Like most women, I have given considerable thought to the things I want in life. The type of career, the kind of man, the number of children, the style of home, the vacation destinations, so on and so forth.
Fun, on the other hand, is one thing I have not given much thought. I rarely make a genuine effort to pursue it and tend to take it for granted when it’s in my possession.
However, my nephew recently changed my mind. During our FaceTime conversation, he was turned all the way up, bouncing around the room and talking nonstop. His mother told him to calm down and say goodbye so that he could prepare for bed.
“Have a good night,” I said in my cheerful, sing-song voice.
“Have fun with no kids!” he sang back.
His mother and I looked at each other, mouths agape. “Did he just say…?”
Yes, he did.
He is too young for sarcasm, so it’s safe to say there was no shade. All I could do was laugh and take his comment at face value.
Not that kids aren’t fun, because they are. But they also involve a significant amount of time, work, money, and patience. Therefore, it stands to reason that a life without them could be quite fun.
In the days since our unusual farewell, I have found myself pondering his words. Am I having fun with no kids? Do I take full advantage of my single life by engaging in exciting activities, meeting interesting people, and enjoying the ability to come and go as I please? How often do I do spontaneous things that make me laugh and smile? Doing something that is social is not the same as doing something that is entertaining. There is a difference between a night out that is just ’cool’ and one that is truly a good time. When was the last time I had exhilarating, can’t-wait-to-tell-someone-about-it fun?
It had been too long. I was busy and stressed, feeling the heaviness and irritability of a life void of fun.
If you are not careful, adulthood will make you forget to have fun. You will find yourself so caught up in work, bills, and social obligations – all the things you’re expected to do – that you fail to make time for the things you actually want to do. However, if you are lucky, there are cute toddlers who just want you to have fun and who point out the things about your life that should make it easier to achieve. And if you are smart, you will listen.
The way my life (and the female body) is set up, it is safe to say that I am not having any children in the near future. But I will be having fun. I have decided that at least once every two weeks, I will make a conscious decision to have fun. It may look different from one occasion to the next, but it will happen. Because life is short and meant for living. Because when I was younger I imagined a single life that was comprised as much of fun and freedom as it was career and attainment. Because fun is good fodder for journal entries and blog posts, and makes for good stories to tell your grandchildren about when you’re old and gray sipping sweet tea in a rocking chair. Because fun is good for the soul. Because my little boo told me to have fun. Because like he said, I have neither chick nor child and God designed it that way for a reason. Because if I ever do have children, I want to feel like I had my fill of kid-free fun before they arrived. Because I’m a girl, and more than shoes, clothes, diamonds, books, travel, wine, and success, I just wanna have fun.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.