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Life’s Too Short Not To Have Fun

January 25, 2015
Playing Dressup

Playing Dressup (1960)

When I was young, having fun was a given. It was almost impossible not to have fun when you were skipping rope, roller skating, playing hopscotch, riding your bike, bouncing a rubber ball against the wall at the school, ice skating, swinging as high as could on the schoolyard swings or hanging upside down on the monkey bars, going to the store for a Popsicle, riding the Tilt-a-Whirl or merry-go-round at the carnival, enjoying Saturday movie matinees, giggling with your girlfriends at sleepovers, taking part in five-pin bowling marathons, climbing trees in the backyard, skipping stones at the lake, building sandcastles on the beach, playing ‘dress up’, or making up silly jokes.

Even as a young woman, fun was plentiful. There were parties, dances, evenings at the pub with friends, holiday adventures (near and far), ping pong and pool ‘tournaments’, concerts, all night movie marathons, weddings, dancercise classes, after work coffee klatches, and all night gossip sessions with girlfriends.

TMNT (1991)

Universal Studios, Florida, 1991

During the ‘married with children’ phase there were excursions to the park, wet and wild days around the pool, outings to the Library and the movie theatre and the ice cream store, day trips to Canada’s Wonderland, Niagara Falls, and the CNE, regular forays to visit the grandparents and spend time at the beach in the town where they lived, annual trips to Disney World (and other exotic vacation spots), family birthday parties, and lots and lots of giggling, imaginative, active playtime.

But after reading a (short) article about the importance of keeping ‘fun’ in your life, I realized (shockingly) that fun is a lot harder to come by on the other side of 55. I tried to think of the last time I could honestly say I had ‘fun’. It took a few minutes but I determined that it was an unseasonably warm and sunny day in late October last year, when my daughter-in-law invited me out for lunch. I left my car at their apartment and we walked the half dozen blocks to the shopping ‘district’, sat outside and talked while waiting for a table in the restaurant she’d chosen, then popped in and out of several shops on the way back, just to ‘window shop’. It had started to rain while we’d been eating and neither of us had thought to bring an umbrella, so we were soaked by the time we got back to the apartment, but we didn’t care. We’d talked and laughed and enjoyed one another’s company. We’d had fun!

Couple on a motorcycleMy husband and I certainly enjoy one another’s company and we do a lot of ‘pleasurable’ things together, but few of them are what I could call outright ‘fun’. We enjoy the same kinds of movies, but unless we go to the theatre and watch them on the ‘big screen’, and perhaps have a nice dinner afterwards, I don’t think of watching TV or movies together as ‘fun’. We go out on the motorcycle nearly every weekend in the summer, but unless we take a route we’ve not travelled before (or, better yet, get lost), it’s enjoyable, but not really ‘fun’. I’ve taken several ‘alone’ vacations (all within driving distance of home) but while I benefited from the experience, and enjoyed it, it’s the few trips we’ve taken together that have been ‘fun’.

In the past, ‘fun’ was derived from a combination of adventure and activity and friends. Now it seems more connected to the concept of doing something out of the ordinary, trying something new, switching things up and deviating from ‘routine’.  And it also appears that, while I take great pleasure in exploring new places, meeting new people, and participating in new activities on my own, I don’t really ‘have fun’ unless someone I care about is with me. It’s in the sharing that simple enjoyment or entertainment turns to ‘fun’.

I don’t like the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions. but I do believe it’s important to set goals every now and again. My goal for 2015 is to have more fun – to share life and all its glories with my family and close friends; to do new things and share the rush of joy that results with them. Because, let’s face it, life is too short to stop having fun!

 

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17 Comments
  1. February 2, 2015 2:08 pm

    I want to hear all the things you do this year that you classify as fun, Margo. I may have to try some of them myself.

    • February 4, 2015 9:34 am

      I’m still working on it but a wine tour through the Niagara-on-the-Lake district (they do one on an old double decker bus) and a antiquing trip (window shopping only) with my sister are on the short list!

  2. January 29, 2015 4:10 pm

    Well, that was thought provoking, Margo. Thank you. It is ironic, isn’t it, that we have to work at having fun? I think for me the missing element is spontaneity.

    • January 29, 2015 6:12 pm

      You can definitely take the fun out of things by planning too far ahead or too much.

  3. Melody DeBlois permalink
    January 27, 2015 10:10 pm

    I agree that you hit it, Margo. I think it’s the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that I long for. To welcome in the New Year I did the Polar Bear Plunge. (I jumped into an icy cold swimming pool.) I experienced so much joy, because I didn’t listen to my friends who told me I was too old and would end up in the hospital. Sometimes I just have to move out of my comfort zone.

    • January 28, 2015 9:34 am

      That’s awesome Melody! I could NEVER do that. I hate even a coldish bath! I think you were smart to ignore what others told you and, instead, stepped out of your comfort zone to see what happens. How do you know what’s possible (or fun) if you don’t try new things?!?!?!?

  4. January 26, 2015 9:27 am

    This struck a note with me today. I’m actually considering the same resolution. I’m with 3 girlfriends in Las Vegas for some FUN. To top it off I won $300.00, unheard of good luck for me. It was so much fun as we sat around a slot machine and hooted and hollered as it just kept paying out! Fun fun fun!

  5. January 26, 2015 8:16 am

    Yep, you nailed it for the over 55 crowd (of which I am one). Our sense of fun has changed dramatically. I found myself nodding in agreement with your post several times. We need to be intentional about making our fun (and try to stay out of the ER too!). Like you, I tend to think of my fun times as the ones I spend with my family.

    • January 26, 2015 8:47 am

      We just have to be careful not to OVER plan things – that always takes the fun out of it.

  6. January 25, 2015 7:10 pm

    I think that one reason having fun over 55 doesn’t happen as often as it should is the resulting visit to the emergency room.

    • January 25, 2015 7:12 pm

      Yup – been there, done that, got the wrist brace to prove it!

  7. January 25, 2015 5:33 pm

    This is sooo on the money. I too decided this was the year I’d dust myself off and get out there more. Already I’ve started walking with a friend. Did it in the mall a couple of times and had a coffee afterwards. I took a look around the food court and burst out laughing. “We’re sitting in the old geezard’s section.” She stared at me and didn’t blink. She didn’t say a word. “But, but I don’t feel how they look.” 😀 😀

    • January 25, 2015 6:50 pm

      I’m always amazed by the number of ‘old people’ at the mall some days. I never stop to think that I’m actually one of them! 🙂

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