Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Putting Off Fun

It has dawned on me lately that one of the most important things I have gotten in the habit of postponing is fun.  And how smart is that?

I have spent some difficult years raising challenging children, trying to function in a “blended” family that feels a lot like living in a Cuisinart, and coping with a credibility-defying series of crises at work and at home.  I have dealt with it by channeling my Super-self, and by hunkering down as if I were under siege. 

My fun diet over this period was like the emergency subsistence food allowance set up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine food stamps allotments and poverty levels.  Meant to keep one alive, in the short run—not to nurture health or supply the energy long-run for enduring, let alone improving, one’s circumstances.

My husband has been complaining about this deprivation for years.  And I have been complaining that he isn’t helping me fill the sandbags!

But I am beginning to see that my soul, and my marriage, have been starved by my stoicism.  I am running out of steam, and nerve, and humor to continue slogging through the bogs of everyday troubles. 

What kind of nut puts off having fun?  Where did I learn that taking my eyes off the prize for an evening, or a weekend, was something I couldn’t afford to do, was too risky to consider?  What kind of example is this for my children?  And what feats might I have managed with a tad more smiling, and some spirit-feeding enjoyment under my Wonder Woman belt?

Tonight I am going to a Broadway show, albeit in New Orleans.  And to dinner.  I plan to drink, moderately, and to be merry.  And I plan to get used to this kind of  happening.    


  1. I resonate with this! I once had a therapist ask me what I did for fun, and I thought she was crazy. It seemed totally irrelevant to my life. I love your image of a "emergency subsistence fun allowance"--that was me for much of my life! Learning to tolerate fun was one of the best things that I ever did. Much of my procrastination comes from ocd, and fear of doing things "imperfectly" which included my fear that I would totally suck at having fun and just obsess.