I love my work. Although much of my work is creative which is a way to have fun, it also requires concentration, organization and production. Fun with a purpose isn’t the same as fun for fun’s sake.
Reading Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper this week made me realize that loving my work isn’t the same thing as having fun. She said, “Ask yourself: What’s my idea of fun? Am I having any? What makes me laugh out loud? Who makes me laugh? Can I laugh at myself?”
What is my idea of fun?
It’s a question I never ask myself. I’m not sure I really know the answer and I find that puzzling. After all, I’m an artist. I create. I imagine. I throw. I paint. And I do love to do it.
Is that the definition of fun? Is that the only way I have fun? I remember having fun as a child. Like kids playing hide and seek. Or dressing up. Or biking around the neighborhood. Or roller skating. I remember swinging on the swing and tilting up to watch the sky above me. And spinning until the world got so fuzzy I fell down laughing in the grass.
Obviously, I had fun as a child. Am I having any as an adult?
Do grown ups even have fun? I mean real fun? In this serious climate surrounding us with hate speech and gun violence and fear, there’s not much that feels safe and fun or funny.
I don’t like to bike or skate or spin until I’m dizzy anymore. I’m not a big party person, in fact big groups make me feel overwhelmed. I’ve been in book clubs and art groups and while that’s interesting and informative, I don’t think I’d call it fun.
I do like the beach. The sound of the waves. The squish of the sand is fun. Add my husband and my dog, Darby and a day at the beach is a good way to have fun.
But who and what makes me laugh?
My new puppy Darby is sweet and silly. His innocent, bouncy, trouncing, tiggerishness makes me laugh out loud. He’s just so playful and happy and energetic. He may weight almost 70 pounds and be a handful at times, but even when he’s impish, he’s just all joy and light.
My husband’s droll humor always catches me unaware and caught up in my own seriousness and gives me a laugh.
Watching comedy movies and shows get me laughing out loud. Movies like Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Birdcage, even the new one called, Book Club are fun and funny.
But I can see I need to laugh more. As Maria Shriver pointed out, “Yes, there are a lot of issues to worry about and care about these days. But having fun is good for your health, heart and soul.”
Maybe I need a summer of funny?