I’m not sure if I would describe myself as a fun person. Sure I can be funny and I like to have fun – who doesn’t? I also lead a happy and satisfied life. But am I “fun”? Are you?

By “fun,” I’m referring to someone who is naturally disposed to fun. They seek the company of other people, enjoy novel experiences, always up for a good time, like to be the life of any party – even if it’s a party of one or two. As the French would say they bring a certain “joie de vivre” to most occasions.

My wife, I believe, fits these descriptions whereas perhaps to her chagrin, I do not. I have always had some level of seriousness about me. Perhaps not surprising given the environment I grew up in and the difficulties I’ve faced – particularly in those early years. As a result, I find myself spending a lot of time in my own head. Introspection has a lot of benefits but generating fun isn’t one of them.

The added responsibilities and stressors of adulthood and parenthood can also suck the fun out of us – depleting whatever reservoir we had.

Two years of a pandemic doesn’t help matters. Nor does two decades of a harshly divided country.

When someone is about to go out and do something that sounds enjoyable, our standard response is to tell them to “have fun.” As if it is something we go to find on occasion or acquire externally – rather than possess within us always.

I wonder why we don’t instead encourage each other to just “be fun.” To let down our defenses, set aside our insecurities and distractions, to allow our daily stressors to subside and free ourselves for fun – if only for a brief time every day.

The holiday season is one that can be understandably stressful but it is a time of year when fun can be found around every corner and, more importantly, within us. If we only allow ourselves to embrace it.

I, for one, am going to try to choose fun. To embrace it, to be fun I hope you can as well.

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