Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Times Get You Through.

Dreamin’ – Hot Air Balloon Rides by stop.down

This past weekend a beloved family member passed away. While we knew she was ill since last January, it was still a tough process to go through. For me, many of my happier memories are what helped me get through the tough times.

Often we think of fun and joy as frivolous and silly. We may think there are more important things, like our job, our house, our children and our bodies. While these things are important, they mean little to nothing if not enjoyed.

If all we did was labor at work, toil at home, or slave on the treadmill, life would be a boring, dull wasteland. If not what we do in life, but how we do it that makes life worthwhile. Seeing someone die enforces this lesson like nothing else can.

Joy, laughter, and interesting, exciting activities are what make life good. Thinking back to all the happy times we had made the sadness of her loss easier to bear. It’s a vibrant reminder that life is in the little things. Those things we do each and every day.

Do you sing while you wash the dishes? Do you stargaze as you take out the trash? Do you share a joke or two each day at work? These are all opportunities to add fun and joy to your day.

Planning your fun is an important step in producing festive souvenirs of the past. Too often we think that fun is something that just happens. We think if we go to the amusement park, our joy will be unbounded. Then we arrive and find long lines or blistering heat and our expectations are dashed.

Fun doesn’t have to be all or nothing. A family gathering of pizza and board games on Friday night can be spontaneous and silly. A dinner out with friends can be an adventure when you experiment with different cultures and tastes. Fun comes in millions of shapes and forms, there’s something out there for everyone.

Happy memories and good times can be wonderful when they occur, but their true value is in remembered joy. When life throws us into turmoil, it can be those bright, shining recollections of more joyous moments that glimmer with a beacon of hope. Perhaps if those cheerful, fortunate times happened before, they can happen again.

The key is realizing that now is the time to build those indelible moments that will stand the test of time. Don’t let bills or financial worries keep you from your fun. A day at the park or beach can be just as playful as a stay at an amusement park. A cookie exchange where each person brings their own favorite can be a tasty and fun way to exchange recipes and have a good time.

There is no perfect way to have fun. Have an indoor picnic while you watch the snow fall outside. Have a movie theme night and play only Jack Nicholson or only comedy movies. Have a garden party and make delicious dishes from the vegetables. Whatever hobby or game you enjoy can make for a fantastic starting point to fun. And you can start this very day. Let go and enjoy – it’s what life is all about!

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