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Day 312: Just For Fun

“If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.” -Bob Basso

This is one of the most challenging parts of positivity for me to keep my eye on, the fun quotient. I forget often about having fun and, worse still, fall out of touch with just the fact that the whole point of life should be fun. I don’t know why being so serious seems so much more adult to me or if it just a bad habit, but between the weight of the daily news and the mountain that lies in front of me called book distribution, my days have been missing the fun. 

Here is the thing about fun that I think confuses me and is really well articulated by Bernie DeKoven, who is a “fun” coach. In my contemplation of the lack of fun I am having on this journey recently, I came across some of his sage advice about lowering the fun threshold. He goes on to describe the extreme fun that people have on TV commercials all the time and the ordinary fun that doesn’t get a lot of attention.

While there is a major thrill in extreme fun, which can be so risky that just surviving it makes it incredibly fun, it seems to me that the stuff of ordinary fun, of taking note and consciously experiencing pleasure from the small interactions during the days of life are always available but often overlooked. Bernie wrote: “Ordinary fun is the chewing gum kind of fun, even the washing dishes kind of fun that comes with the warm water and emerging sparkle and the meditation-like expanse of timelessness that ends when the sink is empty.” Reading this, the first thing that comes to mind for me is some chococate mint ice cream gum my 12-year-old daughter Emma, exclaimed over this morning. Had I been out for fun, I would have tried a piece, if only to verify that gum can be creamy.

There really is a lot to laugh at in life. Political life can actually be almost as funny as it is depressing. There are some great New Yorker magazine cartoons that my husband laughs out loud at for minutes at a time. Lately, I am all about the doom and gloom- no money for schools, women setting themselves on fire, brutality and violence in the middle of sports, cities…. Not very positive. I think I need to watch more Comedy Central. Jon Stewart can make almost anything funny, which is one very sane way to take the news seriously.

Besides all the health benefits that people who have more fun enjoy, it is also really good for your relationship. Victor Borge said rightly that “laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Really except for a shared crying jag, which is kind of rare anyway, a seriously hearty laugh, the kind that almost makes you cry is probably one of the most intimate memories you can share with someone.

It is easy for me to forget that really life is a game and that there is no place to get to, no winning or losing. I am grateful to be reminded by a pro-fun coach that the fun is there to be recaptured, in little things like the dogs running in circles, or finding the perfect leaf fall at your feet, or hugging your child. I want to have more fun, maybe that should be the next quest…. At the very least, I am going to try to make sure that every day of this remaining quest has at least one fun check in. Really, how positive can you be if you aren’t having fun?