Reality Check: For the Fun of It

Are you serious about having fun? Or do you consider fun to be frivolous? Do you treat fun like dessert, saving it for after all the serious business has been handled? Then, if there’s time, maybe you’ll have the opportunity for a little fun. But no fun while you still have things to do!
The basic needs that Dr. Glasser listed as being common to all of us seems to me to be a reasonable collection. Of course, we need love and belonging. We need some freedom. We need to experience a level of recognition and esteem to know that we have value. And we all have a need for that most basic of needs—to feel that we are secure; that we can survive. But fun as a basic need? Does fun really belong in a list of fundamental needs?
For some people, fun comes naturally. They have an ability to see humour in many situations, probably coupled with a choice to not easily take offense. For other people, fun doesn’t come so easily. They might even perceive that too much fun is unseemly; it doesn’t belong in a serious person’s life.
“Fun is best defined by laughter,” according to Dr. Glasser. He also associates fun with learning—the joy that comes from figuring something out. Children have fun as they learn about the world around them, getting that sense of wonder and the “ah-hah!” when something makes sense. When you have the opportunity to laugh while you are learning, that is fun, indeed.
But for some, connecting learning to fun may make no sense at all. If you’ve had difficult experiences in school or associate learning only with pain and frustration, you may be wondering, “Where’s the fun in that?”
Pets—playful pups, contented cats or more exotic choices can be great sources of entertainment for their housekeepers. If you don’t have your own, books, pictures, movies abound that share animal fun. Whether you see the internet as a net positive or negative development, one thing it offers on the plus side is a plethora of funny pet videos.
For some people, satisfying their fun need involves other people. Getting together to play games, sing, share meals, or working at shared projects are opportunities to have fun that also satisfy another need—the one for love and belonging.
But fun can be had by yourself too, and that’s the way some people prefer it. If you have an absorbing hobby or are learning something just for the fun of it, you could be having the fun time of your life, all by yourself. Different people have different pictures of what fun looks like.
You may know of stories of people who deliberately sought out fun to help them through difficult times, through illness or grief. Fun won’t solve everything, but a belly laugh can take some of the edge off. And unlike some products and actions that people use to release stress and try to take control of their lives, a hearty laugh is unlikely to do harm.
Fun is a necessary part of our lives. If this surprises you, you might find it interesting to look at your routine and see whether you find any fun there.
If there’s not much fun to be found, are there changes that you could make to bring fun into your life? It might be worth a try. What do you think?

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