Where's the Fun in You?

I can recall several Christmas and spring breaks during college when after studying relentlessly for months, I spent my vacation curled up in bed with a box of tissues and cold medicine. So, it came as no surprise that last week when I finally stopped moving and demanding so much from myself, my body responded with a full-blown cold. Not wanting to let anything prevent me from enjoying my much-needed vacation on the east coast, I downed copious amounts of Vitamin C and greens. Despite my stuffy nose, I had an incredible time in Baltimore and DC with friends and family, all of whom reminded me what the holidays are truly about: love, laughter, and most of all, food. I capped it all off with a weekend in New York City, skating in Central Park, walking through Times Square, visiting Santa Claus at Macy’s, and eating authentic New York pizza in the East Village.
As I made my way back home to LA, I felt a familiar paradox grinding its way through my brain: I was relaxed from a satisfying vacation, while also anxious about the weeks ahead. Taking a deep breath and relishing in a clear nasal passage, I overheard a passenger on the plane talk about how “crazy” the holidays can get. People nodded their heads and smiled, their responses automatic, complacent even.
It doesn’t have to be, right? So crazy? Certainly it’s a bit more chaotic around the holidays, but I know more than anyone how much of that is self-induced.
What if I changed the paradigm? What if instead of working myself to the bone and trying to do so much before I collapsed in a heap of exhaustion for my two-week winter break, I approached it all differently? What if I asked, as my gregarious eight-year old niece did when her parents frowned after she poured red pepper into her sister’s water, “Where’s the fun in you?” It’s always so humbling when a child’s simple question puts it all in to perspective. She truly nailed it. I mean, honestly:Where’s the fun in us?
I, Tenley Hardin, promise that this December will be different. Despite the hectic schedule, I hereby commit to finding the fun in me. For the sake of my sanity and more importantly, for the sake of my health.
And I challenge you do to the same. As you make your way through the next few weeks of work, engagements, traveling, shopping, entertaining, and more, catch yourself in moments of stress and ask, “Where’s the fun in me?” I guarantee it’s in there somewhere just waiting to laugh at the irony in life, tell a joke, play a prank, or even dance a little jig. So let it loose.

Posted on December 29, 2014 .