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Happy feet but unsettled everywhere else

Day three of my 365 days of fun … and yes, honestly, I’m surprised, embarrassed, and a bit saddened to report that it is evidently very hard work for me to have fun.

I spent most of yesterday organizing, prepping for the week ahead, taking time out only to admire the bluejays, tufted titmice, and cardinals outside the window at the feeder. But I did take the time to do what I thought would be fun: I went to Mandala Spa, with a gift certificate I’d been given for Christmas, and had a foot treatment.

It felt good, of course, and it was somewhat relaxing, I guess. But overall, I felt uncomfortable in my skin.

The French have a phrase for when you feel good in your skin — bien dans ta peau. But I wasn’t feeling it yesterday.

To be fair to myself, I’m bone tired and mentally and emotionally exhausted from a week of my mother being ill and in the hospital and a week of me, not getting much client work done, not getting much sleep, and feeling nervous with all the deadlines I’ve missed or that are looming.

So, I wasn’t feeling bien dans ma peau to begin with, I guess. But, I’d hoped the foot massage would help. I felt awkward as the woman buffed and soaked and massaged my feet. I didn’t want to talk but she did and so I made small talk with her, which, honestly, I loathe doing. I’d have much rather just sat there quietly and enjoyed the sensation. Is it a sign of fun-failure that I just wanted quiet? Quiet except for the sound in my own head of my feet saying, “Ahhhhhh”?

Then, of course, I berated myself for not just saying, “I’d like some quiet, please.” And, then, of course, I berated myself for not fully enjoying something that was supposed to feel so good. And then I berated myself for being the misanthrope who detests small talk. Is it really that hard? To answer small questions with equally small answers? Everybody does it; why can’t I?

Well, obviously, I can. But it takes a toll. It goes against every part of my being and I’m not saying that’s a good thing. It makes for difficult relationships, friendships, holidays, check-ins at airports, even foot rubs. Arrrgggghhh.

I came away thinking, nah, that wasn’t all that fun. Felt good physically, but would have felt a lot better on all levels if I’d had the cajones to say, “Can we just be quiet?” Because then, on top of not having the quiet that I wanted, I felt mildly disappointed with myself that I couldn’t ask for what I wanted. Classic example of being “nice” to a fault. I’m sure the woman tending my feet would have been fine with a quiet client.

I thought this fun thing was going to be so easy. I’m feeling like a failure and it’s only 48 hours into my resolution. My heart is already daunted by the whole idea of figuring out how to have some fun tomorrow. Feeling a bit deficient — I mean, really, who can’t have fun? And, wondering what happened to the woman who used to have fun just breathing? And also realizing that fun isn’t necessarily about the experience — it’s about how you experience the experience and how open you are to experiencing the experience, and well, I could go on and on, but I’m digressing to Jimi H’s “Are You Experienced” in my head and thinking I should go put it on the CD player — now that would be fun, right?

Well, for the first time in many years, I’m poking my head up for the view of what’s around me, after years of just focusing on the ground in front of me, and I feel unhappily out of the practice of having fun. I mean real fun — the kind that rocks your world and shakes you up a bit. The kind that rattles your perception of who you are and makes you come away thinking you’re better than you ever knew you could be. That’s what fun does for you — right? I’m reaching back into memory, but I’m pretty sure that’s the take-away. You feel good in your skin when you’re having fun. Bien dans ta peau.

I think, as unfortunate and oxymoronic as it is — I’m going to have to work awfully hard at getting my fun mojo working again. I want to feel bien dans ma peau.

My feet feel great … so, that’s a start.

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Posted on January 3rd, 2010Comments RSS Feed
6 Responses to Happy feet but unsettled everywhere else
  1. Noone likes to talk when getting any type of massage
    Totally normal
    inability to have fun,
    Some sort of crisis thing going on.
    don’t worry 362 days left
    you’ll find it out there.
    Somewhere

    Reply
  2. I hope your Mom recovers quickly.. It is very stressful and thereby exhausting when someone you love is ill.. And, it makes having fun darn near impossible..

    And……

    As you are having difficulty experiencing fun, may I offer my services as a guide in that area.. I am very, very experienced at having fun and can provide references upon request..

    Reply
  3. Thanks for the good thoughts JWP ….

    Reply
  4. I don’t know how old you are, MC, and I’m not going to ask. But sometime fun is defined differently as we get older. The “fun” I had in my ’20s was meant to be experienced in my ’20s. And each following decade seems to carry a different definition. I look back on those ’20s with glee. Somehow, though, “responsibility” reared forward, and having fun now requires a little work along with a bit of forgiveness. Not as spontaneous, darn!

    Reply
  5. Good words, Karen, no matter how old (or young) someone is. My definition of fun has evolved over the years, that’s for sure. It’s interesting, what you wrote about forgiveness — that’s given me something to think about tonight, so thanks very much for reading and commenting. MC

    Reply
  6. I would like to see your references JP……………..MC always remember simple=happiness.

    Reply

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