More about Fun



meditation walking

The previous discussion about fun brings to mind that often what we call fun and play is more of an extension of stress, competition, and comparison.  Now, of course some competition can be fun but that energy can also dominate and steal the fun.  For example, we may enjoy skiing or mountain biking, but do we feel pressure to get the newest gear to keep up?  I was discussing 4H programs with a friend whose daughter raises and shows steers.  She said that parents will spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy the right calf so their child can win Grand Champion.  These pressures to dominate and compare can remove the human element from competition, learning, and fun.  Frustration, failure, obligation and shame can overtake projects that were originally meant to bring fun and to open us to our glorious humanity.

This raises the question, “What is fun for you?”  Where do you find yourself lifted out of the moment and taken over by the engagement that you have with a project, nature, relationship, skill….?  Where do you connect with your soul?

As our niece, Beatrice, wrote about her newborn daughter, Eleanor, “We’re obsessed! Sometimes we just fall into her and lose hours of the day.”  Fun does that, love does that.  And, it doesn’t necessarily just happen; we need to create the time and mind/heart space to receive the gift of fun.  This project is thankfully giving more of that type of opportunity.
Share How You Care and have fun:)

Having Fun is Being Human



Last week I was talking with my dear friend, Rachel, and she asked about the project.  I mentioned that a delightful and unexpected result is a newfound sense of freedom, renewed curiosity, and fun.

After our conversation, Rachel sent me an email with some thoughts; here is part of her wisdom.  ” We were talking a little about your project, and what it’s brought you that’s unexpected: how you’ve discovered that the lifestyle changes you created for the project have opened up room in your minds and lives for – learning how to fix the mower motor! You talked about the freedom you feel, to have the time and energy do such a thing – although it wasn’t what you thought would flow into the life spaces vacated by screens, too much information and too much news. What a gift! Your newfound time is spent being human: discovering an interest, seeking out information, solving a new problem, using your body (hands, at least!), living through the time it takes for all the pieces to come together, letting your intelligence feed your physical ability to build/fix something you need to care for  your own environment.”

In the space that has opened up as we remove much of the distractions caused by consumption, Bill and I are exploring new arenas.  He’s mentioned fixing the mower and his fun with compost.  We’re also enjoying a Great Courses lecture series on comparative religions and I’m taking up the guitar and piano (ok, in fits and starts but it’s still fun to try and to honor my small accomplishments :)).  Our conversations on weekend mornings tend to focus on how we want to be agents of change and healing in the world (baby steps again).  Gone is the domination of duties and obligations that were very present when we allowed more of the noise of consuming into our lives.

In my conversation with Rachel, I mentioned how much more fun all aspects of our lives are.  She reflected,” It’s all play, really, now that I think of it: it’s how we human animals play. Only in our pressured lives it’s not play unless it’s by choice! We do a lot of this stuff much of the time, but against a backdrop of obligation and necessity. And then often we are allowed to do only some parts of the playing, and have to do too much of those other parts, and we don’t get to complete the process. Repair a motor, build a labyrinth. What a relief to discover  that what your mind and body choose, given an opportunity, is to be human, and play.”

Rachel also reflected that it’s important to see others engaged in real play, and that in doing so, we open our humanness to each other, and that is precious!  Thanks, Rachel, for your wonderful way of describing play and fun!