are we having fun yet?

Are we having fun yet?  What a question to ask, you might think, in the midst of a raging pandemic, in the middle of the fourth or fifth wave… I’ve lost track.  

The topic of having fun, or not,  goes way back for me.  It’s kind of embarrassing for me to own how challenging it has been for me to “have fun”.   I was deeply steeped, better to say trapped, in the Protestant work ethic: work and play are not to be mixed… work is better, play is frivolous.  

Of course, I played games, laughed, had some easy times with family and friends growing up.  Still, asking that question, “Are we having fun yet?” invites me to feel into my challenge with the concept and practice of fun… Much of my life, I actually thought that life/work/doing — the real stuff, the valuable stuff (!!), was on a different plane and plate from having fun.  

I’ve found myself annoyed at people who manage to have fun while doing work… or simply made fun a real part of their lives. (My former husband was a master at having fun while doing work, and, over time, at first begrudgingly, I learned from him. Thanks, Wolf!)  

having fun at work

Happily that dogmatic, limiting and limited phase of my life is in the past, at least significantly. Today the title question brings a smile to my lips and brightness to my heart. And I have a willingness to look at the question and see what comes up.

I was inspired to explore this topic by an interview by Piya Chattopadhyay with Catherine Price on BBC’s Sunday Magazine, called Finding Fun in Trying Times.   Price’s new book by this title is all about showing us, sharing with us, inviting us… to bring more fun into our lives.

But what is fun?  Catherine defines fun as anything that brings connection, playfulness, and flow into our lives, our days. (I actually prefer the word, and experience of, delight over playfulness… but that’s my history still clinging to me. Take your pick: playfulness or delight, you choose!)  Try it on!  When I feel into that kind of fun, smiles break out, my face softens, my heart starts to open.  

fun with dogs and kids

And think of all the many opportunities we have to bring fun into our lives… even, and perhaps most importantly, in such trying times as these.  I remember immediately interactions with dogs and their owners, children large and teeny, or noticing people’s smiles, or feeling into the trees, the clouds… when I’m out taking a walk.  My heart just sings, and the experience lasts and enriches, lightens, enlivens me.  Or when I take the time to connect with the person at the till (check out counter), or in a doctor’s office…the list is literally endless, and the items immediately accessible.

And these dimensions of well-being by being connected, and in the flow, and having warmth and delight can help us all move through these challenging times in our new year together.  May it be so.  Oh, and not to forget that laughter and lightness are actually good for our immune systems too!

What are some ways that you enjoy being connected, playful or delighted, and in the flow? I’d love to hear. We’re in this together, through thick and thin, better and worse.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook. 🙂

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