I was in a conversation recently where having FUN was considered frivolous…and business and productivity were almost only valued. I have reflected on it a lot, not because I agree intellectually, but because my nature tends to lean that way. If I could go back in time and change anything about my life as a mom…or really just a human, it would be to have more FUN. Work, learning, service, and relationship building are ALL IMPROVED WITH FUN.
One great example of this is Kate’s third grade teacher. Kate did well in kindergarten and first grade. She began reading so early (at three) and has always been so smart. She has a summer birthday, but I never considered holding her back because she was already ahead of kindergarten curriculum well before she entered school. What I didn’t realize was that she wasn’t ready for a traditional school schedule or work day. Her creative and fast moving mind was really struggling with the tasks and sitting required at school. It caught up with her in 2nd grade. Her teacher was really contentious and wanted to help. She even got the principal involved at one point. Kate remembers really liking that teacher-but the teacher, knowing how smart she was, remained frustrated.
The following year was completely different. Kate had a younger, energetic and extremely positive teacher. Mrs. Curtis kept the kids working and expected a lot, but implemented CREATIVITY, THEIR INTERESTS and FUN amazingly well. I still get teary thinking about it. This teacher knew a few of the girls loved THE SISTERS GRIMM series, Ellie and Kate being two of those girls. (Ellie wasn’t even in her class!) Mrs. Curtis spent many lunch periods hosting a SISTERS GRIMM bookclub, when I am sure she could have used some peace and quiet during recess. They would come home from school, their faces lit up, telling me all about it. It increased both of their love of school and reading. It was amazing. SHE is amazing.
The FUN and POSITIVE ENERGY Mrs. Curtis brought to her day and teaching is what I am striving to improve on. How can I make a task more FUN? How can we have more FUN as a family? In what ways am I taking myself too seriously? How can I make my career FUN?
A few strategies that have helped me-
I write in my dream journal everyday– “I cherish Danny and our marriage that is filled with love, enthusiasm, growth and FUN” It reminds me that having FUN together is a value that I cherish…and my heart lightens a bit just writing that.
Schedule FUN. When ever Danny and I have reflected on our favorite memories as a family- they have almost ALL been attached to a vacation…having fun. We relax and allow ourselves more FUN when we are on vacation, but scheduling it at home more regularly will bind our family memories more tightly together, which is important to us.
Follow the kids. I have played UNO almost every night this week before bed, because Sophie asked me to. Then I call everyone in to join us. UNO is not my favorite game- but I have been so grateful for the smiles and togetherness to end the day. I am trying to remember to always take up a child’s invitation to play with them. Play is so good for our emotional state and strengthens learning and relationships.
That is a fairly short list that I would love to grow. How do you add more FUN to your life? I know my sister in law would say, drive a convertible! I might add that to my dream journal today!