I Didn’t Think My Life Was Fun, But Then I Redefined the Concept and Now I’m Having a Blast

Photo by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

Every morning I draw a card from my tarot deck for a heads up on what I can expect that day. Recently, The Sun card showed up, and with it I received an immediate hit from my inner compass suggesting I go have Fun that day.

While The Sun card indicates happiness, success, and child-like innocence, my inner compass overrode those meanings, insisting I indulge in Fun, lots of it. Tarot card readers know to trust their inner voices over the traditional meanings of the cards, especially when those voices speak firmly and persistently like this one did. My inner compass has been right each time it speaks up, so I had no reason not to heed its advice.

The irony — there’s usually irony involved — in this was that I had an appointment with an endodontist that afternoon to have a root canal. A root canal.

Seriously.

I’m not lying or exaggerating.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The card was telling me to have Fun with my root canal. And it was as serious as the fifth act of a tragedy.

Huh?

Cognitive dissonance doesn’t sit well with me, so I sat down to dissect the problem and identify the disconnect, mending the hitch in my get-along.

While I wasn’t nervous about the root canal, I certainly hoped it would be successful, with no pain or uncomfortableness. I also knew that when it was done, I’d kick up my heels as I floated out of the endodontist’s office.

But what about this “have Fun” part during the procedure?

That got me thinking about Fun in general and how maybe there wasn’t enough of it in my life.

And that got me thinking about the definition of Fun.

I found this entry in the New Oxford American Dictionary:

Fun /fən/

n. enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure.

Eureka!

When I think of Fun, I understand it to be a boisterous sort of thing, which it can be. However, I’m not a rowdy, over-the-top person, and there’s the rub, as Shakespeare would say. I wasn’t about to start being someone different on the day of my root canal. Or any day.

So does that mean I’m a boring fuddy-duddy? Hardly.

Maybe my definition and my way of having Fun is different. It probably is.

So I decided to adapt the NOED definition of Fun:

Enjoyment…Amusement…Lighthearted Pleasure

And to that I’ll add a little bit of Awe and Wonder and Connection, with Sparks of Mysticism and Spirituality for good measure.

This definition fits my INTPness precisely.

So, I thought, if Fun is indeed Enjoyment, Amusement, Lighthearted Pleasure, Awe, Wonder, Connection, Sparks of Mysticism and Spirituality, what is it exactly that I (me in particular) do to have Fun?

After some thought, I put together a brief — very brief — list of what brings joy to my heart, which to me is Fun. There are more — many more — but I’m only touching on the top 3 here.

And while some or all of the items on the list may seem strange to many of you, there may be a few of you who can relate. I hope.

Reading

By chance, I came across this quote the day of my root canal:

That I can read and be happy while I am reading, is a great blessing. — — — Anthony Trollope

I’ve been in love with reading since I first learned back in the first grade. It came easily to me. I gobbled it up. Reading was independence, knowledge, a wider world view right in front of me without leaving home.

Reading is still that for me. It fuels my mind, connects me with worlds I wouldn’t normally inhabit.

I usually read 3 or 4 books at once, giving myself a variety to choose from to match my mood at the time. There’s usually a novel involved, a memoir, an esoteric/spiritual or science/technology book, and something I can read in brief bursts — like poetry or short essays.

Reading pulls me into the inner world, which is the source for physical reality. To be in touch with a deeper knowing, the root of existence, is a near guarantee that we’re operating from an ethical, moral, humane, and honorable position.

While all this sounds deep and esoteric, it is. The distinction is that once I’m out of my reading trance, grounded back in the physical world, I’m left with all the senses in my definition of Fun:

Enjoyment…Amusement…Lighthearted Pleasure…Awe…Wonder…Connection…Sparks of Mysticism and Spirituality…

And it’s all wrapped up in a portable package of a few hundred pages or so.

This is my kind of Funnn.

Writing

Although other writers (like Dylan Thomas, Edward Albee, W. H. Auden, George Orwell, Stephen King) have said something similar, I think this is most inclusive:

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. ― Joan Didion

I do, too.

I’ve been writing since I was eleven or twelve years old. From there I took as many journalism and writing classes I could throughout high school and college and beyond. I majored in Communication with an emphasis in Literary Journalism.

I’ve written for and been published in local papers, poetry and literary journals, magazines, business publications, blogs. I’ve done flash fiction, memoir, nonfiction. I even wrote resumes professionally and did a couple of film scripts for businesses. I wrote and published an ebook, The Grapes of Dementia: My Journey of Love, Loss, Surrender, and Gratitude, about my grieving process after losing my husband of 5½ years to Alzheimer’s disease. Talk about trying to find meaning in life and illness and death…that was a master class.

I still write. Obviously.

I once spent 3 hours working to get one sentence right. I’m not bragging, and I’m not particularly proud of that, but there it is.

Stirring up the muck in the pond and conducting archaeological digs for meaning can take hours, days, weeks, sometimes years. And sometimes just coming to the realization you need to do some mental excavating before you start writing can take a lifetime.

The process of writing can be hard, hard work, but it also embodies my definition of Fun.

And when the writing flows and when I get it right — when I’ve succeeded in creating art out of the messiness of life — and when I come out of my writing trance, I have no doubt writing is:

Enjoyment…Amusement…Lighthearted Pleasure…Awe…Wonder…Connection…Sparks of Mysticism and Spirituality

That’s my sort of Funn.

Walking

After all the sitting required with reading and writing, I’m ready for some movement. Walking, especially near water, is my go-to activity.

For me, walking is a meditation that connects my senses with my inner knowing and the way of Nature. If you’re paying attention, if you watch your thoughts rise and then pass from your mind, you could notice that your walk takes on a different look and feel.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he [sic] seeks. — — — — John Muir

When I lived in the Pacific Northwest, I went through a particularly difficult time of healing from life’s traumas. I lived within a few blocks of the ocean, and walking on the beach was my therapy.

You can read more about that if you wish:

“Vitamin Sea: Ocean Wave To Brainwave”

If it was raining, as it nearly always was, it wasn’t unusual to find me walking amid the redwood forests, within earshot of the sea, with umbrella in hand.

At the time, I didn’t realize how much Nature is linked up and synched up with our senses. Yet, those walks and everything I saw and felt around me during those walks — the ferns, the soft floor of the forest, the banana slugs, the ancient redwoods, and the sand on the beach, the roaring surf and the breeching whales and barking seals and the cloudy sky and the salty wind and the sandpipers and the blue jellyfish that washed up on shore — somehow reached deep into my experience and understanding, and I became transformed, at One with everything around me, at One walking in the silence.

If you’ve never been at One with anyone or anything, it’s hard to describe since there is nothing like it. In Oneness, your awareness, perception, and consciousness are absorbed by everything around you. You literally become everything else while maintaining your alertness and some of your individuality. Oneness is a rush of energy. It’s a kind of peace like no other you’ve experienced. Your senses expand. It’s ethereal and intensely natural. It’s bliss. You walk in the rain without getting wet because you are the wet.

Enjoyment…Amusement…Lighthearted Pleasure…Awe…Wonder…Connection…Sparks of Mysticism and Spirituality

And that’s my type of Funn.

Have you noticed the pattern?

Fun for me is mostly in the range of Awe, Wonder, Connection, Mysticism, and Spiritual experiences.

Of course there are giggles, chortles, and giant belly laughs I share with strangers, friends, and family members. Those times most certainly live in the category of Fun, amusement, and pleasure.

They’re also how we typically make merry.

By now you know I’m not mainstream.

While the pandemic has stolen some of the social Fun from us (and there’s still a pandemic going on, so be careful out there), I hardly noticed. I have an ornate inner life, complete with virtuosic and flamboyant trills, anticipatory ghost notes, bass timbres that stimulate the root chakra, and high-pitched tones that tinge the heart with the essence of mystery.

That, above all else, is my way of having Funnnnn.

So…

What did I do the day of my root canal?

I did all 3 of course — I read, I wrote, I walked.

And it was Funnnnn!

If you liked what you’ve read, please click about 50 times (no kidding) on the applauding hands sign on the left and consider subscribing to receive my posts directly in your email.

And if you really liked it, share it and tell your friends.

And if you really, really liked it, you might want to check out my ebook, The Grapes of Dementia: My Journey of Love, Loss, Surrender, and Gratitude, available worldwide through Amazon.

Book cover design by Wren Wright, photo by Donna Clement, graphics design support by Luis H. Ruiz.

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Writing mostly to heal myself from life; sharing in hopes you’ll find some of it helpful. Also books, personal development, and anything else I’m drawn to.

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Wren Wright

Wren Wright

Writing mostly to heal myself from life; sharing in hopes you’ll find some of it helpful. Also books, personal development, and anything else I’m drawn to.

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