(This clip shows my favorite song from my favorite episode of Spongebob Squarepants. It’s the perfect contrast in opposing perspectives.)
Defining what I want has been a big challenge. My life has felt like a puzzle with lots of missing pieces. I’ve crawled around the nooks and cranks in my mind filled with angst determined to find a way to define myself and what I want from life. The search became a “have to”, a job, that nasty four-letter word: “work.” Isn’t it supposed to be easier than this?
Time for my walk. I head out the door, taking my concerns with me.
Inside my head, I see an image. It’s me in a race car. I’m a passenger without a seat belt. Racing through life, I lurch and tumble over every bump every swerve in the road. I’m not having a good time. I want to feel like the driver. I want to see where I’m going and be the one to steer toward it. I’m supposed to be the driver, aren’t I? I walk with this image in my mind. I feel the road under my wheels. I tumble, I bounce.
Then I remember the lesson from last weekend. Visiting a senior community garage sale, I finally discovered what I want to be when I grow up: Retired. These seniors were having a great time. They were relaxed, enjoying each other’s company, chatting with strangers, having fun. Simple, good, clean fun. That’s what I want, what I’ve always wanted: fun.
It’s not deep or altruistic. It won’t earn me fame or fortune. I won’t go down in any history book. It doesn’t matter. I just want to have fun.
At first the bits and pieces of internalized voices, challenge this dream. “You can’t always have fun.”
“How childish!” says another.
“Life isn’t supposed to be fun. It’s work, hard work, and then you die,” whines another.
I smile at my joy killers. I do not argue. I can see that having fun isn’t their objective. They cling to their own special brand of misery. It’s a misery that I understand well. I’ve just decided I don’t want it. I give myself permission to have a dream of my own. I give myself permission to be a passenger in the race car called life. It’s OK to enjoy the ride. It’s OK to have FUN!
I say, “Whee!”
Now that I understand what I want from life, I know that I won’t always feel it. Fun, often requires some preliminary ground work that doesn’t look or feel like fun. Fun is often hard work. Most of that hard work takes place between the ears. It requires a constant commitment and renewal of perspective. Misery is easy. Fun, on the other hand, often requires effort. It needs a stage built, a set designed, a cast of eager characters and the courage not to tamper with the result. It’s sort of like, “If you build it, they will come.” Building something requires effort and an effort I won’t always feel like making. When the bleachers are full and the game is on, the effort it took to get there will be so worth it.
FUN! IT’S WHAT I WANT AND I CAN FIND IT ALMOST ANYWHERE.
Insert: Giddy laugh, lively dancing and general celebratory spirit. I’ve left the building. I’m having fun.