Fun: It's All About Perspective

Fun can be an outlook; it is the way I choose to see today.

Posted Dec 29, 2020

Fun for me is the simple pleasures of life, even more now since the pandemic has limited my range of activities. Taking a walk around the neighborhood with Molly, our Tibetan Terrier rescue from South Korea. Seeing her own the neighborhood in her prancing-sort-of way; her recognizing the regular daily other-dog smells on the edges of bushes and leaves. I observe her calm confidence in an environment that just over one year ago was unknown and completely foreign to her. Not to envision her caged up like she was in her country of origin (South Korea); this is fun for me, pure joy.

Fun for me is a pillow on Ezzie’s floor that suddenly becomes hot lava that he has to jump over, only safe in my lap or on his bed. “Nana is old, so she is safe,” he says, and I’m fine with his definition of “old and safe."

 B. Jaffe
Ezzie melting from the Hot Lava.
Source: B. Jaffe

Fun is having a tea party with Rose, something I could never do with my own children, who were more interested in cars and trucks than tea sets, which, of course, was fun in a different sort of way. Rose instigates the tea party and asks me to attend. It’s one of the best invitations I have gotten in the last year. The fact that she might wear her tutu or sparkly dress is just an added joy (not to mention her bright pink bow clipped to the side of her hair).

 B. Jaffe
Rose preparing for our tea party.
Source: B. Jaffe

Fun is picking out the largest malt balls from the plastic Albanese Candy company bag (the best!) even though they are all good sized. Paul doesn’t care what size he eats. They are all the same to him, he says. Not for me. I have always had to have the biggest of whatever I choose to eat. It’s been that way since I was a little girl and I poured the entire box of chocolate honeycomb out on my bed, the box given as a hostess gift to my parents for their dinner party. The adults were busy enjoying their meal while I measured each of the milk chocolate squares. I had no understanding of the lack of sanitary conditions of my bedspread that housed the 30 pieces of chocolate that were once inside the gift box. I only knew I had scored the largest piece and that was fun.

 B. Jaffe
Only the biggest malt balls!
Source: B. Jaffe

Fun for me is an afternoon when I can read, when I don’t have to grade student essays that once took up four hours of my day, with 120 students I taught every semester before my retirement. I looked at the pile of essays as if it was a cold plate of spaghetti that would never end, one I was forced to eat. How fun it is to have nothing to correct with my purple pen. Now, I use my pen once again in enjoyment, underlining a specific strong sentence in a delicious book while Molly sleeps soundly on my lap.

Fun is putting on lipstick even though my mask covers my mouth, as fun transcends practicality. The dark pink or mauve makes me feel good even though I might be the only one to see the color on my lips. That’s OK … making me feel better is another definition of my fun, especially in a pandemic world. My mother always wore dark red lipstick to the point that when her lips were pale, she appeared ill. I have become my mother and I am OK with the realization.

Fun is sitting in my swing chair in our backyard, the chair that is shaped like a giant egg, the chair Paul didn’t think we needed, but I knew I needed it. Pillows line the inner shell and I sit with my Kindle and my glass of Chardonnay. This is not only fun, but it is delightful. If Molly jumps up and sits curled up beside me, well, then, fun becomes bliss.

 B. Jaffe
The author in her favorite swing chair.
Source: B. Jaffe

Fun is chasing my 1-year-old grandson Cole around the kitchen island, when he knows I am there, but he cannot see me until I pop up from around the edges of the wooden cabinets and he jumps with shock and glee until he catches his breath and crawls away yet again to the other end waiting for me to scare him all over again. While this repetitive activity is fun for Cole, I actually think his Nana has even more fun. The fact that I can still crawl on the tile floor is an added blessing.

 B. Jaffe
Cole, getting ready for "the chase."
Source: B. Jaffe

Fun is seeing my three sons as grown men with women whom they love and respect and look to for support and mutual love. Two are fathers and to see them with their own children is almost indescribable. But, because my passion is writing, I will attempt to put into words my feelings when I see my children with their children: a catch in my throat as if my heart has skipped a beat. And, the challenges of my own motherhood disappear and are replaced with the magic of grandparenthood, so much more accepting and imperfect and, quite frankly, fun.

Fun, I realize, is a perspective; it is the way I see today. Yes, there are challenges, and some are so huge I close my eyes and want to disappear into a Disney movie. Yet, the overriding feeling of joy is what I choose to focus on, for I have this day and I have a choice in how to spend these 24 hours.