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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life Is FUN!

Even with all the sorrow, pain, insecurities, problems and frustrations; it is possible to have fun. Unfortunately, I think too many Americans have forgotten how to have fun.

Fun is not about money or vacationing at a four star resort.
It’s not about traveling and it’s not about staying home.
Fun is not about having the right clothes or even dating the most popular person.
It’s not having a four-figure job or owning a boat.
It’s not about winning awards or even walking away with two degrees.
It’s definitely not about abusing others so you can feel like you “one upped” them or stomping on someone’s ego so you can high five your friend.

Real fun is about looking at the world through the wide eyes of a child. Have you ever watched a wide-eyed child as he runs through his first visit to the zoo? “Oh mommy, look at this. Wow look at that daddy. Can I pet it? What’s its name? How can it do that?” On the way home he sleeps hard because his little body has been rushed with adrenalin as he experienced the day to it’s fullest. That's real fun!

How does an adult capture those moments? We can’t go back and be a child experiencing life for the first time again? Or can we.

Watch any grandparent and you will see that wild-eyed excitement on their faces. Do you have to wait until then? Absolutely NOT.

Look around for experiences you missed. If it’s been a long time since you rode that bike hanging in the garage, get it out. But don’t ride it for exercise, ride it for fun. Try to find something unusual on your ride. Stop and talk to neighbor. Look for flowers or animals you’ve never noticed. Instead of pushing for a 10-mile ride, take it to a parking lot and see how many shapes you can do. Make a circle, a figure eight or a box. When you find something unusual make a big deal out of it.

I remember a very special walk with my Dad. I was about eleven and we decided to walk a mile to a Krystal and have breakfast. It was one of those silver diners with counter seating and a waitress that called out funny names for our order. That was cool enough, but the neatest part of the walk was when Dad pointed out a bush that he said was magic. We rubbed the leaves and he told me we would check it when we returned. I was excited all through the meal wondering what this bush could do. When we checked it coming home, all the tiny leaves had closed in response to my touch. He said that was how they trapped dew. He continued by being silly and talking about how we should hold out our tongue at night. There we were walking down a busy street with our tongues hanging out and wondering how the bush felt. Though I don't remember the name of the bush, I've never forgotten that wonderful morning with my Dad or the laughter we shared.

After I became an adult and mentioned this experience to Dad, I found out how special it really was. Dad was suffering with a huge problem at that time. He was hurt, worried and a little angry. Yet he stepped outside of his problems to have fun with me. It gave both of us a wonderful memory and helped him deal with his stress.

Next time you are grocery-shopping look for the most unusual item you can find. Surprise your family with some unusual dish or fruit to try. Encourage them to research it and find out where it came from and how it’s used. Be sure and get a little silly while you teach them to laugh. Make up silly games and search for the usual or ridiculous. I’m always looking for a way to have fun with my life. Why do I think this is so important?

Having silly fun can be a huge stress reliever as well as a bond between members of the family. In the 60’s there was an expensive resort located on a farm in Switzerland that provided a week of rejuvenation for high stress executives. For $5,000 an executive could spend the week on the farm as ----a child.

What? Yep! He/she would dress like a little child with anklets, saddle shoes, short skirts or knickers. They would play tag, search for frogs, play in the sandbox and in all respects become a child again. They ate macaroni and cheese, drank milk and took afternoon naps. At the end of the week every participant said they felt revived and calm. They returned to work with a new lease on life.

You can have that same experience on a regular basis without the high price tag. All you have to do is STOP! Stop rushing through your life. Search your world for an experience (without consequences) that you’ve never had. The simple things usually have the biggest rewards.

Make a big deal or have a party to celebrate your new interest. Announce it to the world….”I’m going to dissect a worm. I was sick the day they did it in High School and I want to go back and have that experience.” Gather your family together for Worm Exploration day. Purchase a new knife or paint one you have. Take pictures. Make it fun by being silly. Pretend to be the class clown and chase your family around the kitchen while you dangle a juicy worm at them. Laugh and have fun with it. Don’t treat it like a college term paper. Treat it as if you were a comedian like Mark Lowry or Robin Williams.

Want an example? Come back tomorrow and view my blog called City Gal meets a Country Cow. Yes! I milked a cow – and yes….there will be pictures!

God loves you,

Debbie

1 comment:

lauren said...

hola aunt debbie! just wanted to stop bye and say hello! is your new book that's coming out the one with stories about jamie, amie, and kenny? i guess that's about it! say hi to everyone for me. have a good, exciting, crazy, hectic week for me! laugh out loud.
love always,
lauren