- Activities that are enjoyable or amusing
- Verbal wit or mockery (often at another’s expense but not to be taken seriously)
- A disposition to find (or make) causes for amusement
When you think of fun, what comes to mind? Maybe a few drinks at the pub, going to a party, doing something exciting, or going on holiday?
Of course you need to have fun; you have a stressful life, children, a mortgage, no money, relationship problems. You deserve a little fun in life.
When you are a child, what does fun mean? Happily running round in circles, playing with boxes, chasing the dog, painting our faces. This is fun! Everyone encourages you! Climbing trees, laughing with friends, riding our bikes, without a care in the world… Then we grow up, and become adults.
Now, no one encourages you to climb a tree, ride your bike, splash in the stream or swim in the lake. Unless of course, you are on a scheduled holiday from work that is. Then it’s acceptable.
You’re an adult now, face up to your responsibilities. Become more serious. After all, life is a serious business! Get a job, get married, get a mortgage, get children, get a better job, get a bigger mortgage, get more children.
Wait a minute, what’s this about? We all know we have to eat, and have somewhere to live. We also know we are biologically programmed to seek out a mate and have children, to ensure the human race doesn’t die out. That’s pretty clear isn’t it? We all know we have to work to earn some money, as that is how we pay for food, accommodation, clothing, holidays, children, etc… But who told you to be serious?
- Concerned with work or important matters rather than play or trivialities
In your work, you sometimes have to be serious, but by that, I mean concentrate; pay attention to what you are doing. If you are a welder, an airline pilot, a scaffolder, a typist, or a deal maker, it makes perfect sense for you to be “serious” whilst you are involved in that activity, otherwise the job would not be done safely, correctly, or to anyone’s satisfaction.
But this is a different type of seriousness, the type that comes from inside, the seriousness which is not concentration or attention to detail. This is sadness. Look around you in the office, or your place of work. Look at your colleagues faces. What do you see? Do you see happiness/joy in what they are doing? Do they look like they are enjoying themselves?
“Hold it,” I hear some of you say “work is not a place to enjoy yourself; you enjoy yourself in your own time, not in the company’s time.”
But this is your time, your very, very, short time on this planet – 80 or 90 years for the lucky ones. And out of that time, how much time do you spend working? Well, if you live in a country with an education system and retirement plan, you may leave school at 18 and work until 65 (otherwise you would find yourself working almost your whole life till you die, if you have no money) that’s 47 years. 47 years! So let’s look at your life span:
0 – 5: Just fun
6 – 12: Fun plus school
12 – 18: Fun decreasing, seriousness increasing (must study hard)
18 – 65: Work
65 – 80: Retired, coping with the onset of old age. Die. The end.
Now that might seem a bit morbid for a topic entitled “Fun,” but I just want to show you that the majority of your life will be spent at work. At least 8 hours per day, plus travel time. Nearly half of the 24 hour day. Oh, I forgot to mention, you’ll need to take approximately 7 to 8 hours off for sleeping too, leaving you with a grand total of about 5 hours for you! Oh yes, you’ll need to eat as well, have a shower, look after the children, pay some bills…
It’s no wonder people are heading off for a drink to relax! They haven’t got time for anything else. Climbing trees, riding your bike? No chance! Maybe a quick drink, cinema, or something to eat and straight to bed, is all most people can manage at the end of the working day. You haven’t got time for anything else. Work is taking up all of your time.
“But everyone needs to work” you say. “How would we eat, pay the mortgage…”
But that’s not what we are talking about here. What we are discussing, is that when you are an adult, you are expected to be serious. The company expects you to be serious, your parents expect you to be serious: “When will you ever grow up?” The whole of society wants you to be serious. Everyone expects something from you. You must provide, you must have ambition, you must have a good car, you’re children must go to the best school. You must conform. You must be serious; you must take your responsibilities seriously.
Adults must be serious!
But this is your life, right? A short life you have here on earth. Who is to tell you to be serious? Go on, act like a child, laugh when it’s inappropriate, make silly faces, smile all the time! But you can’t, can you? Because life is serious, your boss would fire you, people would ridicule you as a “joker,” your parents would again tell you to grow up. Your friends wouldn’t respect you.
I understand it’s hard being an adult, with such high expectations placed on such narrow shoulders, but do me one favour, can you? Tell me that even if you don’t do what you love, you love what you do.
So even if you love horse riding and are not a professional jockey, or you love singing but are not a professional singer, you at least love doing your job every day, whether it’s stamping invoices, working in the mail room, working on the checkouts, delivering pizza, working on the assembly line, reading marketing reports, selling office furniture, removing peoples rubbish, designing computer software, or are even chairman of the board.
If you love what you do, and you can have fun doing it, then the X hours a day, you spend doing it are well worth it indeed. But most people aren’t like that are they? They are doing a job because it’s good money, it’s what they studied to become, or it or has good career prospects. They are doing it because the company has a good pension plan, they can’t get anything else, or it’s just a stop gap until they find what they really want to do.
That’s why I ask you to look around you, and look at people’s faces. Look around you in the streets at all the people shopping. Do they look like they’re having fun? Do you look like your having fun? Or are you just existing in the world, doing your duty as an adult, paying your bills, going to work every day for a company whose idea of fun is “jeans and hawaiian shirt friday,” or “team building days,” “social evenings,” and “ office parties.”
Companies know you spend most of your life giving your time and energy to help them make more money, and know that most of you probably only turn up every day because you need the money. So every once in a while, they make you feel better by providing “fun” days, where everyone can relax and let their hair down. Christmas parties, summer barbecues.
Just don’t have too much fun, otherwise people will be talking about you on monday, and don’t have fun at work unless the boss says it’s ok. Work is a serious business, remember that. The company tells you when it’s fun time, not you.
Fun laid on for adults usually means one thing: “Alcohol.” Whether at a company party, social event, down the local pub, out at a nightclub, or dinner at home. It allows us to relax and allows us to have fun. It is adult fun, a prescribed dose of anti-seriousness. Everyone expects you to drink alcohol when you’re an adult!
“I had such a fun evening last night! But I’ve got a real hangover today…”
How many times have you heard that? I’ve certainly said it on numerous occasions. So what we want to know is: can you have fun without alcohol, or is alcohol the fun?
Imagine for a moment you are at a friend’s barbecue, at a company party, or down the pub. Now imagine having four glasses of water instead of wine or beer! How much fun would that be all evening? You may enjoy yourself, but would you be having as much fun drinking water as you would have drinking alcohol? This is a serious problem for all of us, when we only start to have fun when we are detached from reality.
Just look at a child, and tell me he needs to have a drink to have fun
We are so busy working and earning money to pay bills, that we have forgotten how to have real fun; and I’m not talking about going on an adventure holiday, or any external entertainment, I am talking about internal fun. The feeling that life is fun, that it’s great to be alive. The feeling that you want to smile in the morning, that you enjoy life and everything life throws at you.
The more fun you find in daily life, the more you stop being a slave to seriousness, a false idea, peddled by parents and teachers, that you must grow up, and face up to your responsibilities. Growing up is a process that happens all by itself, and as an adult, these are your primary responsibilities as I see them, whether male or female.
A. You need to provide food and water for yourself and your family.
B. You need a house for shelter and warmth.
C. You need to provide clothing for yourself.
D. If you have children you must care for them, and educate them (love is not a responsibility).
E. You need to find a way to pay for the above.
How you do it is up to you, but once you stop conforming to the idea that you must be serious in life, you will feel younger. Laugh out loud, smile, dress how you want, learn a musical instrument, change jobs, learn something new, choose work that allows you to enjoy the day, not a job where it’s dark when you get up and dark when you come home. Laugh with friends, find something you love and find a way to get paid for it! Have a party with no alcohol! (that’s probably a scary feeling), be happy when you meet people. The list could go on and on… It’s up to you!
That feeling of fun inside you costs nothing. It’s always been there, just waiting to get out. It’s just been suppressed by years of conditioning, the fear of failing to conform. Just because you have a mortgage, a job, a car, and three kids doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You just need to reach inside.
Let go of other peoples expectations. Just because you are married with three children doesn’t mean you have to carry on hating your job! Once you let fun into your life, new ideas will come to you…
Enjoy yourself; you’re in the prime of your life, whatever age you are. You know why? Because you are alive, you are a human being.
That you even exist is an amazing feat! Through millions of years of evolution and the love of two people, here you are. A being marked with superior intelligence, and articulate speech. You really are amazing, in fact we all are, and we’re only here for a short time. So doesn’t it make sense to stop being serious, and celebrate being alive? It’s time to have fun, to break down the conditioning, the expectations, the growing up. It’s time to have the time of our lives.
When life is fun, anger is superfluous, negative emotions fade away. By letting fun into your life thought loses its grip on us, fear loses its grip, we stop controlling ourselves according to tradition, to culture, to the media, to politicians, to religion. And when we do that we let love into our lives, as the act of fun is love. Love of yourself, your family, your colleagues, your friends. Love of the world. Try it, you might just like it.
Miserable office worker, 38
No social life
Three kids (private school)
One wife (spends too much)
Five credit cards (all up to the limit)
Bored with all of above
Anything he wants to be!