This fall, I signed up for the adult circus class at Circus Juventas. When I was talking to Dan, the founder, about possibly taking it it, I said I thought it would be helpful for me to know how some of the acts are physically done, rather than just watching them. To which he said "Yes, but you shouldn't do it for that. You should do it because it's fun."
And he was 110%, totally, right. Every Monday night it's hard to get myself out of the house and over to the tent, but I leave an hour later with a sense of sheer exhilaration. That circus class is one of the hardest things I have done in my life. I come home every week in total pain and amazed at my lack of strength and stamina. I have an incredible new appreciation for the things those circus kids can pull off. And most of all, for an hour of the week, I have had a total blast.
I honestly can't remember the last time I did something simply because it was fun. I'm very driven, and so things usually have to have a point — such as understanding circus better. Or taking yoga or pilates because it's good for you. Or the other classes I take because I should learn those things. I have fun volunteering, but that's certainly a duty. I thoroughly enjoy almost every show I attend, but I generally make the choice to attend because I should; I love reading, but my list tends to be "should" books (and an occasional Cape Cod beach read). Our travel always has at least one business aspect. I enjoy working on the house, but that's for sure a "should." And let's not even discuss parenting, the hardest and most rewarding work I have ever taken on.
And there's nothing wrong with all my "shoulds." They make me a better person; they give a focus to my life; I like measuring what I have achieved. After all, I signed up for this circus class at first because it was a should — but it's turned into something very different. And now, just now, I may be open to the fact that there is a lot more fun in things than I knew — and I am looking so very forward to discovering that.
What things are the most fun for you? And are they pure, unbridled "fun," or do they have some "shoulds" in there too?