COLUMNS Word & Wisdom


I’M WATCHING parts of the Blues Brothers movie, and it is tweaking an emotion that has lain dormant for a while. I call it “the carefree, life-is-fun emotion.” I remember feeling that.

I have remnants still lingering in my system.

Somehow over the years, life got so serious. Bills, divorce, broken relationships, loss….and lots of work. Yet, the spark for silly fun is still within.

I learned a lot in grad school about personality development, needs, motives, and desires, relationships. Yet, nowhere did I hear about any psychological need for fun.

I propose that there is.

Oh, wait, Aretha is about to burst into “Think.” I may have to get up and dance.

Okay, I did, and it was darn fun.

Back to the serious stuff of writing this column.

I didn’t realize how under-used my fun cells were. Laughter has always been touted as something healthy to do…..

Carefree. I had a few months of “carefreedom” in my early twenties. At the time I had few responsibilities and the summer weather in Connecti- cut was glorious. My red VW bug and I and a friend or two would travel to a river for a swim. We’d jump in from a bridge, in our clothes. We’d dry off just laying in the grass. We’d go have a beer or two at a local bar, eat fried shrimp and wait for the band to arrive. I smile when I think about it.

Could I do that kind of thing today? Would I? Would I jump from a bridge, get sun-dried and go to any eating/ drinking establishment? Most likely, no to all. While it was fun then, I would probably hurt myself if I tried it these days. And maybe get arrested for jumping off of a bridge. Then I’d get drunk on beer while waiting for that band to arrive. My clothes would be all wrinkly and boy, it would not be a pretty picture at all.

Carefree. That state of laughing spontaneously. Of being right in the moment. Of finding joy and humor suddenly, unexpectedly.

I have that possibility still in me. I now have to figure out how that looks these days.

As always, if I can pass something on to you, the reader, it would be this: Re-define your idea of fun. If it correlates with carefreedom (yes, its a word I made up) then figuring out how that can happen without being hurt, arrested or drunk is something to think about. I find dancing to Blues Brothers songs fun. Flirting is fun. Being silly is fun. And I can do it all in the course of a normal day.

Its ironic that I own and operate a game and puzzle store and yet found myself so alienated from my own feeling of fun. Yet, fun is part of what I sell. Fun with family and friends.

Like discovering I’ve put on 20 lbs. and that I need to watch my diet, I am making serious efforts to have fun. I am going to work at this fun stuff. … no, I’m having fun with you. No serious efforts here, no working at it. But definitely more dancing, joking, silliness, flirting, and loving life in general.

By Tobi Nason

Tobi is a Manzanita counselor.