I know what I want, God knows what I need…
Throughout my life, I have always had a goal. I was always striving for the next brass ring. Each accomplishment brought only fleeting satisfaction as I already had my sites set on what was next. There was always a purpose to what I did.
So I was taken aback when I was recently asked what I do for fun. The conversation went something like this…
“Fun? I’m not sure what you mean.”
“You know, what do you like to do in your spare time?”
“Oh, I read self-help books”
“That’s not really what I mean…”
“I don’t understand the question”
“What do you do, you know…just because?”
I had no answer for that. Why would I do anything just because? I couldn’t imagine doing anything that didn’t result in an award, recognition, a grade, a paycheck, or some sort of betterment of myself or my family.
My life has always been about the destination, never about the journey. I wanted to be 16 so I could drive and work. I wanted to be 18 so I could vote (and drink). I wanted to be in college so I could get a good job. I wanted to be married, have a baby, then another baby, and two more after that. I wanted a dog, then two dogs, a house, a bigger house.
I have always had a goal, in fact, my most difficult times were when I had nothing to strive for, no brass ring taunting me from the distance. So I looked for things, new goals, I’ll drive a fire truck, check. I’ll play soccer, check. I’ll lose weight, check. I’ll get my kids into college, check, check, check.
But then I started this dance class. Each class we learn another step, another twirl and I love it. There is no purpose to it. There are no goals, no awards, no competitions. And yet, I keep going back for more, in fact, I’m sad when each class comes to an end. But why?
Could it be that this is what it means to do something just for fun?