A few years ago, I had a bunch of kids over to film a pirate battle in my backyard* and we had a marvellous time. Afterwards, one of the other Moms asked me one of the most startling questions I’ve ever heard…
“So, do you just spend all your time thinking up fun things to do?”
She didn’t mean it as an insult or a dismissal, she was just interested, but I found it kind of strange because what the hell else do you do with your life except think up fun things to do?
I’m not a 18th Century Puritan, I don’t think this life is all about finding your duty and fulfilling it. I think that life is short and you need to find all the fun you can, wherever you can.
I don’t mean that you shold shirk your work or your responsibilities, there’s lots of time and space for both. I know that there are a lot of challenges to face in any life, and some have more challenges than others, I’m not being dismissive of people’s difficulties, but I do firmly believe that thinking of fun things to do makes life better, even if those fun things are small and packed in between less fun things. And the best approach might be to do what I advise my boys to do every day ‘Find one fun thing about each class today, even if it is just that you really like the colour of the classroom door.’
For me, the ultimate in fun is in foolishness, in wordplay and in joking. That’s why I send a goofy note to my sons (one on paper, one via text) every school day.
It’s why I find weird ways to interpret ordinary things, why I ask little kids silly questions (Were the llamas on the bus well behaved today?) and why I like to play board games or turn daily situations into songs. (When my kids were small, I used to make them laugh by singing ‘The boy-dressing robot is trying to do her job, the boy dressing robot is calling you all Bob! Hey Bob, come here so I can get you dressed!’)
My whole family is this way – both the family I was born into and the family I created – we’re finding ways to make things more fun. We’re looking for ways to laugh.** We’re seeking ways to see the world from a slightly different angle. We are open to the possibility that there is more fun to be had than we can currently see and we are determined to wring out every laugh that we can get.
That’s not to say that we are laughing at every hardship or that we don’t know when to be serious. We’re pretty good at serious. But if there is a way to lighten the load by being a little goofy we want in.
I just think that there is not much point if you can’t find joy whenever possible. Why are we here if it isn’t to enjoy ourselves? It’s not like we are creatures who can’t do anything else but eat and sleep and procreate. We have senses of humour so I think it is up to us to make full use of them. Anything else would be a crime.
So, yeah, I do just spend time thinking up fun things to do, but the good news is that I am willing to drag you along with me while I make them up, as long as you want to go. In fact, I’m in the middle of designing an online course about how to find more fun in the life you already have.
I hope you had at least a little fun today. If not, there’s still time!
How do you keep fun in your life? Do you have long running foolishness in your family too?
*You know, as one does.
**When I was a teenager, my dad told us this joke : ‘There was a man walking down the road with a pig under his arm. He came across this woman who screwed up her face and said ‘Where did you get that ugly-looking thing?’ and the pig said ‘I won him at a raffle!’
We can still crack each other up just by saying ‘I won him at a raffle!’ for no reason at all. We may need to get out more. 😉
Important question here: