I am a child of the 80’s and therefore I can sing every line of the pop classic, Girls just wanna have fun. (Yes, pop tunes can be classics too!)
Yet while the words are indelibly printed in my memory, the notion of having fun has waned.
As the eldest child I have always taken responsibility, or been given it. I have done what was expected and been praised. ‘Give that job to Jodie, she will do it, she is responsible, she will get it done’.
And I would. And I did.
Then it became a part of my identity, a point of pride. That I was responsible.
Then I started to extend that responsibility and I felt responsible for the actions of others around me.
Then I had children, and oh my goodness, the weight of that responsibility: teaching them good manners; feeding them well; helping them interact with others; helping them with their education etc.
As I read the first essay of Part 6 on Throwing Candy, I identify, so strongly with Shauna’s reaction. I read the account of the mayhem in the water, and the guy throwing candy into the chaos, and I too, think, ‘How irresponsible’.
And I understand that I, like Shauna, have moved from a person who threw candy; to a person who ‘threw candy at approved and sanctioned candy throwing time’; to a person where ‘it was never the right time to throw candy’; to ‘a person who made fun of candy throwers.’ I know internally I have echoed her words:
… please – who has time? What is this kindergarten? I’ve got a list, people …
And like Shauna’s realisation at the dock, I want to put my head down and weep. Because I have lost my sense of fun. In fact my fun has been gone for so long, I am not even sure what is fun for me any more.
I don’t know how to find it again, or if I can.
But I do know that,
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and look back and realise that the best thing about me was I was organised
How tragic for my kids to look back on their childhood, and say ‘Mum was organised, but she wasn’t much fun’. How tragic for me.
So how do I start reclaiming my fun?
I am going to start with turning a certain Cindy Lauper song up loud, and dancing in my kitchen … with my kids.
Book Club Discussion Question:
What are you missing out on because you are ‘busy being busy’? What changes do you need to make to get that back?