by Naomi Kinsman
I've been thinking a lot about fun lately. In part, this is because I've been in and out of town, and taking in a lot of experiences that are out of the norm for me. The Smithsonian Museums and the Library of Congress in Washington DC, the waterfalls in Columbia Gorge and Salt and Straw Ice Cream in Portland, OR, and of course, Disneyland. I came home full of ideas for stories, full of sights and sounds and smells. Not wanting the rush of writing energy and enthusiasm to stop, I set out to find "fun things" to do around home. No need to go out of town for fun, right?
So I started googling and looking at brochures. I listed all the places I'd been wanting to visit but hadn't yet. Then, I set out to have myself some fun.
The thing is, places and experiences around home feel different. There's not the urgency of needing to do it today or not getting to do it at all. As I rushed around, I found myself deflating. What was fun, after all? And was fun what I was seeking, or inspiration, or...? I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
Last Friday, as we sat in bleachers watching fireworks light up the night sky, each one a new surprise lasting only seconds, the answer came to me in a flash. Those limits we feel, whether they are because each firework will fade very soon, or because Monday is just around the corner and we only have the rest of Sunday all to ourselves--these are part of the inspiration. We dive deep into experiences because time is precious, and the awareness of how quickly this, too, will be over brings the thrill and flash of inspiration.
Maybe, then, fun feels different in one's home town. And yet, diving in with a full heart, being present entirely to the moment and what it holds, that is the start. And so instead of finding more "things" to do, my fun-plan now is to pay attention. To let play take me by surprise.
And you? Does play ever take you by surprise?
photo credit: Castles, Capes & Clones via photopin cc