“Arranging for and allowing ourselves to have fun is an important part of taking care of ourselves. It helps us stay healthy. It helps us work better. It balances life. We deserve to have fun. Fun is a normal part of being alive. Fun is taking time to celebrate being alive.” -Melody Beattie
In spite of my challenges and the anxiety I’m going through right now, I want to have fun and play. Now fun looks differently for everyone. I’m a bit of a nerd, so reading a non-scholarly type book can be fun for me. Listening to classical music in the park. Going to a rock concert at the House of Blues (I already did that), which totally confused my mom because she asked me, “Did you go to a rock concert or a blues concert?” haha Visiting the Farmer’s Market. Volunteering with kids. Going to the zoo. Going to a movie. Getting my hair cut (did that already too). I want to do something different, take a risk, and above all, Love, Love, Love.
But I also want to smile until my face hurts, laugh out loud…really loud, without anyone telling me to shhhhh.
I want to do things that I really enjoy with people I enjoy spending time with, including myself. The more I am simply liking myself, the more I don’t mind spending time with myself. It used to bother me when I did things alone, but I did it anyway. Now, I seek people out to do things with as well as do things alone. And each way is okay.
I may not get a chance to do all these things this summer, but regardless, I want to create an overarching cloud of joy that surrounds me wherever I go.
I have been so serious for so long, it is time for my inner child to be encouraged to come out and play.
The “joy” aspect of my childhood was often denied as I began an enmeshment with my mom and I took on too many grown up worries too soon. Although this gave me an early sense of responsibility, it also gave me a sense that life was all about responsibilities, work, and achievement. I thought happiness was achieved only after reaching a certain level in life. I don’t regret my educational accomplishments, because I believe they are a part of who I am. But I often joke with my friends that when I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to get that over with so that I could get to college and be happy. When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to get that over so that I could get a job and be happy. When I got my first job, I couldn’t wait to get my Masters Degree and be happy. Now that I’m working on a Doctorate, I better hurry up and get happy. Because unless I get another doctorate (which for those who know me is not a complete stretch of the imagination because I’m a nerd and love school), there is nothing “next.” It was this that prompted me to get on the happiness bandwagon now instead of later. But I actually prefer the word “joy,” which I will discuss in a later post.
Because of this dedication to the “next” achievement, joy, happiness, and fun as deliberate actions in my own life and creating those things for myself was unheard of.
So whether you refer to it as happiness, fun, joy, or laughter, the things that put a smile on our face will be the topic for this month.
- Beattie, Melody (2009-06-10). Codependent No More (p. 217). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.