Lately my husband David and I have just been co-existing. We’re walking around the house like co-workers. Like roommates. Like people who have too much to do.
We both woke up at 4:30 a.m. recently and couldn’t fall back to sleep. Truth be told, it was more me nudging him and prodding, “Are you awake? Are you asleep? Can we talk?”
He turned onto his back and sighed. He’d been tossing and turning already, and I knew he wasn’t sleeping deeply, so I didn’t feel too badly waking him.
“Are you happy these days?” I asked.
“Of course not. I can’t imagine you are either. We’re too damn busy.”
“I miss you. I miss us. I miss having fun. We haven’t had any fun in so long.”
“I know,” he said and spooned me. “Let’s fix it.”
I didn’t know what fun was until I met David. I’d spent decades taking care of my mom and siblings, working hard to support us. It wasn’t until David, who I met in my late 30’s, that I learned to cut loose, drink wine, and dance! Oh, how we dance.
He leads me all over the dance floor. I don’t have to do a thing but follow his body, his motion, his energy. He spins me here and there and then––he dips me––my back arching like an upside down rainbow (thank you, yoga)––the crown of my head grazing the floor. It’s amazing! It’s the freest I’ve ever felt.
Like I don’t have a care in the world.
And I don’t care who’s watching.
The last time I felt like that was roller skating. Oh, how I loved the groove of the wheels beneath me. The sound of the music. The scent of the rink. The flow of the people around me, our energy completely in sync.
I remember so vividly the last time I skated. I was 11 and skating up and down the long driveway of my ranch house in Ohio. The summer sun was setting. Lightning bugs were up to their evening antics. Michael Jackson tunes blared from the radio. Dad was finishing up mowing the lawn––he pulled the riding mower into the garage and went inside.
As I skated fiercely to the end of the driveway, a beige, four-door sedan rolled up and stopped six inches in front of me. To halt my momentum, my hands splayed out on the driver side window, my nose nearly crashing into the glass. The man inside peered at me over his blue lensed glasses.
I knew him. He was the man who’d sat outside our house before. On other evenings. On other afternoons. He was the FBI. He wanted Dad.
Dad had told me his name.
He said he was no good.
“Hello, Mr. Knowle.” My nose was still on the glass and my heart pounded so hard I was sure he could hear it. I tried to skate away, but my toe stop dug hard into the driveway.
He had no expression. My body shook with fright.
Suddenly my leg gave way and my wheels set motion back toward the garage, the dusk’s light leading my way back home.
Something in me knew that home was not where I’d find safety––then or ever. There was so much more for me to discover about peace, safety, and stability. But, skating that evening, so freely before the FBI showed up, was the last time I remember having fun as a child.
It was also the last time I remember my parents functioning as parents. My dad went to prison shortly thereafter and my mom became despondent. I handed over my childhood and my willingness to have fun.
For two plus decades after, life got the better of me. And what it showed of itself did not yield to fun or free spiritedness. It took me time and patience and love to find fun again.
It also took trust.
It took a whole lot of trust to believe that the people I engaged with wanted the best for me. That they wanted to see me free and uninhibited. That they weren’t the villains waiting for me at the end of the driveway.
Having fun is such a crucial part of a healthy internal landscape. I learned that more and more with good therapy, good friends, and a good husband.
But how do we do it? How do we have more fun when life gets the better of us? When responsibilities pile on and the daily slog dampens our mood?
Tune in. If you know enough about who you are, how you feel, and what you want, you will know how to dial into the kind of fun you crave. There is an awareness of what is and what could be for you in the fun category. If you don’t feel that awareness, then I offer up meditation as a pathway to learn more about who you are and what you need.
Meditation is how you dial up your inner self, that voice that tells you what you need and what you’re LONGING for. You are your barometer of what you’re craving for fun and otherwise.
In addition to tuning in and meditating, here are my other tips for creating fun:
- Think about what used to make you happy as a kid and do that. Roller skate. Go to the beach. Build a sandcastle. Paint. Throw a frisbee. Blow bubbles. Catch lightning bugs.
- If you’re in a relationship, ask your partner what they miss doing. It’s a double bonus––you’ll have fun while learning what matters to your significant other.
- Plan a day at a nearby destination. Do you live by an amusement park? A dancehall? A roller rink?
- Schedule your fun. Seriously. Put it on the Google calendar. Plan a fun lunch or an afternoon. Many of us (especially us type A’s) won’t do it unless it’s part of the schedule.
- Try something new. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Something you feel you’d be good at but you’ve never tried? Do that!
- This is MY FAVORITE…start every morning with a DANCE. I do this every morning and I even have a playlist:
“American Girl” by Tom Petty
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves
“Sex on Fire” by Kings Of Leon
“The Thrill” by Wiz Khalifa
“Too Close” by Next
“The Impression That I Get” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
“I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” by Scissor Sisters
“Shut Up and Dance” by WALK THE MOON
“Say Hey (I Love You)” by Michael Franti
“Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson
“This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan
This is such a great way to get the fun energy started and to remind you that we’re meant to have fun and we’re meant to feel oh so very good.
There are so many ways to create fun. Notice that I said “create” because the truth is, we do have to create it. We have to want it, plan it, and manifest it just like anything else.
Send me your fun ideas, videos, and messages about how you create fun. These days, I’m open to whatever fun comes my way on the dance floor or elsewhere.
Until then, I’m sending love, love, love, and FUN, FUN, FUN…
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