Fun is an integral part of success

Writers are always told to “write what you know.” But sometimes, it helps to write what you don’t know. Writers are detectives, researchers, learners. We’re naturally curious.

And I don’t know about you, but this writer admits to not really knowing how to have fun. I know how to work (and burnout). In fact, I’m writing this (longhand—gasp!) during lunch, one hand on the fork, the other holding a pen.

But fun is an integral part of success. My children and my Jewishness have taught me that. We have Shabbat—a day of rest, of contemplation, of finding contentment and satisfaction in not working. Shabbat is a day to recognize that, in the words of Sheryl Crow, “It’s not having what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got.” And on this July first, when the Minnesota state government has shut down and at least two of my friends have lost their primary source of income because the breadwinners were state employees, being thankful for what we do have is big.

There’s a certain amount of seriousness with which we ought to give thanks to G-d (in whatever form you choose to recognize G-d), but I also believe (and it’s not contrary to tradition—just the opposite, in fact) that being happy honors G-d. Being happy is a way of saying, “I’m thankful for where I am in my life.” And one of the ways to that happiness is fun.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fun as “what provides amusement or enjoyment.” How do you define fun?

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