For many people today (due, in part, no doubt, to the images of pleasure seen in the media), the definition of fun has been distorted. Some ideas of what is fun are connected with excess, such as having a couple of drinks or engaging in “extreme” sports. Some people think that to have fun, they must spend a lot of money traveling or dining out. Others think that to have fun, they must be around the “right kind of people”. Saddest of all are those who rely on others to “create” their fun.
Most of us think of fun as something we do on special occasions, something that requires a bit of advance planning. We have whole industries dedicated to helping us play it seems as though a new theme park opens every week. But when you look back on your most joyous life experiences, they are more likely to have been spontaneous and simple rather than elaborate and expensive. Play is recreation—that is activity that “re-creates” us, causes us to see life differently and be refreshed by the change.
You do not have to separate play and fun from anything else you're doing. A lighthearted approach to serious matters often is the most productive one. Try laughter—getting yourself a desk calendar with a new cartoon every day, sharing a joke you got via email, telling a co-worker the cute thing your kid said (or listening to his story) or talking about the funny scene in the latest hit movie—will lower your blood pressure, calm your pulse and generally help you release a lot of stress.
(Adapted from It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction and The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before 40)
© 2005 Tina B. Tessina