It might be that I worked too hard at making life fun for my kids at the start of lockdown. Or it might be that I’ve always been a shoegazer, not a stargazer. But I’ve realised that I don’t know how to have fun anymore.
The last few years have definitely been a challenge. Not necessarily as challenging for us as for many others during the pandemic – and I remain grateful for our home, health, jobs, garden and that the kids returned to school before we killed each other. But it has been a really long slog. Overthinking. Planning. Prepping. Even just being conscious in a way that I really never was before. And in that time, I feel a bit like I’ve lost my spark, my spontaneity and my enthusiasm. Somehow, it still just feels easier to do nothing. Things have got a bit too complicated for me to be up for it – like an impromptu dinner at a chain restaurant without a booking seems to be a thing of the past. A night away in a hotel was just a bit too faded and sad after two highly difficult years in the hospitality sector. A bar filled with wedding goers should have been a joy to see but instead I felt overwhelmed by all the people.
I have lost my fun.
Normally, I associate losing fun with my bouts of depression. I medicate, and I know thankfully that it passes.
Right now, I feel changed rather than depressed. A different version of myself.
I an effort to overcome this, I am pushing myself. Trying to find the former me and the things I like to do. Grabbing a quick coffee in a coffee shop. Dinner with friends. Inviting people over. Booking holidays. These are my usual pleasures. My pick me ups. The dates in the diary that see me through each half term.
I am making a conscious effort to remember before. I am trying to rebuild the comfort that I took for granted. I am being present in the moment and reminding myself that being in a café with a bacon sandwich and a coffee is a pleasure that cannot always be guaranteed or assumed and it is a pleasure. A welcome joy.
I tell myself that this will feel fun when I feel more at ease. I look forward to not thinking about how close I stand to other people, to not thinking about whether they should be wearing a mask. I want to unconsciously pull my friends into a warm embrace without hoping I don’t unknowingly have Covid to give them. I want to be present, in the moment and yet carefree.
For now, I will be satisfied with pleasure in the planned moments. But I know I must invest in this. So I’ve signed up for a February #Funtervention, a free February challenge with bestselling author Catherine Price. Price promises that we will learn how to use the power of fun to help in challenging times. I’m in. Why not join me