As an intuitive coach, I find talking to women about their intuition and discussing finding their life's purpose is often a deadly serious subject for them. Their questions are as follows: Is there something else I should be doing for someone in my family? Should I volunteer more? Should I be working harder to make more money while raising the kids? The answer, when we break it down into how they spend their time, is usually a resounding no! They're overly tired, a bit tread upon by those around them, and are well on their way to becoming martyrs.
When I ask what they do to have fun, the answer is often silence. Then we have a good laugh, because they realize it shouldn't be that hard to answer.
The thing is, most of them have fun plans and ideas floating around in their minds, but to them these ideas seem so impossible to pursue that they procrastinate, while continuing to do things for others. We women seem to have plenty of time for doing things for others, but putting fun into our Blackberry or iPhone calendars is frequently a stumbling block.
Fun seems to be a four-letter-word for a lot of us. I say all this with compassion, because about 10 years ago, I really didn't know the answer to the fun question for myself, either.
After some soul searching, I came to realize that if I didn't do self-care that involved fun, everyone around me suffered. Now, I like to play video games, ride my motorcycle, and go to the movies and comedy clubs. As a recovering person, I can't say, "Let's go have drinks." That keeps me from getting lazy about my definition of fun. It makes me work harder at finding new ways to have it. We're willing to fall all over ourselves to schedule work, the kids' soccer games, our latest volunteer commitment, but how much time do we devote to thinking up and scheduling fun?
There are women out there going for their passion. They are part-time artists, athletes, and general rabble-rousers. One of my girlfriends doesn't just go to comedy clubs; she tried doing some comedy herself onstage here in Los Angeles. Another girlfriend regularly goes to concerts featuring the latest band from this week's radio playlist.
The energy of fun does flow into all areas of our lives. Having fun as a woman is being of service. It sets an example for our family and friends. It lightens our load so that we aren't canonized because of our martyrdom. Women I know who commit their time and schedules to having fun have life-force. They don't seem as tired, cranky, and resentful of their numerous commitments. I've found that diving into hobbies that I share with my husband has energized our marriage. We go on motorcycle dates and play video games. We also see chick flicks.
Knowing how to play video games also keeps me connected to my kids. Now, before you start lecturing me about how isolating and mind-numbing video games are, you should try playing a zombie attack game with the whole family. That really brings in the togetherness aspect, and you can be a bad-ass without anyone calling you a bad mom.
If you've made it through this far and are asking yourself, "Hey, what is it that I do to have fun?" and you've only come up with scrap-booking and laundry, it's time to get serious about having fun.
Here are three simple steps:
- Name three ideas floating in the back of your mind that you've thought you should do for fun but ignored because they seemed too crazy.
- Tell a friend or your partner about those fun ideas, and ask them to encourage you to choose and try at least one.
- Do it! Do it now!
Sometimes you have to lead yourself out of a rut with action steps. You simply can't think your way out of it.
There's absolutely nothing like taking the twisties of the back roads on my sport bike to remind me that it was worth the risk getting my motorcycle license. When you begin, it's scary having an entire motorcycle safety class and an instructor stare at you while you try to make tiny turns between cones and stop suddenly. Then it's more terrifying driving your own bike down the street. But it's also immensely satisfying taking risks for your soul.
I'm not suggesting that you have to get a motorcycle license to have fun. But I am suggesting that you have to risk looking foolish or foolhardy to get to the next level of womanhood. It may take some simple actions, but it can be done! Follow your fun.
Then call me, and we'll go to the comedy club.