Looking for an adventurous day, Princess Pea, the Flash, Rainbow Bright, Snow White, and I went to Monkey Business for a play date. It was a great idea in my head, we could run and play, burn off some toddler energy, and beat the heat. Upon arriving I discovered that there is a difference between Monkey Business and Little Monkey Business. Apparently Little Monkey Business is meant for little children (like Pea and Flash) and is cheaper. But no matter, we pressed forward and made the best of it.
Of course our fun had a cost: this place was a play place for more than just children. It wasn’t long before the runny nose and congested sinuses kicked in. We pushed forward. I was in denial. I decided it was allergies. It wasn’t long before I accepted that that little germ factory had infected my child. Two days after my acceptance, I joined Pea in using up all the tissues in the house.
As we were fighting this viral invader in our life, Pokémon Go came out. Yes, I downloaded it on the first day and yes, Pea and I walked around our neighborhood (avoiding other potential casualties of the bug) and managed to get fresh air. Science says that if it’s a cold, being out in fresh air is better than being inside in the recycled infested air. Anyway, I became obsessed with “PoGo” (I guess that’s what all the cool kids are calling it).
Of course things got worse before they got better, Pea came down with an additional condition that kept us near the potty (oh we’re potty training too, and the fact that she can have a stomach issue and still make it to the potty each time is ah-mazing). Stuck inside I discovered the issue with PoGo and my apartment. Pokémon show up at the store, at my in-laws, at the park, down the street, at the gas station, pretty much everywhere but my apartment. What the heck! Stuck inside, no Pokémon in sight, I put the app away and turned my full attention for a day to reality and what I discovered was kind of cool.
I have a tendency to get obsessed about something new at least once a month. I spend so much energy and focus on my obsessions and then I burn out on them. I move on, never to return to the obsession (well, sometimes I come back to it, like a year or so later). Having the day of without my current obsession made me realize that even though there were so many benefits to Pokemon Go (being outside more, exercise, engaging Pea in a fun new activity, seeing new places) balance is so important.
During nap I perused Facebook and saw this meme:
I was torn between laughing and crying. Yes, things don’t look good for our heroes. Darkness is on the horizon and people are out looking for cartoon creatures. Things are so grim and depressing; the news is bombarded with shootings, hateful people, angry people, horrible crimes, criminals, racism, politics, and so on. We are a people divided. You can’t make a peep about your beliefs without being brutalized and receiving death threats.
Enter Pokemon Go. This game is something different. Yeah, cartoon animals appear in crazy places like toilets, grocery stories, frying pans, police stations, you get the idea. This game gets people outside and moving.
One of our days out, Pea and I were walking around Clemet Park looking for Pokémon, so was everyone else. As we walked around I found myself talking to people that I would have normally avoided. We talked in friendly terms about where we saw some interesting creatures, what our stats were, and what we hoped to find. There was no animosity, no fear, just friends. I gave and received tips to fellow trainers and all the lines in the sand were now fading.
This game has taken a country, a people who are so torn apart and filled with anger and filled them with joy, fun, and connection. My brother-in-law gangs up with some friends every night and go walking looking for Pokémon and gyms. It gives him and his buddies something better to do than loaf around. They work together, and they’re not the only ones. I see things online all the time of people who suddenly team up with others around them to get further in the game.
This game has taken a sedentary people and energized them. In Colorado people are usually outside in all conditions and places, but this has populated the outdoors even more. Sure, data and battery problems may occur, but people are out walking around, exploring new areas, looking at new things, and soaking in vitamin D.
This may be the obsession of the month for me and many others, but it may also be a new habit to help people come together, get active, and learn more about their surroundings.
What do you think about Pokémon Go? What’s your favorite Pokémon (you tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine)? What level are you/team are you on? Or just comment with any other Pokémon related thought you have.