Every so often, I send my daughter to daycare for an extra day to give myself a little more time.
“So, what are you going to do today?” my husband asks.
“Oh, work, tidy up the house, pay some bills,” I respond.
“You sure know how to have a good time,” he says.
Apparently, I’m not alone in this issue.
Why do I find it so hard to just relax or do something fun? Some of it is probably predisposition. Most of us with tendencies toward anxiety and depression aren’t the carefree, go with the flow types. Some of that is that we think too much, which I believe is counterintuitive to fun.
Some of it is lack of time. Between taking care of young kids, work, and fitting in the self-care activities I require to maintain an even keel, there’s not a lot of time left over.
Watching my kids is a good cue for me. My son is happiest when he’s prancing around singing and playing air guitar or drums, or when he’s outside running around. Basically, when he is fully in his body, engaged in activities pleasurable to him.
In my mind, I have this video loop born of American media and culture: fun is amusement parks and bungee jumping, travelling to exotic places, shopping with my lady friends. With the exception of travel, I do not enjoy or aspire to any of these things.
I like to dance and read. Listen to music. Going to the movies. Like my son, I like activities where I’m present in my body and my brain takes a break. A huge contrast to what I’m usually doing, which at a given moment might be trying to unload the dishwasher while fielding demands from the kiddos and checking Facebook (where it certainly appears as if everyone is having more fun than me!) on my iPhone.
Sometimes, when life is the busiest, it helps to add something to the mix, even though it’s counterintuitive.
What do you do to add fun to this brief, beautiful, bizarre life?