Just a few weeks ago Steve, Ant, and I took a road trip to Corning, NY. We weren’t going on a vacation or just hittin’ the road for fun…we were going for work. We had been asked by the Family Service Society of Corning to present a full-day workshop to a group of counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, family support workers, clinicians, therapeutic foster parents, shelter staff, and probably some other folks too. Most of these folks wanted to learn about joy, play, and playfulness as a way of enhancing their clinical practices, so we talked a lot about the theory behind play as a therapeutic, or healing, tool. We also shared a bunch of games with them that they could hopefully implement into their practices with young children up through adults. Overall the day was fun, and both the framework and tools that we shared with the people of Corning seemed to be well received.
But I digress to share another story. It’s a 6 ½ hour drive from Boston to Corning and thankfully, we had driven there the day before the training. We all knew that we would be looking forward to getting home and although Corning, NY has many touristic treasures (including Steve Gross’s birthplace), we were singing with Willie Nelson just about as soon as the training was over…”on the road again…” It made for a very long day—we finally arrived in Boston around midnight, but there was something special about that drive home that made the 414 miles seem different (and it wasn’t the stop at Denny’s for dinner). The time didn’t exactly fly…but it somehow felt a little richer as we pulled out old school games like 20 Questions and did our best to stump each other. And I don’t mean the new electronic 20Q game that asks you questions and you try to fool the “computer.” No, Steve thought of pizza and Ant and I asked him yes or no questions to try to decipher what exactly he was thinking of. We didn’t get pizza in 20 guesses…go figure. Ant had us guessing about Ellen DeGeneres. I thought of a toe ring for Steve and Ant to guess. We laughed, we shouted, and we cheered each other on as we competitively bantered. We had fun. I know I was ready to get out of that back seat after all those miles and hours, but that wasn’t what I remembered when I walked through my front door. I arrived home thinking about how neat (that’s such an old school word!) it is to feel silly, joyful, and connected to my co-workers—my friends—by playing such an incredibly simple, old school game like 20 Questions.
Going on that road trip was for work. But was the work, and the trip, fun? Yes, you may have guessed, it was definitely fun!