Schedule FUN!

My shadow work is done for now (see previous three posts) and I have cast off much of the protective shell I have carried with me for years – or at least I know the difference between the real me and the social-face of me. At last, I am becoming the woman I intend to be for the rest of my life.

I also got thinking about how I want the rest of my life to look.

Then I came to the grand realisation that I don’t schedule enough fun into my life. There is quite a bit of spontaneous fun as far as cracking jokes and being silly or absurd with the boys, but as far as scheduling fun times -nothing. Then I realised that even before the boys the fun factor was there but not regularly scheduled in my life. Time to change *that* I decided and I got to thinking.

As a family, we’ve managed to put the chores into weekend mornings and make time for adventures both Saturday and Sunday afternoons for the past couple of weeks – just going for a walk together or fishing off the pier for the concentration span of the least focussed boy, or attending school events and not straining to fit them into the day. But I need more: I work at home; I’ll swim alone; I often spend my day on the computer and alone.

So I invented something I have called Cackle Club (at the moment, this name could change) where many of the fabulous Napier women I get to see in passing can gather together on a regular basis for belly-laughs and, well, cackling. We had our first meeting last night. (Hastings friends welcome, it was just the way it worked out this time!) 

There was the issue of my not realising that there was a rugby test on, which meant the pubs were full of rugby-heads watching screens and this in turn meant no seats inside the first pub we went to – and it was cold out. But most of the rugby-heads went home after the game and we had one drink on the deck overlooking boats on a quiet sea and then walked down the street to another pub, where there were seats inside.

We were all, pretty much, knackered. Many of us had been yawning as we left home and were joking that we were usually in bed before nine. It was quiet in the beginning, as people who knew each other caught up on news and people who didn’t know anyone else connected as best they could. Some went home early, the exhaustion of life catching up with them. But, the laughter came. The belly-laughs came. The cackling came. And the last four of us standing left for home at 11.30… It was a fun night and Cackle Club has already become a part of our lives.

We’re planning on meeting every three weeks from now on. Some people will be able to come sometimes and others at other times. We’ll make it work because we’re all craving a break from parenting, working, parenting and working, relationships, lack of relationships, it’s complicated relationships, mid-life crisis’ and general exhaustion of living.

The great joy for me was the pleasure on the faces of people when I invited them to come. Even those who couldn’t make it last night were saying, “Hell Yeah” to the concept and wanting to be told about the next meeting. The whole body language of so many of my lovely friends or friends-to-be changed dramatically when I mentioned it: their shoulders lifted; their eyes lit up; and their mouths twitched in anticipatory smiles.

Fun that comes as part of the day is great and to be embraced, I am passionate about mothers being available as much as they can and then a bit more when their children are younger than three years of age (those days are gone for me, so the timing works) – as well, scheduled adults only fun is essential for our mental health.

So, I call on you all to schedule some fun – gather together the most random group of people you can. Organise your first event today. Make a Cackle Club a regular part of your life. Today (Sunday), as I am full of a head-cold and barely able to keep my eyes open, it has been confirmed for me: Happy-Tired is so much more pleasant than Stress-Tired.

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About Karyn @ kloppenmum

kloppenmum is me, Karyn Van Der Zwet, mother of three and ex-teacher. I'm part of a revolution in parenting, with the aim to raise mature (not sophisticated) and self-assured children. I also know some stuff about adults. I have also had articles printed in The Journal for The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Children and Young People) and the US parenting magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness, as well I regularly write for World Moms Blog (named as one of the Forbes 100 most useful blogs for women 2012 &2013). You can follow me on facebook (kloppenmum) pinterest (Karyn at Kloppenmum) and twitter (@kloppenmum). I'm also vaguely on LinkedIn (Karyn Van Der Zwet). Thanks to Joe (Mr Hare) for taking the photo. Cheers, son: xxxx.
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13 Responses to Schedule FUN!

  1. Oh, Karyn, I need a Cackle Club here in Portland, before the weather turns all dreary and drizzly. It’s hot lately, and I feel ungrateful in complaining about the constant sunshine, knowing how it’s going to be in a month or so. Do people stare as you ladies cackle in glee? I went out with mama-friends on Saturday night and the way some stared at our table, you would think we were in the ‘Women with Two Heads” section. But, really– is there anything funnier than talking about our families and the lives we try to lead amidst the chaos of starting kindergarten, all that goes with that experience, and husbands who still, sometimes, seem to be still learning the ropes?

    I’ve loved reading your journey through winter and all of the revelations, big and small, this season has brought you. Very inspiring… I’ll have to tuck it into my pocket for those ‘blanket of gray overhead’ days… shiver.

    • Thanks, Hazel. It’s felt like I’ve been self-indulgent writing all these latest posts – so good to hear that people have enjoyed them. Yes, you need a Cackle Club. Perfect for all decent and slightly-rude shenanigans! We didn’t get stared at this time, as all other eyes were focussed on big-screens where 30 men chased an egg shaped ball around a field. Really, we must work harder and make sure we DO turn heads. First weekend in Oct – here we come!

  2. More cackling is needed all around. I’m sure anywhere you look, anywhere around the world, you’d find a Fun Deficit. Betcha anything that raising our spirits through more fun would do a lot to lighten the load of misery on the global balance scale. I’m blessed to have regular time with many friends, cackling always involved (though I could use more of that time). But it occurred to me awhile back that my husband and I could use more fun. Our weeks seem to go by in a blur of sameness. So we’re trying to do something different every weekend. (Okay, we failed last weekend.) But even if it’s a walk by the lake, a trip to a museum, or dinner with friends, it’s a way of lifting us from the ordinary.

  3. Alison says:

    What a great, great idea!! Do you think it’d be too much if I flew in every 3 weeks to join you? 🙂 (I love NZ, so beautiful)

    • You’re welcome any time, Alison – what a hoot that would be! Yes, great fun. A must do! Start gathering people from random parts of your life – so worth the effort. 🙂

  4. evafannon says:

    You are SO right…scheduled adult fun is essential for our mental health! I love and eagerly look forward to our Version of the Cackle Club (“Moms’ Night Off”) outings…just wish they were more often 🙂

  5. Linette says:

    I had a moment today looking at the kids in awe, because they seem to be wired for fun. They seek it out, want to laugh all the time and so easily. It seems so natural, we are build this way, needing fun and laughter. Not being serious adults and parents.
    And then tonight I read your post. Wonderful!
    Our ante-natal group meets (still after 5.5 years) regularly with the kids, but the last year the moms have been meeting every 5-7 weeks for a dessert night. We take turns offering our houses and bringing a desserts, wine, hot cocao etc. And it is the best of fun.

    • I agree – children are definitely more in the play and fun zone than we allow ourselves to be. Love that you are still in touch with your ante-natal group. Some of the Cackle Club are from my ante-natal group – such a special bond, going through all that together. Lovely to hear from you. Hope you are all well.

  6. Vanda Symon says:

    Sigh, I miss you. Gawd, I’d be up for some serious cackling if I was still in Napier!

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