Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun, or Is Fun the True Meaning of Life? 

fun-rainbows-30120How many of you remember the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper or the song by the Beach Boys “Fun, Fun, Fun”?  I suspect many of you have heard of these songs but never listened to them.  Well, click on both and listen while you read my blog this week.  If you have not heard them before, you might enjoy them.  If you are of the Baby Boom generation, it will be a slight walk down memory lane.  What did we all want in the early sixties, before civil rights, women’s liberation and the Vietnam War intruded on our idylls?   Well of course, FUN<FUN<FUN.  What else does anyone really want in life?

I come home in the morning light
My mother says when you gonna live your life right
Oh mother dear we’re not the fortunate ones
And girls just want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun 

We all just wanna have fun, but what is fun?  Webster’s describes it as:  “What provides amusement or enjoyment; specifically: playful often boisterous action or speech.”  Fun, play, recreation all seem to spring from a similar root cause.  You must be able to live in the present and forget about the past or the future.  Goals are the anti-thesis, the arch-enemy, and the adversary of fun.  When you are thinking about the past or planning the future, you are not in a “State” of fun.  Come to think of it, fun is a lot like meditation.  You must be in the proper frame of mind to be having fun.  Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that you must be “out of your mind” to have fun.  When you are in your mind, you are thinking, worrying, planning and problem solving.  Fun cannot take place when this is happening.  Fun is like an orgasm in that everything must be subservient to the immediate now.  However, fun can last much longer than an orgasm.

The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father yells what you gonna do with your life
Oh daddy dear you know you’re still number one
But girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have—

Fun can last for hours and hours.  When mindlessness starts that is when fun begins.  When mindlessness ends and mindfulness begins that is when fun ends.  When you start thinking about repercussions, consequences and ramifications that is when the fun stops.  You must be out of your mind to have fun.  Fun is a visceral emotional experience that has nothing to do with drugs or mind-numbness.   Drugs induce a physical state of euphoria caused by mind numbing.  When have you ever heard of anyone high on drugs say they were having fun?

fun festFun is a state caused by a natural suspension of thinking, worrying, planning and calculating.  When you are having fun, you are focused on the immediate now.  Nothing else is of concern.  Fun is not so much mind-numbing as it is mind-dumbing.  You stop thinking about problems, issues and ideas and you let yourself go with the visceral emotional experiences of the present.  Fun is illogical and irrational.  Thinking is the exact opposite.  You can only have fun when you stop being logical and contemplative.

That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls–they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun,
They want to have fun,
They want to have fun…

However as with everything in life, there are pros and cons.  Fun can be constructive but it can also be destructive.  Consider the story of the ants and the grasshopper by Aesop.  The grasshopper played and had fun all summer while the industrious ants worked and put aside food for the winter. When the harsh winter came and food was nowhere to be found, the grasshopper went begging to the ants.  The ants chastised the grasshopper and turned him away with the warning that he should have thought ahead.   No one knows what happened to the grasshopper, but one can presume he met an early end.  The moral here is clear:  Work before you play and not vice versa.  It is a lesson that many of us learn early in our lives but there are also many of us who never learn it.

Well she got her daddy’s car
And she cruised through the hamburger stand now
Seems she forgot all about the library
Like she told her old man now
And with the radio blasting
Goes cruising just as fast as she can now

And she’ll have fun, fun, fun
Till her daddy takes the t-bird away
(Fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the t-bird away)

When I was young, I never saved a penny.  I thought of myself as the grasshopper.  Worry about today and let tomorrow take care of itself.  The only problem was that I did not really worry about today.  I simply wanted to play and have fun.  I went from day to day.  I partied too much.  I drank too much and I let the fools (who were the ants) worry about the future.   Fortunately, fate intervened and I got married and had a baby girl when I was only 21.  I think this sobered me up by putting a bunch of responsibilities on my shoulders that I was not really ready for.  At some point, my parental raising kicked in and I started trying to take more responsibility for my life.

fun_fun_happy_superbigAt twenty-five, I enrolled in a college and started to work on a degree.  I wanted to “amount” to something and this meant giving up the “fun” and lack of responsibilities that many of us associate with “teen-hood.”  Now I was no longer a teenager and I had “adult” responsibilities.  I had a wife and child to support and a family that wanted me to do something other than party and drink.  Fun as I knew it became a thing of the past.  I spent many years working two jobs and trying to make ends meet.  I was extremely fortunate in that I had a good spouse who tolerated my lapses into irresponsibility and who did her best to help me live up to my potential.  Potential is another “high-school” concept that most of us have undoubtedly been tortured with by parents and teachers.  I don’t think I ever really learned what the word potential meant until later in life.  I often wish that I had understood it much earlier.

Well you knew all along
That your dad was gettin’ wise to you now
(You shouldn’t have lied now, you shouldn’t have lied)
And since he took your set of keys
You’ve been thinking that your fun is all through now
(You shouldn’t have lied now, you shouldn’t have lied)

 So what is the role of “FUN” in our lives?  To have fun or not to have fun?  Is that the question?  We all want to have fun but when, where, why and how are sometimes problematic.  There are appropriate times and places for fun and undoubtedly inappropriate times and places.  Is our role in life simply to have fun?  Or is the big question, how to balance our lives so that we can have fun but also discharge our responsibilities towards our family, friends and society?  Some would say that fun is simply a recreational activity that helps us wind down from the daily chores and burdens of existence.  Others might argue that fun is the goal of life, the reason for being.   What do you think?  Post your replies to the following questions.  I would love to hear your responses to these questions.

fun_fun_fun_yellow_psychedelic_starburstTime for Questions:

What would a life without fun be like?  Can we have too much fun or is that idea an oxymoron?  What is the role of fun in our lives?  How do you balance fun and responsibilities?  Do you think you have too much fun or not enough?  Why?  What would you change in your life if you could?

 Life is just beginning. 

 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanine
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 16:24:43

    Good fodder for thought! Can we have too much fun? Too much of a good thing could lead down a very destructive path. The party has to stop sometime. There must be a balance between entertainment and work to get anything accomplished, unless your job is fun…… and that seldom if ever is the case!

    Reply

  2. fabamy
    Dec 06, 2014 @ 16:49:43

    Thanks for sharing this with me! My life is pretty fun. 🙂

    Reply

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