Are You Havin’ Any Fun? is an old song with lyrics by Jack Yellen and music by Sammy Fain. It goes something like this:
Are you havin’ any fun?
What y’gettin’ out o’ livin’?
What good is what you’ve got
If you’re not havin’ any fun?
I heard it for the first time several years ago when, frankly, my life kind of sucked. My husband was going through cancer treatments, my eldest daughter was blossoming into the fullness of her mental illness, and I had three other young souls I was caring for with all their challenges and wonderfulness.
The song hit me like a lightning bolt. I can’t control the things that go on around me. In the morass of real life, I am only responsible for my own reactions and my own happiness.
Even when life was crashing around me, I could still choose to do things that made me happy – could still choose to have a little fun. Besides, what good is what you’ve got if you’re not having any fun?
Once I gave myself permission to have fun, another world opened up!
Try New Things
I suspect you have a list running in the back of your head. You say, “When I have time, I’ll _______________.” Or, “When things settle down, I’ll _____________.”
My list is long. I figured if I didn’t jump on them, I might run out of time!
I have an older sister/friend who shares some of my interests. In the past few years, we have been making jewelry together. We were both intrigued by the idea of chainmail and we found a teacher who has published and taught extensively on the topic. We’ve been happily weaving since then.
Speaking of weaving, that list in the back of my head also included learning to weave baskets. We found a teacher/mentor/friend and we have taken many classes with her as well.
She likes to joke, “Basket-weaving is cheaper than therapy!” We’ve been fortunate enough to find a group of women who share life while they share weaving.
Go Back to Old Things
I have always loved music. Indeed, I started college at a music conservatory. Deciding to detour to law school, I put music in the closet for a while.
Thinking I would rekindle some interest, I bought a guitar. Surprisingly, I remembered a lot! (I was a flute major, but they made us learn to play lots of different instruments.)
I played around with it but I didn’t feel my heart sing. No big deal. I sold the guitar on a neighborhood board and checked that off my list.
And that was OK. If you don’t try things, you will never know if they speak to you.
Other than an interest in music, I have always kept some kind of journal. Several years ago, I tripped across a thing called an art journal.
My brain nearly exploded! Art journals can be filled with color, quotes, designs, paint, glued paper – just about anything you can imagine. Google the term “art journal” and you will be amazed.
What I particularly love about art journaling is that you can do it even if you don’t consider yourself much of an artist. That’s definitely me! Keeping an art journal gives you permission to play and get messy!
Speaking of getting messy, when was the last time you got messy?
For me, that might mean mixing paints with my fingers. For you, maybe it’s digging in the mud of your yard to create a backyard paradise. I know some moms who love getting their hands dirty doing home repairs.
The point is this: Dig in and get messy! You may ignite or reignite a passion that will add color and excitement to your life!
You don’t need permission. If not now, when?
What kind of hobbies are like therapy for you? When was the last time that you really had fun with a project or passion that you love? Please share your stories in the comments below!