I had lost my fun.
One night while making dinner I suddenly became aware of the running commentary in my head, “If I brown the hamburger on low while I boil the water I can change into my workout clothes in less than five minutes then come back to assemble the pasta bake, run for 15 minutes while it’s in the oven, load the dishwasher and shower after we eat, then spend 24.5 minutes with the kids before bedtime, after which I will brainstorm writing ideas, balance the checkbook, drink herbal tea, meditate and sleep well.”
Boom, take that to do list.
Unfortunately, killing my to do list wasn’t that invigorating.
Life had become a constant dialog of “have to, gotta, should” instead of the more desirable,”want to, get to, hell yes let’s do this shit!”
Despite all of the fun in my life- hilarious girlfriends, funny kids, extended time with extended family, frequent trips with people I love, an incredibly understanding husband who humors me at every turn, including the three days I refused to talk to him unless he started every conversation with, “I love you like Barack loves Michelle”- I wasn’t having fun.
So, I did what any self respecting Capricorn would do, I went to work.
I searched for my fun everywhere. I started exercising (endorphins), listened to podcasts on happiness, meditated for inspiration, wrote a blog post on the importance of having fun (ha!), started planning trips with my family and girlfriends (so fun), cut WAY back on my drinking and then spent a night or two diving back into it when that wasn’t successful.
No matter. I couldn’t find it anywhere. My fun was not on the treadmill. It was not in podcasts or blog posts, particularly not the blog posts I was avoiding writing. It wasn’t in planning trips, which shouldn’t be surprising since I’m a terrible planner. It wasn’t in abstaining from a bottle of Cabernet or the bottom of a bottle of Cabernet, though it certainly doesn’t hurt to look in either place.
And then I talked to Aaron Rodgers.
I mean not in real life, in a dream. We were standing in the frozen foods aisle at our local grocery store and I was telling him that a massage would really help with the neck strain he had recently suffered. I have a embarrassingly large crush on A-Rodge. Those eyes, that smile. Sigh. This was the one chance I had to tell him how dreamy I think he is and instead I handed him my business card and told him what great work my employees do. I woke up more disheartened than ever, I wasn’t even having fun in my dreams.
I pulled out my to-do list to add “Dissect Aaron Rodgers Dream” and suddenly, there it was: my fun.
Sandwiched between “Control Every Aspect of Personal and Professional Life” and “Make Self Responsible for Success and Happiness of Everyone Around You.” Not literally of course, but I suddenly saw the emotional drain behind the long list of physical to-do’s written on the page.
- Grocery shopping: Because it is my sole responsibility to feed my family home cooked meals (even though they refuse to eat them) and I fail as a mother and a wife when we order delivery… again.
- Plan family trip: Because we haven’t all been together since my grandma passed away over two years ago and if I don’t plan it we may never all see each other again. EVER.
- Social media marketing for my business: Because I am solely responsible for growth and the success of my employees and if they aren’t successful they’ll quit and my business will fail.
- Write: Because if I don’t write I’m not working towards my dream of professional writing and then I’ve failed that too. In addition to running a failing business. In fact, if I didn’t dedicate every minute to one of these two things, I will most certainly fail at both. Unless I’m too busy failing as a wife and mother.
None of which is true by the way.
According to my kids (and my husband), I’m never a better mother than when we order pizza unexpectedly. No one in my family expects me to plan an entire trip for 27 people on my own. My employees are more than capable of building their own success, and they enjoy it, it’s the main reason I hired each of them. Writing is a life long passion, not a career that I’m going to build over a year while raising three kids and running a business.
I looked again at the to do list, realizing that I had reduced everything I love and everything I am passionate about into mere responsibilities. And it hit me that my only failure was not truly enjoying this incredible life.
My mind wandered back to Aaron Rodgers and his famous 2016 post game interview, “R-E-L-A-X”.
I hear ya, Aaron, I’m listening.
P.S. I think you’re, like, super cute.
Is your inner voice a giant a-hole too? Check out Taming the Jerk in My Head, and let us know what you’ve named your inner jerk!
As always thanks for stopping by Beer and Junk! Love, Kelly