My Work is My Fun: Productive or Pathetic?by Jill Simonian
What do you do for fun?
Lately, I've struggled with this question. I've discovered I'm either the most PRODUCTIVE person ever or the most PATHETIC person ever. A friendly acquaintance recently asked me what I like to do for fun in my spare time. First of all, no mom of two babies under two years old has any spare time, but I digress... Fun. Fun. Hmm. Fun. I know what fun is. Shopping. Ice cream. Cocktails. Vegas. Fun makes you laugh. Fun makes you feel like a teenager again. Fun makes you feel fabulous.
So, what do I do for fun these days? Well, I like to blog, pursue work opportunities, go to meetings, and auditions... No wait. That's my work. But it makes me laugh, feel like a teenager, and really does make me feel fabulous. Does that count, then? Or does that mean that I don't have any fun? Or, does that mean that I'm reaaaaaalllly lucky? Sheesh.
Before babies, work was WORK. Now, it's different. Work is FUN. Fun (for me) means getting dressed up, getting out of the house, talking to interesting people and doing something for myself. Work gets me out of the house. Work gets me dressed up. Work allows me to talk to interesting people. Work gets me focusing on ME. More and more, I'm finding I'm more playful, less stressed, and honestly, I feel good inside about chipping away at my various professional goals when I get the opportunity to work now and again. Granted, I count my blessings that I'm able to work a freelance schedule at this point in my life, and that my family is not dependent on my income to put food on the table. Not to mention, I do get a twisted ego boost dealing with poopy diapers in high heels. On the days that I do work, I feel more complete and surprisingly return home refreshed and READY to go back to being Mommy. I'm happier on the days I work... which makes me much more fun to play puzzles, dress-up, and read books with. So, isn't that the purpose of creating 'fun' in your life: to feel all of those energizing feelings that reset you back to zero?
But as I thought about this, I started to worry a bit. I can't remember the last time I laid on the couch to read something frivolous, zone out, or just file my nails. PATHETIC? And the most frightening thing is that I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Really! I'm genuinely happy and content with my life right now (and my oddball chase-and-balance of career and raising babies) but I have to wonder if I'm causing irreparable damage to my inner-self that's going to bite me in the butt later. Will I resent not carving out time to aimlessly bop around my local mall for the sake of fulfilling a mainstream idea of "having fun?"
Marissa Mayer (new CEO of Yahoo) has gotten a lot of flack for wanting to work through pregnancy and her baby's first weeks (a whole other issue that I both fully understand and appreciate, yet also question the morality and reality of it all), but here's a thought: Maybe HER work is HER fun? Hmm.
Does anyone else consider work their 'fun' time? Who's with me, and who thinks I just need a serious girls night out to set me straight?