Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Putting Dull on the Shelf

Anne, Bec, Me (Em), Jill, Melissa - waiting for the doors to open at the Eclipse premiere

We talk a lot around here about how to be better parents, more accomplished individuals, more resourceful, less selfish, more organized, more domestic. That's all fine and good, but today I just want to challenge us all to have and be more fun.

I've never been much of a thrill seeker, usually content with small groups and quiet amusement. My predilection for sticking close to home and keeping things low-key intensified with the addition of children. And for the icing on the boring cake, I feel like recent circumstances in our family life have put so much pressure on me that I've started retracting, not in a nervous-breakdown-induced sort of way, just in a very pensive, inward-turning way. I didn't realize how utterly beige my life had become until about two weeks ago.

Exhibit A: We went water skiing with my family last month and I just pretty much talked myself out of getting in the water. Too cold. I'll just take care of the kids. Meh, what's the big deal about a few minutes behind a boat anyway?
Some healthy peer pressure from the fam got me to jump in, get cold, and wake-board. I didn't do a single trick. My board never left the water. I just skimmed in and out of the wake, across the glassy water, but I felt like a rock star. There are certain parts of yourself that only wake up with wind in your hair, sunshine on your cheeks, and muscles at work. I felt strong and vivid. And so, so glad I'd jumped in.

Exhibit B: Anne invited me to the 12:05 a.m. Eclipse premier last Tuesday night and in a fit of indecision met with peer pressure, I said yes. You guys, I am not a Twi-hard; I haven't even read the books. And this has nothing to do with Edward or Jacob. This has everything to do with doing something out of your ordinary. To be quite frank, I thought the movie was silly - don't hate! (I was impressed with Stephanie Meyer's creativity and ok, fine - a little charmed by Edward), but that whole process of setting up our camp chairs in the parking lot of Tinseltown, waiting for three hours in a huge line of silly fans, chatting, sharing pizza and eating treats, beholding the wonder of Jill & Bec (those women are contagiously optimistic and FUN), holding my heavy eyelids open 'til 2:30 in the morning and then coming home wanting to make out with my husband after watching a teenager pledge her heart to a vampire (wha??) -- all that stuff reached down to the "fun girl" inside me and shook her out of a drooling coma. (Thanks for the invite, Anne - and for making me stay when I reeeaaalllly wanted to go home at midnight :)

I am always inclined toward the "quiet night at home" option. Always. I will never be the life of the party. And that's fine. But I need to have more fun (my mother and sisters confirmed this suspicion for me - thanks, guys :).
Life is for living. Hair needs to be let down and windblown. And sometimes Hot Tamales need to be eaten at 1:23 in the morning, sandwiched between your favorite girlfriends at the local Cinemark.

Jump in.
Make memories.
Be fun.


p.s. I'd love to know what you think about this
and where you find yourself on the fun spectrum.


liz said...

Oh, man, could this post have been written by me. Em, I would say based on observation that I'm way more un-fun than you, since you asked about the spectrum. Here's a revelation from a mom of school-aged kids, since most Bloom readers seem to have younger kids: there has to be some fun, or your kids will want to be somewhere else. Of course I want them to have fun with friends, but I also want my nest to be a desirable, enjoyable place to be. So more fun all around. Starting today. Thanks Emily.

Jesslyn said...

After many years of singlehood (during which I was constantly on the go with either work or socializing) I was surprised to find myself happily content to just relax at home with my hubby. 3 kids in 2 years exacerbated that desire and its only been the last month or so that I've started to emerge from the haze of babies. I have no desire to go out partying with girlfriends every week, but I do find a little tickling of desire to get out and have fun more often.

jeanine said...

Oh Em... you sound just like me! I love a quiet night at home with my hubby. But I could use a little more excitement in my life!

The Parkers said...

Oh, this post really hit home for me. My life too has become so beige, so boring, so predictable, but I don't think I realized it until I read this. It is really easy to get stuck in a boring rut and to find so many excuses to not try new things or continue our old hobbies of pre-children years. I am making a Bloom pledge right here and now to start having more fun and find that sparkle in life that can only come from fun! Thanks for the reminder!

Christina said...

Amen! I tell my friends I'm the reliable friend, not the fun friend. This post made me realize I need to start remembering what it's like to be fun.

Kerry said...

Oh yes! When did it become so much harder to say yes to going out and doing something fun than to just stay at home? I think when I lost most of my control over how my "free time" is spent. Or to be honest, lost pretty much all of my free time. Now that our littlest is over 1, my hubby and I are trying to carve out more free time for ourselves on our own, with friends, and with each other. I have to remind myself that balance is key and that my kids love being alone with Daddy or with a friend or babysitter every once in a while.
Lately, my fun has been yoga classes with one of my best buddies from college days.

Rachel Orme said...

I am also on the "stay cozy at home" side of the spectrum, and it can be hard for me to get wild and crazy. So, my husband bought us tickets to see Carrie Underwood at the Stadium of Fire, and we went nuts! (Who cares if the people seated in front of me probably heard my singing better than Carrie...) I need to do more out and out fun things just like that. There are many on my list!

Mrs. Blimes said...

Great post! I am sosososososo DULL since the baby came! I have no idea what happened! I always have great ideas of what I think will be fun and then i find some excuse not to put them into action.


But you've inspired me. I am doing something fun today! LOL

Natalie said...

Em, I really do suggest reading those books, if nothing else, it will spice up your love life and make you feel 17 again. Who couldn't use that?!

Mmmm, Edward.

So glad you let your hair down! It's so pretty. ;)

Jess said...

We sound a lot a like! I think it's good to do those fun things though, that make you feel alive and get you out of your "mom" water skiing! I love wake boarding but I haven't gone in've inspired me to be a little more crazy!

Joan said...

I'm proud of you for staying up that late, Em! I too am an early to bed kind of girl (she says as she comments at midnight?!)
Staying up waayyyy too late to watch a sappy teen vampire flick is always a good way to feel young again.

annie moffat karcher said...

I am totally the unfun person in my family, when asked if I want to join in the fun I just sit there and kind of sulk, but I have tried to learn to get out there and be more fun and spontaneous.

Melissa said...

I have always been a home body. I attended a few concerts in my late teens, but that was as exciting as it ever got. Imagine my husband's surprise when, at 40, I took of to meet some of my fellow TwilightMom friends when we heard Twilight was filming just an hour from where I live. Don't get me wrong; I'm still mature and rational. I told myself I was nuts and asked myself over and over what I was doing. But boy was it fun to meet Rob Pattison and Kristen Stewart and take pics with them both. In the last two years I've been to a couple of movie sets, a red carpet event (I didn't sleep on the sidewalk), a celebrity after party, book signings with Stephenie Meyer, Forks, and all three midnight events.

My purpose in sharing is not to expose my Twilight hobby, but to say that it's been fun to do things that are not in character for me. I've ventured out to see a couple of tapings of So You Think You Can Dance, and done a couple of their tour shows with friends. There is a pull between the me that is a homebody and could live a hundred years without taking risks, and the little part of me that is having fun doing some of the things that maybe I should have years ago. Every time I leave to go do something, I have to swallow the part that knows it would be easier to stay home.

Anyway, I guess I'm saying go for it. I'm pretty sure as we're doing all the other things we're supposed to that we are supposed to be enjoying this wonderful life experience we've been given. :D