April 1

Those who do not get
fun and enjoyment out of
every day. . . need to
reorganize their lives.

George Matthew Adams


Today's Meditation:

I always feel a bit hesitant to put forth any idea of what other people "need" to do with their lives.  After all, aren't we all living our own lives in the best ways we know, doing the best that we can?  But I think that George's point here is a valid one.  We might want to add "If they want to live happy and fulfilling lives" to the beginning of the sentence to make it conditional, but the major message is still the same:  life is to be enjoyed, and we are here to have fun in responsible ways.  Why, then, do so many of us cease enjoying the experience of being human beings?

Fun and enjoyment don't have to be the kind of fun you have playing catch on the beach on a sunny day.  I have fun at work, believe it or not, even when the classes I teach aren't of the "fun" variety.  I do my best to get to know the students, and I have fun learning about them and seeing their growth.  It's very often very stressful, and it's not as much fun when that happens, but then I try to find something else that's fun for me (like running) to relieve that stress.

On the other hand, I found that I was never having any fun when I went to a certain person's house.  I stopped going, and it's been a great change for me.

To me there are two ways to start to get more fun out of life--either look at what you're doing through different eyes, or change what you're doing.  Almost anything can be fun if we approach it from a perspective that allows it to be so.  There were long stretches of time when I was in the Army when I wasn't having any fun at all, and each time I had to make an adjustment to my attitude.  I reminded myself that there were plenty of people around me who were doing the exact same things that I was doing, and they were having fun at it, so there was no reason at all that I couldn't have fun as well.

When we have fun with our work, our work turns out better.  When we have fun helping our kid with homework, we both benefit from a stronger relationship.  Changing our attitudes to "how can I make this fun?" can bring about a profound change in our lives.  Perhaps I would suggest to George that he add two words to the end of his quotation:  "or attitudes."

Questions to consider:

During which projects or jobs do you have no fun?  Why not?  Is there a way to possibly make them fun?

Why is fun so important in our lives? 

Why are kids able to have much more fun than we are, even though we have many more freedoms and opportunities than they do? 

For further thought:

While ideas such as discipline and focus are undeniably important, so is the idea of having fun.  With a small amount of effort, we can extract all the fun and joy out of most parts of our lives--our relationships, our work, even our leisure time.  We can put so many restrictions and should's on everything we do that our very lives become dull, overly ponderous, and routine.  Before long, we find ourselves living up to a set of rules--and we're not certain where the rules came from or whose they are.  Let yourself go.  Have a little fun with life.  Or, have a lot of fun with life.  If you've spent years being extremely disciplined, reliable, and somber, maybe part of achieving balance is having a decade of fun.

Melody Beattie



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