“What are you doing to have fun?”

child buried in orange and yellow fall leaves, smiling

When the search committee from Live Oak and I had our first conversation together — over the phone — at the end of the call, they asked if I had any questions.

Perhaps I had more questions, but this is the one I remember, and it’s also the one most of them remember. I think it’s an important question and one we should ask more often.

Sometimes, it may seem like a really odd question. When you’re on a deadline, or in a tense work situation, or things are hard in your personal life, if someone asked you about what you’re doing for fun, you might give them an incredulous look.

But I argue that during those difficult, stressful times – that’s when we most need to squeeze in some fun. A movie, dinner with friends, something involving laughing — it strengthens us.

Sometimes, it’s not that something bad is happening, it’s just that we’re so gosh darn busy. (Hopefully, that’s how the search team felt.) We’re working on a project at work, church, or home. We need the internet to work twice as fast and our day to be twice as long. Especially if you’re working with others, figuring out a time and a way to have fun is crucial. Studies have shown that fun amps up our creativity and helps with our resilience.

So, leaders, team members: what are you doing with your team to have fun? Tell us about it!

So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was. –Molly Ivins