FUN! WAS HAD
Friday night at around 7:30, I ventured out of the house to attend a wine stroll. I did, in fact, wine and stroll, and it was so much fun! I recently saw another fellow cancer despiser post online about a podcast episode titled ”FUN: What the hell is it and why do we need it?” featured on We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle. It was pretty fascinating, especially the discussion about how, from a young age, girls may be conditioned not to have fun. But you can listen for more on that — I will totally botch the explanation.
The podcast made me think a lot about fun and what it means as an adult. In short, fun (or playing) is doing something just for the heck of it. There is no end goal or measure of success — it’s just doing something because it brings us joy. I got to thinking about what I do for fun, and I’ll admit I was stumped at first.
Online jigsaw puzzles came to mind first. I absolutely love building crazy colorful puzzles with insane geometric shapes and patterns. I honestly don’t care if the internet goes down or I lose my progress because I enjoy every little connection I make along the way. Sometimes when I’m totally immersed in a puzzle, I have this nagging thought that I should be doing something productive — I’m getting better at ignoring it.
I enjoy going on walks around the neighborhood, though I frequently check my Fitbit to see how many steps I have. I like sitting on the porch swing, taking in my surroundings, though I often find myself feeling compelled to go inside and get back to work. I love writing, obviously, but sometimes I make it un-fun by becoming too self-critical and judgmental. When it comes down to it, I think fun is void of the “shoulds” that often bounce around in our heads.
On Friday at the wine stroll — outdoors and socially distanced, might I add — I had FUN. FUN IN ALL CAPS. FUN! WAS! HAD! I watched live music and admired the musicians. I joined neighbors who were line dancing in a gas station parking lot. And the night ended with a big celebration at a car wash where I was surrounded by adults having fun. A deejay played music while we danced and hit an enormous inflatable ball around in the air. It was one of those incredibly present moments where it seemed nobody had a care in the world — that everything else could wait.
The next day, when I looked back at my phone, I realized I’d taken very few pictures. The ones I did take were my failed attempts at capturing the beach ball that was contributing to the fun. Ramón crossed my mind several times throughout the night because I wished he could have been there to experience it. It wasn't because I longed for him or felt incapable of having fun without him. Instead, I found myself thinking that he’d love to be there. And, above all, he'd love seeing me carefree, dancing and laughing — simply having fun.