I have so many things I’ve been thinking about and working on lately that I want to share with you! Okay, let me just start with one thing and hopefully as time will allow I’ll be able to share about more of them.
On Thursday one of my closest friends from the US who is currently visiting Israel met me in Jerusalem. We had a wonderful three hours together, and though I always enjoy time with this friend, this visit was something even better than usual!
She met me at Shalva after Yirmiyahu’s last therapy session was over. We had initially planned to hang out and chat for our time together, which would have been great. But after I admired the one she was wearing and told her that earlier in the day I had been shopping at the Machane Yehuda open air marketplace to buy some scarves but couldn’t find something like what she had on, we decided to hop on a bus and do some scarf shopping in the Geula neighborhood where she had made her purchase. We strolled the streets of Geula, shopping, shmoozing, having pizza, shopping and shmoozing some more. I got a lot of great scarves (and enjoyed spending every single penny on myself), had a yummy piece of pizza, enjoyed being able to talk to a good friend who understands me (she responded to something I said with a hint of a smile and the comment, “Are you doing that self-sabotage thing again?” Oh, for the honesty of good friends!), and enjoyed the very unusual experience of spending time with a friend without kids around. (Well, Yirmiyahu was there but stayed asleep in the wrap most of the time.) I had such a thoroughly enjoyable time and felt so renewed, that it really made me think about why this kind of experience felt so unusual for me.
I’m not good at having fun for its own sake. I’m good at being responsible and well-thought out and getting things done. I try to be present and helpful to the important people in my life. I enjoy talking to friends and strangers, I’m a pretty positive person and I enjoy lots of things that I do throughout the day. I’m not so great at giving my own needs priority (another post hopefully coming up soon on how I’ve been addressing that lately) and as far as having fun…my kind of fun is being able to mark off all the to-do items in my planner at the end of a day. I operate from a strong sense of duty and fun isn’t my natural way of being. (If you’re familiar with the Myers Briggs personality system, you’ll recognize from this statement that I’m a J rather than a P – P personalities put fun before duty.)
But I felt so lighthearted and happy after my time with this friend, that I determined that I need to find more time to have fun just for fun. This ties in well with the self-nurturing stuff that I’m working on, but it’s going a little further. As a result of this awareness, I called to reserve a spot at a mother’s retreat in a couple of weeks, something I would usually not be able to justify – not the time away from my family nor the money spent. The friend who was trying with no luck to convince me to go with her was delighted to hear about my change of heart! As it turns out, all the spaces are taken so I’m now on the waiting list for a spot if someone drops out, and don’t know if I’ll end up going or not. But that’s okay. Just making the call and putting myself first, not because I’m desperate to get away (I’m not) or horribly unhappy (not at all – I’m feeling very blessed and happy with life) is a good change for me.
Do you also find it a conscious effort to have fun? What kind of things are fun for you? How do you make time for fun in your busy life? I’d love to hear your ideas!