I'm over it.
I can't live that way anymore.
I'm going to use the F-word here.
That's right - I don't want to live my life completely devoid of fun.
Last week I flew to Colorado for Part II of a conference, and everyone there was concerned for me. Are you OK, they asked? They hadn't seen me since Part I four months ago, and they wondered where I went.
When the music came on, and people danced, this time I didn't.
I was like a big Eeyore in the room, gently swaying my big donkey head to the tune of sadness and resignation.
I had lost my fun.
I do believe that as a society we don't feel like we have permission to play. To include play with our work feels wrong somehow, like we're not really dedicated to our job. I feels un-American.
I find that I sometimes conflate suffering with hard work. That if I'm stressed and suffering, then I must be doing something important. At least I'm not having fun. Because having fun when something needs to be done is not OK.
There are articles like this one from 2012 that talk about how the elimination or reduction of recess from schools is affecting the kids' health. Pediatricians and medical organizations are speaking out about the obesity epidemic and how we can't afford to keep kids inactive and indoors, for health reasons.
Which is true. Absolutely. We need recess so the kids don't become obese.
Aaaaaaand also how about because they're kids! And what the heck is a childhood without playing and having fun? (Let's pretend for a second that there's no bullying happening on this hypothetical playground, even though that is a problem.) Sure, there are many people living today who look back on childhoods that lacked fun. When family situations go wrong, children can lead lives that are downright nightmares. There's certainly no fun to speak of.
But I'm talking about removing lightness and play by design. Institutionalizing and rationalizing the absence of unstructured fun.