We deserve more fun.
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Life has been pretty heavy for the last few years, so I’m actively trying to inject more light-hearted fun into my days.
This takes effort.
I tend toward earnestness. If you’re in the mood to dissect your feelings or contemplate the meaning of life, I’m your gal.
It’s not like I’m a total drag or have zero sense of humor (NO REALLY I CAN BE FUNNY). I just feel most at home in the deep end of the pool. But even I have my limits. I need more time in the shallows. Maybe on one of those silly rafts holding a fruity drink with a little umbrella in it.
I wanted to do something festive for my 54th birthday. Everything that can be celebrated should be celebrated, you know? But I’m also COVID-cautious, especially now that my 83 year-old Mom lives nearby. So no big party or dinner in a crowded restaurant.
I was also emotionally tapped out. My birthday fell between my Mom’s move to Portland (which I managed) and Thanksgiving (which I was hosting), and my system was overloaded.
Rael and I ended up having takeout and presents by the fire. It was lovely. We agreed to postpone major celebrating, but I assumed any plans would get lost in the shuffle of the holidays and the huge transition my Mom was facing as she adjusted to her new life. Festive would wait till next year. It was no one’s fault and I was too exhausted to be disappointed.
I found other ways to celebrate. On a whim, I bought myself a slice of four-layer pumpkin cake and a solo ticket to see Patti Smith read from her new book, The Book of Days. Look at me! Doing something fun!
Then Giyen suggested a birthday sleepover.
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Giyen is a longtime blogging friend. We met as cast members in the 2008 web series Momversation. Incredibly, she’s also my neighbor. She moved to Portland a few years ago and now lives a few blocks away. We walk a lot, swapping updates and brainstorming about our writing dreams. Often we’re just confused together. It’s not like the last few years have been normal for either of us.
Giyen is good at pondering the universe with me. She’s also good at having fun.
We’d joked about a sleepover before. “We’ll braid each other’s hair! We’ll consult a ouija board! We’ll tell ghost stories!” But this time we actually set a date.
We had to wait till early January for schedules to line up, but WE DID IT. Giyen planned the whole thing. We spent the first half of the day snowshoeing (my first time). It was like hiking through Narnia. The ideal blend of easy and adventurous with a tiny bit of suspense as we trudged over the lake ice.
We spent the late afternoon and evening in PJs in her cozy apartment. We ate fancy cheese and drank fancy zero-proof drinks. I helped out in the kitchen while she made clam chowder and crab cakes. We split a key lime bar for dessert.
After dinner, she broke out her tarot deck and we giggled and marveled at what the cards revealed. We watched TV under the couch blankets, nodding off before the show was over. I shuffled off to sleep in Giyen’s guest bedroom.
It was an entire day of A-level FUN.
Why am I telling you this story?
Not because I want to brag about my perfect-and-marvelous life.
I’m telling you this story because our sleepover almost didn’t happen. I had to push myself to reserve 30 hours for my own enjoyment. I had to tolerate the discomfort of leaving behind unfinished work. I had to resist postponing when a houseguest came to stay the same weekend. I had to decide it was okay to inconvenience other people so I could have some fun.
I’m telling you this because you deserve to have fun, too.
Consider this a gentle nudge. There’s never a convenient time. There will always be unfinished work.
Your version of fun may not involve snowshoeing or clam chowder, but it involves something within your reach right now, even if that something is small.
Go make it happen. Go have some fun.
Visit Giyen at her wonderful Substack newsletter.
I’m taking next week off for travel and some family business. A new community post will go live this Saturday, but my next public newsletter will go out on 2/16/23. Have a good week, friends.