Monday, May 30, 2011

"It's Not Supposed to be Fun"

From David:

I can imagine the eyes of my great-grandmother-in-law studying mine from a photograph on the wall, her left eye seeming cold and decisive, knowing, while her right eye portrays a loving and easy-going side. If I could extract a philosophy from her countenance, it might be "have a good time, when you can".

It seems that I do that "when you can" kind of thinking, a lot.

Nearing 40 years of age, I find myself sifting out beliefs about "adulthood", "parenthood", and "responsibility" that I inserted into my belief system at some point for some reason, to do my best for myself. It feels wonderful to toss many of them out, and many of them seem to tie into this one: "It's not supposed to be fun." Doing the dishes, paying bills, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, getting the oil changed in the car, basically any "job" or "chore"... all of these things I remember enjoying the first time I did them. The thrill was gone soon after, as I mentally re categorized those tasks, labeling them now with the words "should" or "have to".

If you're reading this, chances are good that you have adopted the belief, "happiness is a choice". for yourself. Looking at my imaginary great-grandma-in-law's "when you can", but now with a "happiness is a choice" filter, it looks different: we always can have a good time, if we choose to. Of course, it's difficult to see how to choose happiness sometimes. For me, that's often when I'm leaning on that "it's not supposed to be fun" idea.

Everything can be fun. I know people who love doing laundry, enjoy cleaning toilets, and dive into their job with passion. Those people are inspiration, because:

  • it's possible

  • it's doable for anyone

  • it's a choice to be comfortable/uncomfortable about Anything

When I struggle, in the now, with finding my way to choose happiness, I remember that. That inspiration helps me to break the dam of patterned thinking. Creativity opens, and my answer to the left eye of my great-nanny becomes "You always can."

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