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But seriously — where’s the fun?

Play date: Fun is everywhere for children, why is it so hard to come by for adults?(File photograph)

I spent happy hour last Friday attending a prison guard initiation day. Right after plotting to destroy the world at the pet store and fending off (or was it encouraging?) the advances of a 17th century, one-eyed pirate.

No, nobody had slipped Ayahuasca into my drink. It was all part of the silliness and games of Press Play, put on by Improv Bermuda in collaboration with the Bermuda Society of Arts.

Regular readers will know that I often wax lyrical about improv. The more I do, I discover it’s like a kind of extreme sport for the soul. Practising it teaches openness, vulnerability, courage, connection, listening, resilience and teamwork, among other things. But I mostly do it because I find it so much damn fun.

Am I alone in feeling that fun is somewhat hard to come by these days? My son doesn’t think so. Fun is everywhere for him: jumping into a swimming pool, racing on the beach, scootering down a hill at high speed, chasing our dog who’s stolen a teddy … laughter and joy are always within his reach.

For me though, while I do a lot of smiling, when it comes to fun I realise I’ve become a tricky customer. So much of life is responsibility: chores, doing my duty for some expected outcome. I even try to schedule ‘fun’ but can approach it with a critical eye. Where could it improve or how would I do it differently?

I sit back expecting others to bring me laughter. Julia Caesar ready with my thumb to go up or down. That easy laughter of youth feels far away. Perhaps laughter is like a muscle — use it or lose it. Mine’s definitely a little flabby.

So how can we create more fun in our lives?

Firstly, we have to define what fun is for us. It’s likely different for everyone. For me, I get a kick out of ‘playing’ (especially with others who are playful), making stuff up, experiencing my whole self, present in the moment. Perhaps that’s what my son feels dashing after a butterfly and singing very loudly.

It’s how I feel doing improv: there is no room for criticism or judgment or worrying about ‘life’ when you’re up there. The expected outcome is only the process itself. Even the audience has to be invested with the performer in the moment, in order to find the joy.

I’ve a friend who wakes up on a Monday and picks a theme for the week. For India Week, she’ll pull out her bright clothes, wear elephant earrings, eat curry, play Bollywood music in the car. The next week it might be Spain. There’s a party going on in her head and she’s always invited.

Couldn’t you use a bit more ‘play’ in your life? Where can you create a space for yourself and allow in a bit of silliness? How about a play date just for you?

Julia Pitt is a trained success coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on 705-7488, www.juliapit tcoaching.com.