I’m Having More Fun Than A Barrel of Monkeys

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Yesterday afternoon a respected, loved and valued family member said to me over the telephone: “Don, You need to make time to have fun with Treva.” She went on to say, “Life is too short”. While the concept sounds inviting, what does that really look like? After all, isn’t it true that everyone wants to have fun? If so, what does having fun look like? At a surface level, I’m not sure how the definition plays (pardon the pun) itself out. Part of the problem is that most of the time I sense that I’m having fun. If I’m not having fun, I am oblivious to the fact. For the most part, I think of my life as being fun-filled.

The General might say that I’m delusional. I’m not sure that she has ever told me that I’m as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, but if she did, I wouldn’t consider that as a compliment. I’m a “don’t fence me in” kind of guy. I’m not sure that I’m claustrophobic, but I am sure that I’d never make it sharing space in a barrel, particularly if I was sharing space with monkeys. It sounds like an absolutely dreadful experience.

Maybe I’m just slow. In fact, if you observed me participating in any number of routine things in the course of a regular day and had some way to assess my contentment level, you’d probably find that I was having fun. It doesn’t always have to be roller coasters and death defying activities that keep my adrenaline levels high to keep me going. It could be something as simple as walking through the Japanese Garden at Zilker Park. It might be as commonplace as the ability to think of a clever response to someone’s mundane comment. My perceived ability to think on my feet and offer a response that brings laughter energizes me. Of course, most of my thoughts are primarily nonsense.

“I need to make time to have fun with Treva.” Even my kids have told me that I need to make time to have fun with their mother. Actually they have both recently told me that. So am I negligent? Thoughtless? Self-absorbed? Boring? (These are rhetorical questions only! I’m not looking for a written response!) I’m certainly not opposed to sharing time with and having fun with the General. So does that mean we synchronize our iPhones and play late night solitaire together?

I guess if that’s the case, the last one to fall asleep is the winner. Color that comment anyway you want, but it is knee-slapping funny, don’t you think? That cracks me up! See, I told you I am easily amused. Besides that, I regularly laugh at my own jokes. While I’m not opposed to having fun, the venue has to have more to offer than a late night card game dressed in our pajamas for bed.

When Treva was pregnant with Craig, the two of us started taking ceramic classes together. We went to class was one evening a week. We both enjoyed the activity and time shared together. When Craig arrived, we stopped taking classes. Caring for him was more fun than painting beer steins; however, I’ve still got the beer steins.  Truthfully, they’ve never been used for anything other than sitting on a shelf. The ceramic classes were fun.

When Treva was pregnant with Andrea, she taught me to crochet. For most evenings over a several month period, we’d sit and crochet after dinner. At the time we were living in temporary housing and were in the process of having our first home built in Henly. If memory serves me correctly, we didn’t have good television connectivity. And by the way, Andrea predated computers and cell phones and electronic gadgets that now often occupy one’s time. I remember back then when someone asked what we did for fun, I told them I was a hooker. I know, that may be pretty lame, but it is funny.

This past Saturday morning, the General and I joined Andrea and Kevin for a yoga session at a fitness center in Dripping Springs. Maybe that is our new definition of having fun together. For one thing, it brings to my awareness that I’m more than a little off balanced. You may be too. If you want to find out, try standing on one leg for a while. So were we having fun together? If we were, we had to be highly masochistic. If you’ll pardon the pun, having fun in that venue was a stretch for me. Will I do it again? You bet I will. After all, it has to get easier. What do they say, “No pain, no gain?”

Follow the yoga experience, the four of us stopped by a coffee house in Dripping Springs. You could have fooled me. I’ve lived in Dripping Springs over half my life and had no idea there was a coffee house on Mercer Street. Actually, Mercer Street has evolved as a happening place in Drippin’. I’m even told that a venue or two has live music in the evenings.

Maybe having fun (if I’m not already) is the ability to think outside the box, try new things, do things we’ve not done before and living with an openness that variety is the spice of life.

Sunday morning, shortly before we left the house for church, the General commented that the overflowing laundry basket on my side of the closet with my clothing draped here, there and everywhere looked very much like clutter. Of course, she didn’t pause before she made the diagnosis that it was 100% characteristic of laziness! She didn’t follow that up with any kind of mandate. I figured she was just having a little fun at my expense. Hey, I’m a big boy. Besides that, I guess you could say I’m a professional gambler. I know when to hold them, know when to fold them and know when to walk away. Besides that, I couldn’t argue with her assessment, my side of the closet was pretty unkempt.

Late Sunday night when I was crafting my blog for posting the following morning, the General was doing more than playing solitaire on her iPhone. The beep sound alerting me that I had received a text message startled me a little bit. Actually, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. The General had texted me a picture of my side of the closet. It brought both a sense of “surely she’s not going to post that on Facebook” and a smile to my face. What’s the word I’m looking for? The ole gal has spunk.

I can tell you one thing for sure, when I got ready for work yesterday morning, part of the routine was picking four pairs of shoes up out of the floor and ensuring all of the clothing that needed to go to the cleaners was in the laundry basket. I’m not taking chances, but I’d say the two of us are having fun together.

All My Best!

Don

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