Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

I know I have shared this painting before in my post about humor for pain management. But it was just too appropriate for this week’s photo challenge theme, so bear with me one more time!

For those who don’t know the story behind this painting, I have described it in detail in my original post (linked above), but here is a short version:

On a recent vacation with my friend’s two young daughters, my husband and the girls decided to play a silly joke on the server by dropping all our spoons in our glasses. The confused look on the server’s face as she tried to gauge the bizarre situation without letting it show in her voice was classic! It was a supremely dumb joke that then became a bit of the tradition with the girls. And since then they have sending us spoons-in-glasses pics from many of the restaurants they now visit.

In order to commemorate the birth of a new dumb tradition, I painted them the picture in the featured image and called it “The In-Joke” (for obvious reasons, since few who weren’t there to witness the event are likely to see the humor in it).

The real reason I wanted to share the painting and the associated story again is this:

I read a beautiful article today on Light Everyday about how we often fail to realize how much fun we are having, all the time, in the course of living our lives, because we get so caught up in the preconceived notions we hold of what “fun” should look like.

At my age, a “fun” vacation is marketed to look either like a luxurious girls-time-out in a beach-side spa resort with a snazzy nightlife, or an adventurous backpacking trip across the mountains at the end of which you are supposed to “find yourself” (whatever that means). Not dropping spoons in glasses with two young children at a tiny diner on a family vacation, as I squirm on the chair to try to ease my pain best I can! Yet that was one of the funnest vacations I have ever been on, and that particular memory is one of my most cherished ever, and one that we keep referring back to every time we eat out!

My current point of view, however, is relatively newly developed. For a long time, in my past life as a healthy person, I was also blinded by what “fun” should look like. And I resented the fact that I never had enough money or the personality to have it!

It is unfortunate that I had to develop a chronic illness to lift that veil off my face and finally see how much fun I was having everyday, just doing everyday things, nothing special or out of the way.

calvin-hobbes-summer-is-doing-things-or-nothing

I have fun every day, just hanging around the house with my husband, sometimes in different rooms with each doing different things, or watching TV shows/films together in bed. Nothing we do looks like “fun” – in fact we might be the definition of “boring” – but it has been a funΒ life for us in our own way!

Calvin-and-Hobbes-Summer-Vacation-Comic

As I keep coming back to this idea of finding the good things that fibromyalgia has brought into my life, finding joy in small things is definitely one of the big ones! I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity, even if it came disguised as fibromyalgia, to realize just how much fun my life is!

Love,

Fibronacci

13 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

  1. Fibromyalgia is not a very well understood condition. I am glad you keep a dose of optimism in your attitude. It can be difficult to deal with the unpleasant experiences that come with fibromyalgia because we don’t always have the solution – and sometimes our solutions don’t work. It sometimes take some hardship to realize something beautiful too. Thank you for sharing your experiences on the blog. πŸ™‚

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    1. So true! You have really hit the nail on the head. I try to be optimistic best I can, but I have to admit that I am not always successful at it. Every now and then, however, I have a breakthrough and I am supremely grateful for those events. πŸ™‚ I am glad you are enjoying reading about my journey towards peace on my blog. Thank you for sharing in it! I can’t express how much I appreciate the support of my kind readers and fellow-travelers. ❀

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    1. Indeed, Laura! It is amazing how much we walk past during the course of our lives and never *really* notice it or enjoy the moment we have just had. I am trying to incorporate more mindfulness in my life so I can see the joy that is simply *in* the moment. πŸ™‚

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  2. Do you read the comic Calvin and Hobbes? It’s about a 6-year-old boy named Calvin and the adventures he has with his stuffed tiger Hobbes. There is one where Calvin tells Hobbes that since summer is almost over, he feels all this pressure to do something really fun before the school year starts, and suddenly all the things he likes to do with his free time don’t sound like they are enough fun anymore. Your post reminded me of that.

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    1. YES!!! I love Calvin and Hobbes! I think I also remember the specific story you are talking about and it certainly is very appropriate to what I was trying to convey through my post. I couldn’t find that exact comic strip but that is definitely a recurring theme with Calvin – so I found a couple of other relevant ones and included them in the post. πŸ™‚ Thank you for bringing back lovely memories of the C&H comics and hope you enjoy the two I added in here! πŸ™‚ ❀

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  3. Such a fantastic post! I tend to loose that feeling, but I definitely notice the enjoyment from the smaller things when I get more perspective and I’ve been stuck in hospital, either after surgery or A&E. Even the things I didn’t like before, I can then see in a new light. Caz x

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    1. I know the feeling Caz. I do lose the feeling sometimes too, but a bit of meditation or just “active seeking” of it can bring it back. Are you familiar with Colin Wilson’s concept of the “robot”? Basically, the robot in us is what manages everyday mundane tasks without us thinking about it. It is useful – for example, you can probably cook your favorite dish and have a conversation at the same time, without screwing either up – but it is also what lands in trouble, like if you have ever driven halfway to wherever you were going and wondered if you locked your house door! The robot locked it for you, while you were probably thinking of something else, and so it escaped your consciousness. One of the main points Wilson makes is that when the robot starts doing too many things all the time, then those little moments that we would otherwise derive pleasure from do not register on our consciousness either. So when I notice that I’m starting to lose the perspective, like if I am groaning too much thinking about everything that hurts while out in the park on a lovely day, I just have to take a deeeep breath and really *look* around me as if with fresh eyes. And somehow, that “active seeking” opens something in my heart so I am able to see things in new light again.

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  4. I covered similar concepts of subconscious actions taking over etc years ago in my psych degree, but I hadn’t come across Colin Wilson and his robot concept. Using that, it’s really quite easy to see how it happens, how routine actions become, well, routine, and we lose the enjoyment from them, especially when we struggle to live more ‘in the moment’. Getting that perspective is hard but as you say, taking a deep breath and ‘actively seeking’ what’s there with fresh eyes can make a huge difference. I really do need to take your advice on that one, and my own advice which I seem to be able to give but not follow myself. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and share that with me – it’s piqued my curiosity so I’m off to Google Wilson now! πŸ™‚

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    1. Wow, that’s so interesting! I would love to learn more about the similar things you learned through the psych degree. Do you practice psychology now? I think you hit the nail on the head with “living in the moment.” I think one of the things that practicing mindfulness meditation does is turn off the robot so you are paying attention to every little thing you are doing or thinking in the now. It can get a bit too overwhelming paying attention to *every* tiny thing all the time, but initially, paying attention to little mundane things like the turning of the key that locks the door, or stirring of the spatula that mixes the batter, can be a good exercises to get us in that frame of mind where we become accustomed to consciously being aware of our actions and thoughts. As you mentioned, however, it is always easier said than done! My own methods aren’t always 100% successful! But if you’re looking for ways to get into that mindset, you may be interested in a book by Mark Wilson, “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.” It has exercises for each week that helps with the “opening of the mind.” I have this book, and have flipped through it, but have yet to complete all exercises. Perhaps it is time I take my own advice as well! πŸ˜‰

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  5. Sadly not, with regards to practicing psych. I got a first class degree, then never used it. Well, I became a community support and advice worker which used some of the skills, but none of the theoretical application. Ill health got in the way, otherwise I would have loved to have trained further in psychology, perhaps counselling/psychotherapy. Lost dreams, eh? Thank you for the book recommendation, I shall find that now and see if I can pick up a copy. I do love books like this. And yes, I think you need to take your own advice, but you may be like me because I’ve been told (too many times) “doctor heal thyself”! x

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    1. I completely understand how you feel with regards to lost dreams. Yet, I am sure it was rewarding to use some of your psych know-how as a community support worker. I feel like theoretical application of science is often overrated anyway. As long as you are able to use your knowledge to do something good, even if it isn’t what you initially planned, I think that’s still great! ❀ Good luck with the book! I'd be curious to know what you thought of it. I'm the type that needs to find her own way, and use her own exercises to get to the same endpoint, not somebody who's very good at following a recipe. That's partly why I haven't gone through the book diligently yet, and found my own way into mindfulness meditation. But I am sure there is a lot more that the book can teach me, so it is there next to my bed… in the soon-to-be-read pile… under 5 more books! πŸ˜‚

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