There it went. Right down the middle of the lane. Until just before it got to the pins. And then it took a hard right turn and ended up in the gutter.
I wasn't bowling very well at all. Usually, that's a recipe for frustration for me. Doing something and not being very good at it. I don't like to do that.
But this day was different. I hadn't bowled in over 20 years. The chances I'd do well were slim to none. But bowling I went, with my three children and mother-in-law joining me.
We were a sight for sore eyes, that's for sure. But I was determined to take a much-needed break from our hectic schedules and have fun with my children. I needed it. They needed it. We all needed a few laughs and an opportunity to do something just for the fun of it.
The first game was interesting. I actually scored some points. We all did, except for my daughter. She scored a 0. In every single frame. That made her total score for the first game a 0.
Now, she's a lot like me and does not usually do things if she knows she can't do them well. So this was a big deal for her. After every ball she threw (or dropped) down the alley, she hopped and leaned and willed it to strike some pins.
It didn't. Ever. And she would come over to me and say, "I got another gutter ball," to which I would reply, "I know, honey. But are you having fun anyway?"
And to my surprise, she smiled a big smile and said "Yes!"
Normally this behavior of doing poorly at something would result in calling off the game or stopping the activity because she, like me, doesn't like to do poorly. But not this day. She was having fun, gutter balls and all. And so was I.
Well, the next game we asked to put the bumpers in the gutters so my daughter could actually knock down a few pins and we could all improve our game a bit.
We all knocked down some pins and had a great time together. Very little arguing between siblings, (there's always some arguing) mostly good-natured joking between all. My daughter even managed to get a ball in the gutter with bumpers in them. Go figure.
And the funniest thing happened. We had fun!
We went bowling just for the fun of it and it was great! No pressure to perform, no staying safe in our comfort zones, no trying to be the best bowler in the world and outdoing each other. Just good ol' fun.
My children loved it. So did I.
We had so much fun we made plans to try this again. Or maybe we'll try something else we're not good at. And we'll have a great time doing that together, too. Just for the fun of it.
I think we all did a little growing that day. My children don't even realize it. But how courageous of them--and me--to go against what is natural, like doing things well, and intentionally doing something you know you're not good at. It was a great experience for us all. And they talked about it and laughed about it for hours afterward. What a great memory we made together!
When was the last time you did something just for the fun of it? When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt?
We are often so caught up in trying to get so many things done each day that we forget to have fun in the process. We often take life too seriously. We move from task to task to task, straining to reach the finish line and forget to enjoy the journey from here to there.
Take a moment to laugh or just smile at yourself today. Leave a comment below about the last time you had a load of fun. If you can't think of anything, feel free to put down what you'll commit to do this next week to add some fun to your days.
And if I can be of help in any way to help you enjoy, rather than just tolerate, this thing called life, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!
And don't forget to smile and have fun!