I am blessed. I realized at a very young age that I determine the answer to “Are we having fun yet?” What truly makes something fun is our own attitude about it. I’ve had some great role models along the way, but the idea of enjoying each moment and phase of life came from a book I read as a child.
The book is called It’s NICE to be LITTLE by John Stanley. It’s out of print, but you can watch me read it here: http://www.tapferconsulting.com/free-stuff/ It’s about all the great things that you can do when you are little. The last line is, “But never, never again will you have the fun you had when you were little.” So very true!
Life is a series of phases. We are little, we go to middle school, then high school. Some of us go to college, get jobs, get married, and maybe have children. As I grew up, I noticed many people lamenting the current phase and wishing for the next. That always seemed silly to me, and I think that I have It’s NICE to be LITTLE to thank for that.
I first became conscious of how different my attitude was from most everyone else’s in high school. Some of the other girls tried to act older and sniffed at immature high school activities. They didn’t look like they were having fun. I had a blast in high school! I played sports, acted in plays, and enjoyed learning. Of course, there was some heartbreak and drama – things also inherent in the high school experience. However, I never wished I was somewhere else. I knew that high school was a short and lovely time that would never happen again in my life.
I’ve tried to truly immerse myself in every phase I’ve been through. College was grand! I stayed out late, partied, and maintained a good GPA. I lived in dorms, where food was provided, with other young women. Hallelujah! My husband and I were married for six years before we had kids, and we did fun, silly, young people stuff. We lived in Germany, traveled, slept on trains, and explored ruins. It was a wonderful time.
Then we had children. The fun we had been having was no longer an option, but kids brought a different kind of fun. We played games, went to playgroup, read books, went to museums, looked for creatures under rocks, and played silly, made-up games. As they grew, fun looked different, but it was always fun. We went camping with Boy Scouts and watched movies. Conversations became more engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed raising my two sons, even though nurturing is not my forte. I love them and loved doing things with them.
There are also people who can make any event fun. My mom was one of those people. She lived with us for ten years, and she would jump in and join me on whatever harebrained scheme I was doing. If I volunteered to make the Cub Scout centerpieces out of pipe cleaners and tissue paper, she was at the table with me – and we laughed the whole time.
Mom could make anything fun. We never carried a heavy piece of furniture together when we didn’t have to put it down because we were laughing too hard to go on. We raced to get the fitted sheet on the bed so that we wouldn’t be the one who had to do the last hard corner. She sat on the floor and played “action figures” endlessly with the boys. She was fun to be around.
I have another friend named Mary who has the same quality. She can make anything fun, and we have done some questionable activities together. She always starts with, “I have something fun for us to do.” She could then follow up with, “We are going to find a big ol’ hog in a messy pig pen and give it a bath,” and she’d be right. No matter what scheme she proposed, it would always be fun because she is fun.
In the end, we make summer fun with our attitude and determination to make each moment as fun as possible. I, for one, think that sitting in cool grass and pulling weeds is fun. Learning is fun. Editing videos is fun. Anything with Mary is fun. The list goes on, and I haven’t even gotten to the really fun stuff.
The things to remember are:
- Be here now.
- Decide to have fun, no matter what you are doing.
- Find fun people.
- Be a fun person.
Nothing too hard. We can all answer yes to “Are we having fun yet?”
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