Why? Because it’s fun!
My cousin, Jayson, suggested we try a weekly exercise — let’s call it Throwback Thursday. The idea is to reflect on a childhood feeling, what gave us that feeling, how it impacted our lives and that sort of thing, and consider what we do (or do not do) in our current lives that brings similar feelings (and how that impacts our lives, and that sort of thing).
In sharing my thoughts on Jayson’s excellent idea, I seem to have volunteered to kick things off. If you know Jayson, you know that he is adept at soliciting “involuntary volunteers” 😉 .
When I think about my childhood feelings, they were generally more raw than what I typically experience today. While they were less restricted by experience, they were also less enriched by perspective. Some feelings that come immediately to mind are those of unbridled excitement (e.g., for school picnic day, when everyone went to Kennywood Park), unreasonable fear (e.g., when the Morgan’s poodle, Nicholas, would chase me down the street) and uncontrollable laughter (e.g., brought on by seeing my older brother, Butch, dance for the first time)… That said, my first submission for Throwback Thursday is “Because It’s Fun”.
As we grow up, become responsible for others’ well being, consider the finiteness of our lives and the fleetingness of youth, we tend feel that we need “better” justification for doing things than “because it’s fun”. When we take part in, say, after-work athletic leagues, it’s partially because it’s fun; but we do it just as much because it’s more fun than working out, or it’s a more fun way to network… Even when my son, Torren, asked me to play catch, I remember thinking it a great opportunity for us to have a little fun while I helped him work on his hand-eye coordination.
So whatever happened to doing things just “because it’s fun”? I suppose life happened… When I think about what I do just “because it’s fun” nowadays, I, thankfully, can come up with a few examples; but they are fleeting, and the time spent on such pursuits is still shrinking… Yesterday, I convinced my nine-year-old stepdaughter, Daryn, that she would have to endure an additional hour of school, each school day, for the next two weeks, to make up for the two snow days that came with this week’s polar vortex driven subzero temperatures. She was stressed, but the look on her little face was hilarious 🙂 . When I was finished teasing her and admitted as much, she asked me, “Why would you do that to me???” … I responded, “Because it’s fun!”. That helped me to begin my day with a smile. When I joined my first meeting for the day, I venture that my colleagues could hear the smile on my face. Hopefully that made working with me a bit more pleasant, not that I’m not always pleasant to work with! 😉
Maybe I need to focus on doing things “because it’s fun” as much as I concentrate on holding myself accountable and seeking growth… Maybe not… What do you think?