Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Fun

A couple of nights ago I found myself in a car with three world class wits as we all returned home from a rather extravagantly overacted play. While we had managed to exhibit impeccable adult decorum during the performance, our facade cracked, then shattered, inside that car as we each offered up our increasingly hilarious reviews of the night. I laughed so hard that my sides literally ached; the kind of ache I remember from the belly laughs of childhood fun. As I reflected on the evening later that night, I had to admit that even while I find so much in this world to be amusing - even downright funny - real side-splitting laughter, real fun, is a bit of a rare thing.

To be certain, being an adult has its undeniable advantages. I can stay up as late as I want, and frequently do so. I can eat dessert first if I choose, even though I rarely do. However, along with the grand freedoms that come with all the costumes of adulthood, there is also the somber coloured, conservatively cut cloak of responsibility that we all must wear. An often itchy and uncomfortable garment, it is a cloak tailored for each of us individually, and sometimes, it seems, unfairly. Its powers are such that, strangely, it seems that if one never takes it off.... for a weekend, or even just an hour.... the more cumbersome it becomes, the scratchier its fabric, the heavier its weight, until it begins to alter the very posture of the spirit - the very lightness of the heart.

I can remember being a little girl and going outside every day, “to play”. It seems as if we adults could benefit from such an activity today. To run through a field, or bicycle through an afternoon, for reasons having more to do with joy than with exercise. To take a turn on the swingset, or a swing on the dance floor. To ride the carousel, sing along with the radio, play on the seesaw..... or just take the long way home.
To remember how to play and how to laugh till your sides ache.

So if you will excuse me, I think I shall go and play hide and seek with Edward. It is his favourite game.
And perhaps, I shall eat my dessert first tonight.


"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
Yiddish Proverb

45 comments:

  1. BRAVO....dearest what a wonderful post...and great picture to go with it...thank you...I will miss your posts in the next three weeks when I travel..and I'm looking forward to read them when I get back..but for now, I am out to play.
    Take care..and enjoy your dessert:)))

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  2. Humour is so essential in life!
    And playing would be so much fun..

    I am reminded of a quote I would repeat to my friends long ago when I was afraid we would grow up and completely stop playing one day:

    'We do not stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing.'

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  3. Humour and playfulness are so important in life. We need to exercise the inner child every day. During some pillow talk we got to loughing so hard we both had sore sides and tears spurting out of our eyes.
    I love your posts and always wonder where you get your glorious pictures from to illustrate them.

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  4. "The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball." ~ Doug Larson

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  5. Oh yes we really should keep this in mind and make room out of our busy schedules to play like chidren! I still try to hold onto my imaginary games with the clouds in the sky. Enjoy your playful day! xoxo

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  6. Pamela, thank you for making me smile! I needed this!

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  7. Thanks for the much needed post and picture. I really need more if any fun in my life right now. Days blend and blend without any fun. I have to create it.

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  8. Hello P&E,

    There's certainly nothing better for us than a good hearty laugh, usually in the company of friends with whom you can be yourself!

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  9. Playing is such good medicine! A belly laugh really does soothe the soul!
    Thanks for the reminder!

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  10. What is life without play? We must remember to play every once in awhile or else we will grow old...

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  11. I often stay up very late and love the fact that know one can tell me to do otherwise :)
    I have always wondered why when you reach a certain age, you are not to go on the play equipment in the park anymore? My son is 14 now and according to the 'notice' displayed on our local park equipment he is too old to use it?
    Why don't they make swings and slides for adults, I'd be regularly out to play. :)

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  12. This is why we have animals, so we take the time for play.

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  13. So joyful as is everything you share.
    Love Jeanne

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  14. Come over and play dolls with me today! I agree with you and I'm trying to change some of my daily routine! I think watching Mamma Mia changed my thinking! Maybe I will watch it again today! heehee! Have a happy day!

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  15. Such a fun idea- we do need to relax and play a bit more. My post today touches upon this and how europeans know how to relax and enjoy the moment. Love Shana's quote-ditto, ditto!
    I think I need a little hide and seek or purhaps dress-up! Have fun with Edward.

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  16. "The day we stop laughing and playing is the day we become old and die."

    One of those "strange relatives" said that to me once. I do believe we were kindred spirits and I was being warned. ;-)

    I've taken it to heart and become a "strange relative" myself. Loving every moment of it.

    I even still play with my dollhouses once in a while.

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  17. so true, so true, so true - play is universal and cannot be put on a shelf! wonderful post Pamela :)

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  18. Laughter is the world's best medicine, isn't it? Love the monks on the teeter-totter!

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  19. Lovely stuff Pamela. Some years ago I went to Edinburgh for the day on the train with five friends. One the way back in the evening I am afraid to say that our behaviour was disgraceful - we were all in our fifties and we laughed and joked and fell about - the rest of the train carriage must have been sick of the sight of us. I do agree with you that often we find it impossible to "let our hair down" and yet when we do we feel so invigorated for it. Lovely post. You write so well.

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  20. I think you have touched on why a lot of us write - to get it all out - be ourselves and really have that belly laugh once in a while.

    Kat

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  21. Thanks for the smile!
    May the inner child never cease to rule! :-)

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  22. I've missed you, Pamela! Your sense of humor has often come through in some of your comments and has had me laughing out loud. I've enjoyed knowing that side of you. I have been known to fall into fits of uncontrollable laughter - sometimes at the wrong time. In high-school I was voted the person with the best laugh, probably due more to the fact that I was often told to stand out in the hallway until I settled down, than to the actual sound of my laugh. I've had to get off of buses too - A person alone and laughing seems to frighten people! Laugh and be silly, I say. It keeps you young.
    Catherine

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  23. How lovely about the nest...don't you feel good having them twittering outside.
    I love this post and I soooo agree, I could not get out of the house quick enough after tea....making all sorts of promises to be in before dark stuffing my chocolate cake into my hanky and into my pockets (ugh) and I was off over the back fields with my mom shouting something meaningful into the wind....how did we loose those wonderful days....

    I'm so glad you are having fun.
    Hugs Lynn xxx
    Love the picture ha ha

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  24. yes, well said. I actually grew up with fairly strict parents and didn't get out to play very often, I think I'm more than making up for that now. I think in the UK, there is a real problem with parents becoming paranoid about risks that are natural parts of development (eg the risks involved in climbing trees), and children not getting enough opportunity to learn from outdoor play. (My parents were obviously ahead of their times....)

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  25. Playing hide and seek with Edward must be fun...

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  26. A wonderful illustration and great post Pamela. You have such a way with words. The way you wrote about resposibility being weighty "until it begins to alter the very posture of the spirit - " bought a lump to my throat.After a rather strict upbringing myself, I married a man with a playfulness of spirit and am always happy for that. He came up with the idea of a playground building site for grown men with graders, bobcats, forklifts etc, where they could drive (play?) and tunnel to their hearts content.Even though it was a light-hearted daydream, the responsibility factor kicked in though - Occ. Health and Safety,liability etc. Lovely to have daydreams - where would we be without them.Myself, I was sorely tempted by a big mud quagmire on a median strip - my silly moment was "what if we all got out of our cars and squished and squashed around in that - how great would that be".Then-green light change - normal life -move on. xxx

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  27. How I agree!!!

    This is so fabulously articulated!

    Indeed, a good laugh with a good friend, over anything at all, is medicine for the soul, like nothing else.

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  28. There is an award for you and Edward on my blog. It's simply for brightening my day with your posts. :-)

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  29. For those who have children I'd think that everyday would have some play! As an auntie, I have to wait to see them and I envy those who have the kids to play with on the daily!

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  30. That is soooo true and what a wonderful way to describe it. I was only thinking last night that I'd love a pair of rollerskates so that I could barrel along the road like I used to when I was 12!

    Kim x

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  31. Being in the middle of an irresistable fit of laughter can be awkward mind you. I remember being on a bus going over the frontier from Turkey to Bulgaria in the early 80s, and this drunk Irish bloke had just finished what I still consider to be the funniest joke in world history and just at that point, when it was physically impossible to stop from howling with laughter, this big bloke in a furry hat and, more importantly, a semi automatic rifle came on and started asking me questions about my passport.

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  32. Just perfect Pamela. There is nothing better than laughter or more therapeutic than playing, xv.

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  33. I was in Euston Station in London many years ago and on coming up the escalator saw a suited and booted gentleman slip on a banana skin. It was so textbook comedic that I actually had to clench my teeth together to stop myself from laughing. I couldn't wait to see if he was unhurt because I had to hurry away and laugh. So naughty I know...but I was a lot younger then. I try not to laugh at peoples' misfortunes these days. Love your post. Laughter is so vital to us all.

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  34. You have a true gift for so beautifully delivering the messages we need and are meant to hear.

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  35. Uncontrollable belly laughs really do clean out the bad stuff!

    Your post made me think of a wonderful moment tonight . . . my daughter and I were walking through a field of buttercups which were glowing from the setting sun, and she suddenly flung herself down in the grass and spread her arms and legs wide and just had this RAPT expression on her face as if she drinking it all in.

    Edward would have enjoyed it, too. :)

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  36. well........today i went for a 5 minute bouncing ride on a big trampoline.

    fun !

    xxx kisses to edward

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  37. Here's to more frolicking avec dogs !! There is nothing better in the world. Missy D send slots of love To Miss A and tres Handsome Edward and lots of love from me too.

    I do love your style of writing ... just makes me feel good. xo S.

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  38. You are so right! When I have had the chance to laugh like that..it is so wonderful. I come alive. My blood pumps..I feel better. Refreshed. Great post!

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  39. Wonderful!
    Sometimes Hubby and I play hooky and scive off work together during the day. A couple of days ago we wandered into town, visited a few charity shops and had ice cream before hurrying home in the rain in our shirt sleeves. It left me with more energy. Maybe having fun is the secret to having more energy with life?

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  40. Writer Margaret Atwood said
    “Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”

    Thanks for taking time out to visit me today.

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  41. how true, how true! we should all make wee spaces in our hectic lives just to "play" & connect right back to our inner child, mr o & i are convinced its a grand way to keep young at heart & if not at least we shall have go down with aching sides and have had great fun trying. wonderful post x

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  42. Dessert first and humour for the soul. Sounds like a plan.

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  43. My philosophy most definitely, Pamela! I take being silly very seriously!!

    Dessert before dinner - Ooh yes, and then again after!

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  44. I haven't had a good side spliting, belly laugh like that in a long time it seems...it is a rare treasure...

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  45. So very true! I have one friend with whom I always laugh until my stomach aches-- visits with her are infrequent, but are ones we both look forward to because of our "ab-workouts." And dessert before dinner is fantastic sometimes! You know, perhaps taking your friend up on those horse back riding lessons would produce some of that unbridled joy (although it would surely produce some soreness too!)

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!