I received an email the other day challenging me on my motto “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 luring us in to spend money. The brochure brand of fun doesn’t make us happy. I know that from experience. 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 being 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 are expected to taste and then buy by the case. It was hot the day we went there 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!
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 is 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 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.
Terry and I are off for a vacation next week. I’m sure we’ll be looking at brochures that will point to fun in every direction but the real fun that leads to more happiness is in loving each other and our friends we’ll be playing with!