Funny Farm.

It’s great to have a chance to guestblog here. I am intrigued by the psychology of humor and laughter and especially by trying to maintain a childlike outlook for myself. When you truly play you learn.

When people ask me how I learned to tweak my WordPress themes, or how to do PowerPoint lessons for my classes, or anything tech I do, I always tell them I learned it through playing and experimenting. For that matter, it’s how i learned guitar and songwriting, and yes … most recently … parenting. Play is an important part of our psyche and an important way we can tap in to get inspired. I want to tell you about a time recently where I played like a kid, even though I am 38 years old!

My wife belongs to a mom’s group and this particular evening I had just got home from work and a few from her group had come over to the house to scrapbook. I was told I didn’t have to participate and could go get a Starbucks if I wanted (they have WIFI). I decided it would be cool to get out and do something so I grabbed my keys and decided to go roam the neon buzzing aisles of our local grocery store. Can you say: ‘Snacks for my lunch, SOBEs, and brown bags?’ These things get me excited nowadays, I know it’s sad. As my son, 10, and I walked through the automatic sliding doors, I saw the electric shopping carts. Now I know technically these are meant for the elderly and the handicapped, but there were 7 shiny ones in a row! Who would we be hurting? I mentioned the idea of cart racing to my son and he turned red with excitement. This was truly a moment of play!

What followed was a hilarious spin through the store that my son and I will never forget. We laughed harder than we have together in a long time. I know it is crazy and I know it will probably get rumors started in my community that people ‘saw Mr. Riley had been in a shopping wheelchair,’ but I don’t care. it was worth it getting some child-like play in. Having said that, rest assured I have decided I will never do this type of racing again.

It made the usual job of shopping a lot more fun though and it allowed me to see a perspective I don’t normally see, but they really should be reserved for the folks who truly need them.


The next time you are in a mundane environment like a grocery store, think of some way you can do it differently. It can be something as simple as arranging the foods in a different way in your cart. If you don’t mind being seen and having folks roll their eyes at you, I highly recommend shopping cart speed racing, it’ll take you from 38 to 8 in 60 seconds. This is a picture my son took of me setting mid-course. Keep laughing.

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damien-rileyDamien Riley, author, teacher and dad, keeps an eye on pop culture, the news, and humor all around us. His blog, Postcards from the FunnyFarm, covers topics including inspiration, humor, and psychology. Damien’s mission statement for his writing has been “to publish creative and innovative content” since December of 2006. He is married to Sarah, also a teacher and blogger. Together they have 3 children.


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