“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” Erich Fromm
One of the habits I have lost along the way was the ability to have fun. I noticed it only recently when I was taking stock of myself and my habits after being retired for almost a year. I did things that I liked to do such as gardening and photography. And yes they were fun, but I felt something was missing in these endeavors, in my life. And I found I did not have as many hobbies or friends to “play” with anymore.
Now I know I am an adult and we have to work, but there was never anything that precluded us from playing and having fun with friends as an adult. It just seemed my life became about the job… especially since we had no children. And there was less and less fun in the job as time went on. Challenges had replaced pure fun, and for a while sufficed. But soon the joy seeped out of the job and I couldn’t find it anymore. It became, “I have to” not “I get to”. Where was the fun in that?
And sadly it was as if I didn’t know how to play anymore once I retired. I used to amuse myself for hours as a child bouncing and catching a ball to see how many times I could do it without missing. I would wander and smell the flowers, look at the bugs, climb trees, swing, wade in the creek, ride my bike, and all alone if friends were busy. When friends were around we would play make-believe games, riding our horses to the rescue (our bikes with rope tied around the handlebars). We would roll down hills, play tag, hide and seek and even card or board games. Nothing planned or scripted, but whatever we felt like doing in the moment that would bring us immeasurable joy.
I miss those simple games, those creative fun times lost for hours in the sheer joy of life. When we were with family at Thanksgiving, my 27-year-old niece and her fiancé wanted to play a board game. So we got out the only game my sister had, Trivial Pursuit. You bet I was in and ready to play. And we were lost for hours playing the game, making up new rules and having so much….you guessed it, FUN! Yes I won, but that is beside the point.
One of the ways I know I can create more joy in my life is to learn to play again….to let go and be creative…find what amused me as a child and still does. There are the obvious things like riding my bike, wandering around the garden and watching bugs. But those will have to wait for warmer weather. It will be challenging to see what fun things I can find this winter…I love puzzles and there are a few jigsaw puzzles with my name on them just waiting to be put together. And perhaps a bit of play in the snow-making snow angels and snowmen!
Of course once the weather warms up and spring fever hits, I will be itching to get out and have some fun in the garden. I can ride my bike over to the lake and see what’s what. Oh that sounds like fun….you know I never get over there. I wonder why…it could be fun!! And there is flower arranging, or maybe painting a few pictures of flowers….oh I think I am going to like that too.
But more than doing all these things, I will be continuing to find more and more time to create joy…the pure joy from just exploring my surrounds and enjoying life in the moment with no scripted plans. The possibilities are endless. All I have to do is get back into the flow of those joyful, spontaneous moments of life. Hey if you are in the neighborhood, stop on by…no need to call….we can play. It will be such great fun!
Note: The yellow roses pictured here represent joy.
I leave you with some additional thoughts on, creating joy in our lives. Feel free to download this photo and share.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.