Permission To Play


“I think the world as a whole, is in need of a good laugh. I think we’re in need of somebody to lift our spirits, to not take ourselves too seriously and to break some cynicism – worldwide.”  Candace Payne

By now I am sure you have seen or heard of the YouTube video of the woman sitting in her car in a Kohl’s parking lot laughing while putting on a Star Wars Chewbacca mask. Her name is Candace Payne, a mother of two from Texas. Well if you are not part of the 133 million people who have watched it, let me tell you the whole plot. She puts on this mask and proceeds to laugh hysterically over the sounds that the Chewie mask is making. That’s it. Period. End of story. So why did this little video go viral? Because she is radiating pure joy and silliness and we all want some! Her ability to just be so authentic, so herself, so real, and share her joy in this video is contagious – you can’t help but start laughing with her. She is so incredibly adorable being silly that you feel like she is your best friend and you want what she has. She has hit a nerve in our culture with something so simple as sharing her joy.

The other part of this story that I find really interesting is that she had gone into Kohl’s looking for yoga pants after deciding she wanted to motivate herself to get fit. After feeling discouraged about how she looked she decided to lighten her spirits and get her kids a toy instead. She “accidentally” bumped into the Star Wars mask and it made the low Chewbacca growl that cracked her up. In that moment she decided that this mask was for her – not her kids – and the rest is history.

At the end of the video she says, “It’s just the simple things” Ain’t that the truth! One of the things that can sometimes happen with Facebook is we can see other people jetting off to a vacation, or eating at fabulous restaurants, or showing pictures of their fabulous lives and feel we don’t measure up. But that’s what I love about this video – she wasn’t showing off or doing anything other than demonstrating the simplest of pleasures: joy and laughter.

With summer here I decided I was going to use her line of “It’s the simple things” and make a list of all the simple pleasures I could commit to and
make this summer season fun and full of joy and laugher (and this can go for the whole year too!). In the past, many summers have flown by and I was busy working or trying to answer all my emails while the rest of the world was at the beach enjoying themselves. So here is my declaration: simple pleasures and lots of laughter will be mine this summer…. AND going to the beach, laying on a hammock reading a great book, throwing a summer BBQ party and not worrying about everything being perfect, play dates with friends, and lots of permission to just play! How about you – whatcha gonna do????

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