You know why people love kids? They know how to have fun. In fact, some might say it’s their purpose in life. That’s why I loved teaching 8th graders. Most people feared them, but I relished their ability to find laughter and fun in nearly everything they did. Even if their fun was at my lesson’s expense.
We lose the ability to be naturally fun as we get older. The increasing responsibilities, the more frequent ugliness of life, the sheer volume of stuff we acquire, both physically and mentally, makes it hard to be light and loose. But I’d argue that we need fun more than ever as adults.
I remember years ago I went to see an intuitive therapist and after an hour with her the one thing she sent me away with was this: “you need to figure out how to have fun.”
Here’s the way I see it. We have two choices, look for fun or make our own.
What I mean by look for it is that we need to make a conscious effort to recognize when we’re having it. Too often we get overwhelmed and don’t even realize we’re having a pretty good time with some of our life. For instance, this damn baseball team I got roped in to coaching. I’m having a ball. The kids are silly but also really motivated, which you don’t always get in a classroom (even one teaching cooking). The kid-coach relationship is apparently exactly the kind I like. While I get bogged down with a group of kids where “learning outcomes” are the goal, I have a lot of laughs when homerun is the goal. Never in a million years would I have answered the question, “what do you do for fun?” with “coach baseball to a bunch of 8 year olds”. But, I’ve learned to find the fun in it and it has enhanced my life. That’s looking for it where it already exists.
What if you can’t find any in what you’re already doing? Simple, make it. Last year I wrote about spontaneously buying concert tickets for The Husband and I. That little night out was great fun and carried me through quite a few boring, trying days that came after it. Well, recently I did it again. It’s no independent local group show this time and we’ve rallied a whole group of crazies to attend with us. Just the promise of it has made each day a little brighter. I know we’ll have fun and just the knowing is enough for now.
Don’t underestimate the value of pure, unadulterated fun. Find it in your life or make it in your life. However you get it, just get it.
Without fun, why are we all working hard to live longer?
Let’s live longer…well.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.