“What you need to do is to have some fun,” a therapist friend of mine told me last month. I wasn’t there as his client, but I could be, if that sort of conversation continues. You see, I’d just had what I call “fun”, in visiting with him. He’s funny, he listens to me, he has interesting things to say, the phone calls weren’t for me, no terrorists attacked, no child was sticking a bean up its nose, and there were no sirened-vehicles involved.
What elicited the comment was my complaining (well we all have feet of clay), about the fact that my house hasn’t sold. I take exception to this sort of response – “go have some fun” – for three reasons: #1, my “having fun” is not going to help my house get sold, #2, who’s in charge of defining the word “fun”? #3, it implies I am not at that moment “having fun,” which, sadly, leaves me to suspect that my companion-of-the-moment is not.
YOU SAY ‘TOMATO’ I SAY ‘TOMATO’
It happened again last week. I had a nice long talk with a good friend on the phone, which I enjoyed tremendously, and then as we got ready to hang up, she changed her tone of voice completely and said, “And let’s get together and have some FUN.”
I chuckled to myself, with my warm tummy and feel-good feelings. I had just HAD fun.
Am I the only one so easily pleased?
SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEA OF FUN
“The dreaded ‘Let’s go have some fun’ statement,” I call it.
Please, please don’t drag me to a smoke-filled bar where everyone’s drunk, or force me to stand in line an hour to ride some 5-minute ride at the amusement park, or drive around a half hour looking for a parking place in 100 degree heat, to then walk 1 mile to get to the Festival du Jour. These are not “fun” for me.
Having fun is an important part of any wellness regime and good life, but it’s been defined, I fear, by people other than myself. I hear this from clients as well, who’ve been told by their therapists and coaches to take a vacation, get a massage, go dancing, or go white-water rafting.
I think of the person who told me, when I was a working single-parent with two boys expressing fatigue and the blahs, to go on a vacation, go have some fun. “All of you.”
Now, if you’ve been a single parent with two kids, you will know that while a family vacation is enjoyable, it is not the prescription for a tired, overwhelmed single working mother. Or are your kids and your family vacations different than mine?
One of the last ones we took, I survived preparing for the trip and the usual travel hassles, made it to the resort, dealt with the lost reservations while the kids fought because they were tired and hungry, grubbed up some food when we found the restaurant closed, then finally got the boys settled, plopped down in a lounge chair by the pool and declared, “Let the vacation begin!”
Five minutes later, the boys arrived, and one of them had a fish hook through his thumb. 5 hours of blood, sweat and tears later, more tired than I’d been before, I declared, a bit less sure this time, “Let the vacation begin?”