I’m not a particularly fun person. I don’t generally like silliness. The only time I can recall being really silly (stupid, more like it!) was when I drank alcohol but I haven’t touched booze for almost 12 years and it has taken me quite a while to learn to have “fun” again. I love a laugh and a funny film but generally the humor I’m attracted to is dark & offbeat.
My nana gave me a photo album last week full of photos from my childhood. Here I am at age four in 1980 wearing a Groucho Marx disguise. I think it was from my uncle who had just returned from a trip to the US. The photo made me smile.
On my 22nd birthday I chose to go and see Saving Private Ryan. On my 28th birthday my hubby and I went on a film-fest day and watched Saw and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. I always choose drama and horror over fun. I love documentaries. I read true crime. I live and breathe news. Sometimes I have to really practise having fun with my kids but the intense love and enjoyment I get when I see them laugh and play is something I am very grateful for.
I do value a good sense of humour though and I think I have one. I also have a partner who, I think, is very funny. It’s a dark and dry sort of humour but we do have a laugh. But when it comes to letting go and really having unbridled fun I struggle. I dance for a while but prefer to sit and talk and watch. I am rubbish at karaoke. I did a salsa lesson once as part of a hens’ night and I couldn’t get into it.
A 2010 University of Cincinnati study found that pleasurable activity actually reduced stress by inhibiting anxiety responses in the brain. Life coach Martha Beck (a favourite of Oprah Winfrey) says “total funlessness” is as serious as a heart attack. Beck talks a lot about faux fun versus real fun. For me I got the two confused and for a good number of years I thought “fun” was only to be had through getting hammered, chain-smoking and partying. I lived to get out of my head and alter my reality.
Funny thing is, I didn’t have that much “fun”.
I’m finding now (and it has taken a lot of years of practice) that I am trying to be in the moment and enjoy what I am doing. I am a projector (not the film variety) and get caught up in what I “have” to do, even when it is days, weeks away.
So my fun homework is to discover more about what real fun in my life is. I think a bit of silliness would be good too.
My kids are going to be my “life coaches” (I struggle with the concept at times but think it’s good that people strive to improve themselves). They seem to have a riot from the simplest things like running around the lounge room or sitting in the dirt digging holes.