On a day off, several years ago….
It’s ‘time-off’ time again – the time I know I need, but find difficult to take. Some weeks the time stands out in my diary as a welcoming light of refuge. Other weeks I feel its impending approach and the demands it makes on me to come up with some idea of what to do – with the added pressure that the idea be ‘fun’.
A year or so ago, I was ‘accosted’ in the street by a man wanting me to sign up to some charitable cause or other. But his approach was different to the usual ‘Can I have 30 seconds of your time?’ One always suspects such requests are less demanding in wording than the time that will actually be required of you.
He surprised me by asking, ‘Whatta you do for fun?!!’
He’d managed to arrest me – to stop my purposeful stride through the streets of this familiar city. I couldn’t come up with an answer quick enough. I stood there, staring blankly out onto the main street, mentally scanning my life for evidence of fun. Even he seemed surprised!
It’s not that I don’t like my life. I’m grateful for what God has given me and where he’s placed me. But I do sometimes wish that he’d made me a little differently: one of those ‘fun’ kind of people; a ‘hoot’ to be with; one who makes people ‘ROFL’ (that’s ‘Roll on Floor Laughing’, apparently). I find myself occasionally longing to be someone who’s spontaneous, adventurous and just a little bit crazy!
I’m more the kind of person who has people examining their lives – not laughing their cares away. Even when I’m on my own, I examine my own life. Not necessarily in a reflective, positive, life-changing kind of way, but in a way that makes me wish I could sometimes make myself laugh or at least laugh at myself.
I walked away from the charitable man, examining my life and wondering what I could do to have a bit more ‘fun’.
A year later and I still haven’t come up with any convincing answers.
Last night, as I got ready for bed, I was determined to plan my time-off the next day. I was going to plan something interesting. I didn’t put too much pressure on myself to make it ‘fun.’ Still I hoped that fun might just accidentally happen along the way.
This morning after getting my washing done (not everything can be fun), I caught the train into the city centre with the intention of going to see St.Michan’s Church – an old church which reportedly has lots of skeletons in its basement. I know! ‘Not much fun there, Ms Fun Seeker!’ Still, a little adventurous and just a little bit crazy! Though I had planned my itinerary for the day, because I can only cope with so much spontaneity and craziness.
Within ten minutes my ‘crazy’ plans had gone awry. It turns out that St.Michan’s opens later in the winter months. I still plan to go there today – but in the meantime I find myself here in ‘Third Space’ – an excellent new cafe opened by creative and entrepreneurial friends. I’ve had a delicious coffee and scone and, while I haven’t yet been ‘ROFLing’, I do love their new (old) floor and am thoroughly enjoying the aesthetics of the place.
At one point, I was asked by the owner if I would mind changing tables so they could move some tables. He said he could ask me because I was a friend. So I moved, as a friend, and felt a little spontaneous and crazy as I did it!
I like to think that there are different kinds of fun in life. One person’s joy at the beauty and aesthetics of an old wooden floor may be another’s idea of ‘not-so-much-fun’. While one’s desire for constant adventure may be just a little scary for another.
This one will take delight in being just brave enough to visit somewhere new, once in a while, and have fun writing while she waits to see the skeletons.
When I search in vain for ‘fun’ in my life – the kind of fun that others may consider to be fun – I find comfort in God’s creativity in making a rich, fun-loving, varying humanity: people that know how to have fun in all sorts of different ways. I’m also thankful for those he has placed in my life who have the ability to occasionally have me ‘rolling on the floor laughing’.
Postscript: I got to see the skeletons. I even had a few laughs – but none on the floor – which is just as well, as there were skeletons down there.
Posted in response to the Daily Post prompt for today.