Monthly Musing – May 2021 – Bring the fun back
“So what have you done that’s fun recently?
I was chatting to one of my oldest friends on the phone – not oldest in years but in the length of time that I have known her. We met in our twenties (on my honeymoon, actually!) but we have still grown up together, and even after all these years, when she knows me so very well (or perhaps because she does!), she still manages to ask me a question from time to time that makes me think for the rest of the day.
It sounded a simple enough question – we’d exhausted the family updates and the immediate news – but it absolutely stopped me in my tracks. In fact, it stopped me for so long that I think she thought we had lost our connection, but the simple answer in the end was
To qualify this statement, we were chatting before the lockdown restrictions had started to lift and nobody was going anywhere to have any kind of fun, so there was a certain inevitability about what I was going to say. However, it made me realise that although I have had plenty of fun moments over the last few months around what I’ve been doing generally so I’ve not been living a life of dull misery, it has been a long time since I deliberately planned anything into my calendar that’s “just for fun”. In fact, I probably did it more during the first lockdown because we were all more focussed on how we were going to get through those restricted days but now – well, now, this is how we live, isn’t it? For so long, the restrictions have meant that for many people (our family included), we’ve just ended up working harder and for longer hours. If we’re not careful, even when we’re allowed out without any restrictions again, we’ll have got out of the habit of doing things just to have fun and that’s no way for us to live.
It will be easier to continue shopping online, to binge-watch box sets on TV and to not quite be bothered to go out and about the way we used to. The Covid pandemic has changed everyone’s lives forever, and there are so many things that we need to press the reset button on.
I went to my first knit n natter session in well over a year on Friday morning. It was a small, socially-distanced group but it was fun. Just being in a room with other people, feeling the energy, listening to the conversations, looking at what other people were making, remembering their faces … it was enough to make my heart burst with happiness. “We felt really giddy when we first came back too!” they told me. It’s not a feeling you can get online or from a TV box set. It’s something that makes you feel alive, something that we’ve all been missing for so long, and I am truly grateful that it is slowly becoming an option for us again.
It’s time to bring back the fun.