I received an email one day from a woman who challenged my motto “Make it fun and it will get done,” and it caused me to think about what I mean by that. She 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 than being 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 luring us to spend money. The brochure brand of fun doesn’t make us happy unless we already are. Don't you know that from experience? This pic was taken at Senior Frogs in Cancun. The Frog definitely knows how to play and get not only children, but adults to have fun if they want to. I remember on that outing one of our grandchildren was upset about it all. It was too loud for her and she wanted no part of it. She was an example that joy has to come from within in order to have fun.
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 (my inner child) 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 every morning. 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. One day, for example we cleaned out George Clooney’s refrigerator.
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 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.
Your inner child is such a key to having fun in life. A question came up one day while I was doing the books for several companies my husband and I own: 'why do you like to reconcile these accounts and take care of the accounting of these businesses, it's so left brained?' I thought for a minute and the answer was, 'It's Nelly who loves to play office.'
When I was little, my dad let me have old office forms with duplicate carbon paper in them because the company he worked for (Standard Oil) gave him new and improved forms. I created a pretend office and collected office stuff; pencils, paper envelopes, and such. I'd get first grabs (before the trash can) of all the junk mail that came to our house every day, and I'd act like I was overloaded with paperwork (must have heard that stress from my parents). But that stress was fake and in its fakeness, it was fun!
So when I sit down to my desk to do left-brained accounting, I'm a little girl again, feeling so smart and important. And when I hit a job I don't like (like filing) I just pretend to make a call to my secretary to "get her butt in my office and file!!" When my secretary comes in (me) I act like I work for a tyrant boss and I file as fast as I can so I can get out of her hair and go have fun!
Make it fun and it will get done!
P.S. Click on the picture of our grandson (who is now a freshman in college) jumping over the warning DANGER!! Slippery When Wet for another blog on having fun.
My book about joy will help you get organized just enough to please you!