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Shake It Off and Play On: Embracing the Magic of Playfulness in Everyday Life

Last weekend was a night to remember. I had the

incredible fortune of attending Taylor Swift's Eras tour in Cincinnati, and let me tell you, WOW doesn't even begin to capture the magic of that night!

Initially when I got a presale code, I had planned to go solo, as I didn't really have a group to share the experience with. But fate had other plans in store for me.

Just a day or two before tickets went on sale, I received a text from my Aunt. She asked if I could help make her daughter Kylie's 23rd birthday unforgettable by securing tickets for her and her friends. Without a second thought, I gladly took on the role of chaperone for Kylie and her two friends, along with my cousin Tessa. Little did I know, this adventure would be etched in our hearts for a lifetime.

It was obviously fate when I, unlike pretty much everyone I knew, secured tickets in under 15 minutes at face value. Take that, bots. The Ticketmaster debacle surrounding Taylor Swift's Eras tour sales had caused chaos and frustration for many eager fans. The company faced an unprecedented software attack that led to exorbitant resale prices and tickets disappearing from carts before payment could be made.

After people resold tickets to the concert for an exorbitant sum, I was amazed that I managed to snag our tickets at their original price.

It was a triumphant victory over the bots and a testament to my perseverance (Okay, maybe it was just a little luck).

As we embarked on our journey to the concert, five spirited women ranging from 19-28, with varying levels of physical and intellectual disabilities, I couldn't help but feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. We navigated the bustling streets of downtown, surrounded by 100,000 of our closest friends. It was a challenge, undoubtedly, but one that brought immeasurable rewards.

Along our journey, I witnessed beautiful displays of accommodations and acceptance, where our physical limitations were met with kindness and understanding. It was a heartwarming reminder of the power of inclusivity and how it can transform a simple evening into something extraordinary. Yet, amidst the moments of seamless accessibility, I also encountered instances that called for advocacy and speaking up.

As we made our way into the stadium admits a sea of excited Swifties, we headed towards the accessible elevators, we were met with workers who seemed to have a misguided understanding of disabilities. They were hell-bent on only accommodating those with visible disabilities, disregarding anyone who didn't fit the stereotypical image. Literally looking at the line of folks waiting for the elevator and picking out those with casts or obviously pregnant women. And while those folks OBVIOUSLY deserved the ride up to the top in the elevator, their physical needs were not any greater than those who have invisible physical disabilities. I couldn't stay silent. With a surge of determination, I spoke up, asserting our right to use the elevator. However, instead of understanding and empathy, we were met with attitude and attempts to split our group apart.

While my advocacy was unchallenged when I insisted that I was not to be separated from anyone in our group.

This incident was a clear example of a systemic problem that permeates various aspects of society. We must do better in validating and accepting ALL disabilities, not just the ones you can see.

But today, let's focus on the sheer FUN that we had and the importance of embracing joy, no matter our age or circumstances.

The concert was not just a musical experience; it was a celebration of life, an affirmation that playfulness knows no bounds. If you've had the pleasure of attending the Eras tour, you know what I'm talking about. This isn't just a concert. In fact, it's different than any concert I've been to. It's a showstopping performance that involves every single individual in the audience. Yes, all 65,000 of us.

In the midst of Taylor Swift's captivating performance, we sang at the top of our lungs, danced like nobody was watching, and created precious memories that will forever hold a special place in our hearts. The genuine smiles, laughter, and shared moments of pure bliss reminded me of the significance of finding delight in life's simplest pleasures.

Taylor reminds us to Laugh like a child and sing like no one's watching. She reminds us of the most important lesson I believe we all need to learn in order to live full lives: fun is not reserved solely for children.

As adults, we too deserve a hefty dose of laughter, excitement, and carefree moments that fan the flames of our joy. Playfulness is not something we should outgrow; it's an integral part of our well-being, nurturing our spirit and igniting our genuine enthusiasm for life.

So, my dearest Playful Acre community, I urge each of you to embrace those moments that invite laughter and adventure. In this busy world, it's all too easy to get caught up in the adult responsibilities and forget the magical power of play. But let us not be bound by the fear of looking silly or the pressure to conform to societal norms. Let us make playfulness a part of our everyday lives.

My outfit for the Eras tour. I channeled Taylor's "You Need To Calm Down" outfit from the music video.

Embrace your passions. What brings you true joy? Is it dancing? Painting? Singing in the shower? Whatever it may be, unleash your inner child and indulge in activities that make your heart skip a beat. When we engage in activities we love, our nervous system responds in a positive way, regulating our emotions and promoting overall well-being.

Take a moment to reflect on the last time you truly let go and allowed yourself to experience the joy of play. How did it make you feel? The truth is, playfulness has the power to uplift our spirits, reduce stress, and foster connections with others. It's through these experiences that we truly thrive.

If you're unsure of where to begin, start small. Plan a spontaneous outing with loved ones or set aside time for a hobby you've been neglecting. Buy tickets to that concert you've been wanting to see. Reach out to friends who share your adventurous spirit and embark on new experiences together. And remember, it's not about the destination, but the journey itself.

As we navigate the complexities of adult life, let us weave playfulness into the fabric of our existence. Embrace the moments that invite laughter, don't be afraid to look silly, and cherish the connections you forge with kindred souls along the way.

Let's create a world where the magic of play is celebrated by people of all ages, unlocking the potential for boundless happiness and fulfillment. Join us at Playful Acre as we continue to explore the importance of play, sharing practical tips and heartfelt inspiration to help you infuse playfulness into your own life. Together, let's embark on a journey of joyful discovery, savoring life's simple pleasures along the way.


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