Twenty-eight years ago, I found myself in a very sweet birthing center, filling out paperwork for a birth that was due to take place 6 months later.
Right there on the form, nestled between other queries was a question the answer to which was to become my guiding light for over two decades. The question was: what matters the most to you at this time?
I barely hesitated.
Having just gone through a traumatic and heart-breaking miscarriage followed by a cancer scare and the deep fear of not ever being able to have babies, out came an answer I did not know I had in me: Peace of Mind. More than anything, more than my health, my marriage or even having children, what I wanted - what I needed - was Peace of Mind.
I wrote the three words down not knowing I had just made an oath to myself.
My baby girl was born, then her two brothers. Years passed as they tend to do and I kept myself pretty darn intently focused on my Peace of Mind promise. Over time, I learned to meditate and when my marriage ended, I put that tool into overdrive. Spirituality became my best friend.
A decade later, the Essence of Service made its entrance - or rather its re-entrance, but that’s another story. I needed to serve, to contribute, to leave the days better than I found them. So Service cuddled up next to Peace of Mind and Spirituality and none of them complained. I could make that work just fine. Eventually Gratitude moved in with us and the four of them have been good buddies ever since. To me, and to each other.
Together we have traveled many paths, created many adventures and slept soundly through most of them. Most of my days are darn good. I love my work. I can navigate just about anything without getting rattled for too long. I go to bed feeling as though I am leaving things at least as good as I found them and sometimes better. My kids like me, as does my cat. I travel. My home is a sanctuary. I have good friends, and I try to be a good friend to them as well. I have love in my life.
But lately, I have felt a squirming, an itch.
The itch I believe, is actually a request. And I am pretty sure I know what it’s about.
FUN. The Essence of Fun.
If someone was to follow me around for a few months, they would think that my Fun Reserves were topped off. After all, part of my work involves wearing yellow clothes and holding big happy Signs from the back of a flat bed truck while 60s music is blasting. Or walking down a Caribbean beach eating beignets with people I love. Or brainstorming a new joy-making movement with my team while eating chocolate. That sort of things. All of it pretty darn fun, right? It is.
Then, there is the fact that I can find joy in most things. Cleaning my cat’s litter box can feel like a treasure hunt to me. Weird, I know.
And yet, I now have room for something else. Not just room, but a strong yearning.
I have room for the kind of Fun that serves no purpose, that is not going to put food on the table (mine or others), the kind of fun that will not make me smarter or more efficient or more interesting. Fun for the heck of it. Fun like when my friend invites me to go paddle boarding with her at the end of a work day and I just say yes. Fun like the thrill I get from ice skating - which I have not done in 4 years. Or like when I learned to snowboard (or started to) at the age of 40 and ate so much snow yet went back for more. And like the way I sang along to “Bohemian Rhapsody” a few weeks ago while the credits rolled. The kind of fun that stretches me, takes me away from where I know just what to do and how to do it. Fun that might even rattle my Peace of Mind for a minute or ten.
Also, Fun away from work, and for a die-hard Capricorn like me, it takes a bit to get to that. I usually need to be coaxed into it.
I have been playing around with this whole Fun topic and I am hereby publicly making a pledge to do more things that have no goal other than to delight me.
Things that don’t just bring me joy but FUN. Excitement.
Which brings me to this question:
What is fun for YOU? What do you do just because it tickles you to pieces, makes you feel light and giddy and has no other purpose than to delight you?
I would love to hear. And get some pointers, too :)