One of my absolute core beliefs is that managing life appropriately results in having fun. I’ve said often in groups and in individual therapy sessions that my goal in life is to have fun. I need to make clear a couple of basic truths:
1. Not everything that is fun is good for you and
2. Not everything that is good for you is fun.
When I was younger many of my activities were aimed at immediate gratification but also carried with them a significant risk for harm, not only for myself but for those around me. The net result of managing the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of life is a significantly increased level of enjoyment, lessened risk of harm and a greater opportunity to pursue fun tomorrow.
The first 5 1/2 years that I was in the military I had the pleasure of being a Navy musician. The last weekend of June is the time set aside for Navy musicians to reunite for four days of music and sea stories. Most of the sea stories hearkened back to episodes of bad attitudes and intoxication that are etched in our memories. Virtually every individual player is not maintaining those behaviors but through managing their life has attained levels of musicianship and enjoyment that previously may have seemed unattainable.
In my opinion the differences in physical and emotional functioning is a direct result of the individual’s ability to relax when necessary and available. This was my second reunion of what I hope will be many more. It seems if many of us have improved in our musical abilities. Sailors in their 70s and 80s are still extremely proficient and maintain active musician lives. The order of the day seemed to be “have fun!” I have reconnected with former shipmates and made many new friends. This year we were also offered the opportunity to tour the NEW School of Music and see how technology has changed the Navy music program. What fun it was to compare the old and new. Technology may change the way music is produced but the same diligence and practice is still needed to achieve proficiency with an instrument. At our Saturday night banquet we also had the extreme honor of being entertained by members of the US Navy Atlantic Fleet Band …again, FUN!
As for my own level of fun, I am married to an individual who is an ideal match and we find mutual support with no apparent effort. Anita loves photography and we try to take every opportunity for her to pursue her hobby. She took great pictures at the reunion and the other activities and events we enjoyed. I had the amazing opportunity to pilot a Stearman aircraft, under the supervision of a certified flight instructor, and she was able to photograph the event. I consider it a win-win since we both had fun.
In the big circle of things I encourage everyone to manage their life so that they can relax, which increases the opportunities to have fun, which makes it even more enjoyable to manage life.