Laughter, enjoyment, impulsiveness, and spontaneity. These are some ingredients of “fun,” a critical part of aging that needs more focus.
My mother is 93 years old. She is having fun now, but that was not always the case! She and my Dad moved to independent senior living about a year ago and it has been fascinating to see how they have adapted and changed. My mom goes to yoga, attends wine and cheese events and book club. I would probably not describe her as a person who looks to have “fun,” but I think she has seized the moment and taken advantage of what life is now offering. She is happier because of it. As a self described introvert, the adjustment has been fascinating to see.
This article takes a look at the importance of having fun in our lives, and the lifelong habits we have formed that make it so difficult. “Playful older adults are psychologically upbeat: they are happy, optimistic, cheerful, joyful, positive, relaxed, and enthusiastic individuals.”
What Makes Having Fun So Hard?
As I reflect on my own life, I am grateful that I have my pinochle group (we don’t always play, but we always laugh a lot) my golf buddies and the hikes I take with friends. However, like many of you I have been a task oriented person my whole life. Who among us hasn’t been? We raise families, have jobs, and have the endless lists of things to do around the house. It’s a habit that is hard to break. The “creep” of social isolation is something to be avoided, but it takes a dedicated and concerted effort to stay connected. Might as well have fun along the way!