It was my last stop for the day. The parking garage at the hospital had been more crowded than usual. I didn’t stop at the information desk but headed straight toward the designated elevator.
As I passed an older couple going down the ramp, I gave them the usual nod and smile. My smile broadened into a grin, however, when, the gentleman, trailing slightly behind the woman, pointed a banana at me and gave me the semblance of a menacing look. I wondered if his wife knew that he was playing “stick up” at passersby with a fruit behind her back.
As I contemplated the incongruity of the situation and headed up on the elevator, I thought about how nice it was for someone to have a sense of humor in a place that can be marked by dour expressions. As a dropped off a get well card for a resident, I noticed the family members gathered in the waiting room for the critical care unit. I hoped I never had to spend a day there, waiting anxiously for news about my loved one.
As I turned to get back on the elevator, I noticed a bowl of fruit and snacks beside the coffee machine. A banana was conspicuously absent from the bowl. Was my wannabe outlaw friend returning home after a long day of supporting a family member in need?
A sense of play and adventure may be the best medicine for times of stress. In fact, being playful is actually one of the characteristics of a resilient person. Not only does a little play relieve stress, you can take life’s challenges in stride when you’re willing to laugh at yourself or the situation.
In addition, a little play may brighten someone else’s day, like the Banana Bandit did for me.