Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why So Serious?

Life Should Be Fun!

Balancing Work and Play

I have been wanting to write this entry for a few days now but life kept getting in the way- doctor appointments, mid-term assignments, social engagements, catching up on sleep. But regardless I am happy to be sitting in my local Starbucks writing this post now. I am structuring this post differently than I usually do. I am integrating quotes more fluidly into the context of my own words and I will be beginning with a quote. I hope that this different format doesn't throw you off and if you prefer the previous set-up please give me feedback and let me know.

"Fun. It's this crazy thing where people smile and laugh and are generally pleased."

- Aggy Bird, Like a Sparrow Through the Heart

Allowing ourselves to engage in fun- what a novel idea! This past week was Halloween and conveniently I had a great deal of work I needed to get done (note the sarcasm...) But somehow I was able to balance work and play and enjoy Halloween in the traditional college way- dressing in somewhat risque outfits, drinking with friends, and attending the seemingly never ending array of parties- while also completing all my work to a degree that I was more than satisfied with. I finished my ridiculous number of French assignments and turned in a mid-term paper on Friday that I was more than pleased with. In fact I was quite proud of the mid-term assignment I turned in. But at the same time I was able to embrace the idea that life should be fun and go out with my friends two nights during the Halloween week! There was once a time in my life that I would have ignored social invitations and used my work as an excuse to isolate myself from the world. It seemed safer to hide from people, from chances, and from the world.
Take a break from your work !

"Safe, I decided, didn't leave much room for fun."

- Justina Chen Headly, North of Beautiful

For me staying safe seemed more important than having fun. As a result I became utterly miserable and ultimately landed myself back in treatment for two months. Not only did my attempts to stay safe by isolating make me unhappy, it ended up being the least safe thing I could do. Building what a deemed a bubble of safety and avoiding any opportunities for fun ended up being more dangerous than safe- It made me ill. This past week and this semester as a whole has been different for me. I have remained dedicated to my school work but have also discovered that I need to have some fun in order to live a happy and healthy life. The key is being able to find the balance and I think the following affirmation is perfect in order to recognize the necessity for friends, fun, and enjoyment in order to live a truly balanced life-

I know that living a balanced life includes taking time to enjoy myself and occasionally do nothing at all.

No, we can't blow off all responsibilities and play all the time but at the same time we can't punish ourselves by working all the time and refusing to integrate fun into our lives. From time to time to we need to ask ourselves the question- Why so serious? Just because we are growing up or older doesn't mean that we have to eradicate fun and joy from our lives. 

"Go and play. Run around. Build something. Break something. Climb a tree. Get dirty. Get in some trouble. Have some fun."

- Brom, The Child Thief

You're never too old for a rain puddle !
"Sometimes you just have to jump in a mud puddle because it's there. Neverget  so old that you forget about having fun."

- Tom Giaquinto, Be A Good Human

Or to jump in a pile of leaves !
Why should kids get to have all the fun? Why as adults do we take everything so seriously? How can we let ourselves forget what fun is? Why do we think that having fun is irresponsible? It's not. In fact I'd like to argue that having fun, letting go sometimes, and being spontaneous is not only your right but your duty. It is a disservice to ourselves and those around us if we refuse to believe that life should be fun (at least some of the time.) Of course life can't always be fun. We all have work and responsibilities that needed to be tended to. But if we don't allow ourselves to have fun and be fun every so often we lose a very important part of ourselves. We lose the part that can bring both ourselves as well as those around us happiness. We lose the part the makes life worth living. Friends and family will be their to support us during rough or stressful times. But they also want to be with us during the happy times. The times when we're singing aloud in our car. The nights when we maybe have one drink too many and get a little crazy. The days when we sit around for hours simply chatting, reflecting back on other days, and laughing. Or better yet the moments when we decide that we are truly going to step out of our safety zone and try something new and make the discovery that this new thing doesn't make us uncomfortable but is actually fun!

The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
"If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good."

- Dr. Seuss

I recently discovered a plethora of Dr. Seuss quotes and I love how he manages to say so much in so few simple words. If someone invites you to do something you never have before- horseback ride, go to a concert, bake scones, skydive- take them up on their offer. You may find that this new experience is something you truly enjoy and wish that you had done it ages ago. Life is full of opportunities and activities that are fun. Go for it! Try these things you've never done because there's the chance that they may bring more fun to your life and as Dr. Seuss says fun is good. 
Life should be fun. Don't fear being with other people. Don't shy away from trying something new. Don't allow yourself to take life too seriously and forget what fun is. Forgetting that not only life is fun and that you can be fun is a dire mistake. It is a mistake I have made before. When we lose our capability to have fun, when we lose the knowledge that we are fun and people may be want to be around us because we are fun, a small part of us dies. We allow ourselves to be consumed by misery. And in my case I became exceptionally sick. Luckily I met a friend who showed me that not only I could have fun but that I could be fun as well. However it is better that we never let ourselves get to this sad and unfortunate point. We can remember that life should be fun by engaging ourselves in something enjoyable a little bit every day. I will leave you with one less quote from Dr. Seuss that supports this final sentiment-

"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."

- Dr. Seuss

Don't lose your sense of adventure, your child-like curiosity, your sense of fun, your sense of happiness, and most importantly your sense of self. Play with your kids. Go out to coffee or dinner with a friend. Cuddle with your kitten or dog. Watch a silly movie. Make it a point to laugh and smile today, tomorrow, and everyday. There is no need for us to take ourselves so seriously because at the end of the day not only should life be fun, life is fun as long as we allow ourselves to enjoy it.

Don't be so serious, smile every once in a while,

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