Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I am Old and Crotchety

Have fun. My happiness commandment #4.

It seems crazy to have to will myself to have fun, but, alas, this is what my life has come to.

It’s so easy for me to bark orders at my daughter when we’re rushing around from home to school to work to the bank to the grocery store, while trying to squeeze in potty breaks and figure out how she has blue paint on her stomach under her shirt. But when I consciously make a choice to lighten up, be silly, and have fun regardless of the situation, it makes for a big happiness boost for me (and for the rest of the family!).

I used to think of this more along the lines of “have fun experiences,” when my daughter was tiny. I’d try to dream up fun outings we could do or places we could go (the park, the zoo, a museum, etc.), and if we did said outing, I’d think, “Check, we had fun today!”

But lately I’ve realized that it’s not the activity that creates the fun…it’s me! Shopping at Target can be a really fun time for us if I just relax and let myself be silly while we’re shopping. Likewise, even if we’re at a circus with clowns hand-feeding us eating cotton candy (Is that super-fun or a little creepy? I was aiming for super-fun.), I can zap the joy right out of the moment with one harsh word or moment of impatience.

Today while doing speech therapy with some really amazing kiddos, I tried to help an older sister learn to have fun with her little sister by singing the speckled frog song. Just fun, no teaching. Sometimes kids with disabilities get taught at so much that we forget they can actually learn by just having fun, too! This was one of our best sessions, and we got some 2 word sentences from this typically one word at a time kiddo. Yay, fun and productive sessions make me happy.

Have fun! This one should be so easy! But I guess I’m getting old and crotchety, since I have to work at it.

How do you inject fun into your everyday life? On the flip-side, are there times when you’ve accidentally made fun activities into drudgery (and how did you recover from it?)?

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