Original post featured at Not All Who Wander Are Lost.
Fun is best understood in three ways. First, you plan the fun. You anticipate it. You sip beers and brainstorm ideas. You conjure up brilliant plans—tales of escape—and you devise ways to turn fantasy into reality. You think of all the places you’d want to go in the world if time or money were of no concern, and you plot out those places on your scratch and sniff map. You have a couple more beers and you start thinking what better time than now. You book flights that night.
Nothing beats the anticipation of a good time. Arguably, even having the fun sometimes can’t compare to the joy that comes from simply thinking about fun things. But the next step comes after the planning stage. The next stage of fun includes actually doing the thing you’ve set out to do. This second stage can’t be faulted. You go on the journey, see some live music, dance like you just don’t give a damn, immerse yourself in the unknown, and travel to the depths of your soul. It is here where you discover a fresher, more revitalized sense of yourself. You meet this person, and fall in love. You wish he/she would drop by more often.
The final stage of fun is the reliving part. After anticipating and having the fun, you recreate the highlights over and over again. You put the best ofmoments on repeat, and spend your post-fun days reminiscing on that which once was. You peruse old photos and read through past journal entries. You reach out to those who were with you at the time the fun was had. You send texts or emails. Make out of the blue phone calls. Anything to connect to those involved in your fun quest, and send a small “thanks” to those who rendered fun possible.
After the days have passed, you will quickly find yourself back to square one. Note, this doesn’t have to be a bad square; it’s just an ordinary one. You will find that your routines have quickly tracked you down. Your old habits, mannerisms and ways will find you, even though you deceptively thought your new self was undiscoverable. You will behave much as you always did, and your day-to-day will pick up much as it had before.
If your routines served you well in the past, there is no harm in returning to them. To the places and people whom you love and that help to fill your cup.But this time, when you return, you will always keep one foot slightly higher off the ground. This slight pep in your step will unmistakably differentiate you from your past, and you will find that the revitalization you experienced during the fun has uplifted you ever so much. You are now lighter and calmer.
With your new and uplifted self, you will stay open to new opportunity. You will welcome the chance for adventure. You will embrace human contradiction, and become a cautious risk-taker. You will find that if you try just a little, you can be a pretty good time.