“You always look like you are having so much fun,” remarked one of the young ladies in my condominium area. “You’ve got your boots on or your tango shoes in hand, and you give off the vibe that life is always full of joy.”
Of course, life is fun and full of joy, but only if you make it so. You can choose to wake up every morning with a smile on your face or shuffle to the bathroom and stare at yourself with horror.
When I start my day, I prefer to enjoy the opportunity to make choices that put a smile on my face, give my energy a push in the direction of Barton Springs to do my daily half-mile swim and meditation. I plan on spending the rest of my life having fun.
There are people that wake up determined to be cross, to cause trouble, to sabotage their best efforts. I get it that not all people are alike. I was born with unbounding energy and a positive take on life.
However, in case you might be out of ideas about how to have more fun in your life, here are five ways to lift your spirits and put a smile on your face:
Dance as If No One Is Watching
I’ve spent most of my life dancing. Whether the music is in my head, on the radio or on my iPad, whether I am in my home, at a dance hall, in a store, pumping my gas, when I hear music, my feet move and my heart pulses.
It’s all about adrenaline and dopamine flowing through my body, and dancing puts a smile on my face and makes my body move.
You probably have a favorite dance and hopefully you hear music in your soul. It’s a passion that I continually experience. I dance at least four times a week, and my favorites dances are Argentine tango and the Texas two-step.
If you have a favorite dance, be sure to indulge it. If you want to learn to dance, I encourage you to take lessons and enjoy the bliss.
Visit Your Family and Friends More Frequently
There is a warm and loving feeling that comes into our lives when we visit our family. As I write this article for Sixty and Me today, I am surrounded by my energetic family. I’m having fun enjoying the interaction of my three grandsons, my son and my daughter-in-law.
There are so many issues to talk about, to review, to take part in, especially, sports and a jigsaw puzzle that is ever-present on the dining room table. It is holiday time in the Jewish religion, so there is on-going cooking and planning and inviting people to a table full of mouth-watering food.
I’m presently visiting a city where I lived for 18 years. I made many friends who are still close to me, to my heart. I love communing with them over a good meal and a glass of wine. We have fun talking and laughing and remembering.
Volunteer and Help Your Cause or Help Others Who Need Assistance
I volunteered for the first time for a political candidate a few weeks ago. I had a great time learning how to make calls, stuff envelopes, seal them and laugh at all the paper cuts displayed on our hands. Yet, what was more important to our efforts concerned our conversations about politics and life in general.
I met new people, we exchanged ideas and passions and worked for an effort we felt was important for our state. This was my first experience, my first rally, my first march, but it wasn’t my last in the direction of volunteering.
I know people who have fun volunteering in an animal shelter, a senior center, a library, a school room, delivering food to those who cannot shop or prepare a meal. These efforts display an unparalleled level of empathy that can’t help but fill a person with joy. And it’s fun.
Take a Walk Listening to Music or a Walk with Your Best Friend
One of my favorite ways to have fun is to walk around the hills where I live and listen to my favorite music. The hours pass quickly, and the physical exercise doesn’t feel difficult.
And when I hike with a friend or with my hiking group, I have fun with the other participants and learn new things from new friends.
When walking or hiking, another level of joy is reflected in the beautiful flora and fauna surrounding your trek.
I’ve had many memorable walks and hikes, especially up steep hills with a true friend who kept me talking and pushing me forward as we tested our tenacity. Every hike was fun, every level of endurance was fun and every conversation was a learning experience.
Exercise and Engage in Favorite Activities with a Friend
I swim and do yoga most days of the week. When it cools off and the humidity decreases, I ride my bike around a beautiful lake in my city. I write during the day, and often read my favorite detective novel. Everything is fun and feels fulfilling.
I had lunch with a wonderful friend last week. It seemed we weren’t going to be able to get together before she left for her trip. But urgency and importance were paramount.
We dined and spent two important hours together. I’m lunching again tomorrow with an old, dear friend. I’m dining with another friend over the weekend. I am having the best fun of my life.
In my 60s, I started to plan regularly scheduled meet ups with my friends when I lived in Los Angeles and taught yoga. We had special places for happy hour, different restaurants to share dinner, and sometimes we met at UCLA and walked around the beautiful campus.
I cherish these memories as important milestones in my living experience. It was all fun.
In the middle of struggle, or sorrow, or difficulty, there is always room to smile, to laugh, to experience fun. The essence of life is to find joy, to give gratitude for our gifts, talents and passions and to create a presence that accentuates the positive and eliminates the negative.
Let the fun begin.
(appeared in Sixtyandme, September 26,2018)