Depending on your personality, this may seem redundant. As for me, I need to remind myself occasionally to stop and have fun. One day we had some friends over to our cabin near a national forest, and they wanted to go for a walk. They were very professional people and had never spent more than five minutes in a forest in their life. I took them for a walk quite a way back into the forest, and the sky began to cloud up, so I said to them, we might want to head back because otherwise, we’re going to get wet.
They said, oh, let’s keep going. It doesn’t matter. Indeed, it did start to rain, but we made fun out of it.
They told me as they were leaving that walking in the forest in the rain was a highlight of our time together. I was surprised until I thought about the fun we had as they were very traditional and formal people. They enjoyed it because it was something they would have never done.
Like this young girl enjoying the snow falling on her, it doesn’t matter whether she is getting wet or her hair may get messed up; she is having fun. She will remember this much longer than always looking nice and tidy. If having fun is something that you could do more of, I encourage you to find those moments when you’re just a bit uncomfortable doing something and do it anyway. Author Seth Godin goes a step further and says, “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”
Pushing ourselves out of the routine is the challenge, which is true of our kids. All of us like routines because they are predictable and safe. They give us a secure feeling and allow us to enjoy our strengths. So how do you decide to have fun?
It seems like the older we become, the less fun we have. But why do we think that way? When we reframe our thinking and unschedule ourselves, and simply prioritize our joy, we begin to make progress towards enjoying ourselves. We become so focused that we neglect to stop and be aware of where we are. Realize where you are now; what is beautiful? Who are you glad to have around you, even if they get on your nerves now and then?
Take time to stop and breathe, pause, listen to your breath, the surrounding sounds, and be fully present with yourself.
Make sports, game playing, conversation, music, a community theater, or anything that you’re interested in, but make it fun. Remind yourself that you’re not competing; since we do that all day long, you are just having fun, making mistakes, laughing about them, and moving on.
The next time you find yourself now laughing and enjoying life as much as you wish, find something that scares you just a bit. Something that you find a bit uncomfortable. I think you’ll find that you are glad that you did, and when you reflect on the day in the end, just before you go to sleep, you’ll remember that one event when you had some fun.
Having fun is an asset, a benefit for you and your family. Learn more about building assets in your community from this post, Building Assets in Your Community – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)
Toastmasters International, of which I was a member, has an article here on The Importance of Having Fun, Toastmasters International –
Yours for better parenting,