An email came in the other day challenging the notion to “Make it fun and it will get done,” and it caused me to pause. The woman had said something about fun not leading to happiness and since I think happiness is the most important goal we can ever have, (I think it’s more important to be happy than to be organized) I had to think seriously about my definition of fun.
The word fun can conger up vacations, yachts, fast cars, parties and any of the stuff of brochures that lure us to spend money. The "brochure" brand of fun is great and it can make us happy for a little while, but it's happiness based on a condition and that brand of happiness is not lasting.
For example, last summer Terry and I won tickets to a Wine and Jazz Festival in a park in Vancouver. The brochure was glitzy! The thought of a Wine and Jazz Festival made me happy, but in reality I only like a certain kind of jazz (much of it reminds me of when I was a young mother with the relentless and repetitious sound of young kids saying, “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama”) and I’m not into expensive wines that you're expected to taste and then buy by the case. It was hot the day we went to the festival and we’d never heard of the person who was jamming up on the stage, so we walked through the park and went home. Wheeeeee!
Were we happy? Yes, but not happy because of the festival, we were happy because we practice being happy because we're alive and conscious of it.
When I say, “Make it fun and it will get done,” I’m talking about finding joy in everything we do. It takes practice, but it's worth achieving and it raises the bar on our happiness quotient. Nelly gets all the credit for helping me enjoy the mundane chores of keeping my home neat and tidy and running the general business of homemaking. It was her idea to get a bedspread that we absolutely loved, to give us motivation to make the bed. It works for us. I let her imagination run wild when it comes to cooking, grocery shopping, exercising and even cleaning out a closet. I know that once I get into a project I love it no matter what it is, so all I have to do is get Nelly to drum up a juicy reason to dive in and get started. Yesterday, for example we cleaned out Matt Czuchry's refrigerator. (Matt played Cary Argos in "The Good Wife.")
I’m grateful for the example Hollywood stars give us when it comes to brochure fun. Just think, they are the richest, most glamorous, talented and famous people on earth and they have more access to the best of brochure fun; the best parties, the most romance with beautiful partners, the most expensive cars, the most luxurious homes, the most exotic vacations and the opportunity to attend the best sports and theatrical events and they repeatedly remind us that these fun things simply do not lead to happiness.
I can’t begin to imagine how fun it would be to look like Sandra Bullock or Halle Berry or have the amount of money they have just for doing one movie, but I also can’t imagine having the world see my heartbreak on the cover of People Magazine. Charlie Sheen is gorgeous, funny, talented and adored by his fans and we don’t know what it would be like to have the world at our feet, but we can sure use Charlie (bless his little heart) as a teacher. The world at our feet does not a happy person make. If we can learn from others’ lives (a sure sign of wisdom) we should be very grateful to these people for providing such credible testimony that fun doesn’t lead to happiness.
When you start your day, start it with gratitude for the opportunity to live another day. Expect to find joy in the gift of another day. Look forward to having fun with those close to you. And above all be kind to yourself for you have to spend an eternity with you, so make it fun.
P.S. When I wrote "The Joy of Being Disorganized," my main purpose was to write about what a fabulous person you are if you've struggled with being disorganized. In my 40-year career helping disorganized women to get organized, I bumped into too many incredibly talented and loving people who were beating themselves up because their closets were disorganized, or because they were chronically late, or over drawn in there bank account. This book will help you get organized just enough to please you, and help you understand how amazing you are in spite of your disorder. Just click on the cover to purchase.