On New Year's Eve, at a party with friends, I did something I've rarely done. I got my stiff body and stiff self-judgements out of the way and allowed myself to cut loose on the dance floor with Tania. This past year I wrote the first book in my new book series, rode my mountain bike on some cool granite slabs in Squamish, sang for my mother and skied some epic pow in the Roger's pass. These are all examples of Type I fun. Type I fun is fun the whole time and we never want it to end.
I've also been stuck overnight on top of mountains several times. This is the more challenging Type II fun–it's painful and miserable the whole time but we look back on the "adventure" as a character building exercises.
Lastly, I had the distinct mispleasure of spending a week this past summer in the hospital in Colorado after an emergency bowel surgery from a bike crash on the deadly Portal Trail in Moab. This was classic Type III fun which always involves some near-death experience. It's fun only because we survive.
Finally at all most 54, this was the year I learned how to have fun. My time in the hospital in May was the most painful and uncomfortable in my life. It was a zero on the pleasure scale but strangely a ten on the joy scale. I had more joy since then in the last six months than the previous six years combined.
I contrast that to a super luxury trip I took to Scotland in 2014 at the depth of my depression. That trip was a ten on the pleasure scale and a zero on the joy scale.
What was different?
I think surviving a serious bout of Type III fun opened me in someway. I think I gained perspective from laying in the hospital for a week thinking about the divine perfection of my life. I shifted my thinking in a way that George Bernard Shaw called, "being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." And as David Lee Roth once said, "don't sweat the small stuff; but it's all small stuff so let's dance!"
This is my last post on the subject of focus and fun. Next week I am starting the new topic: respect, esteem and leading through relationship. My next book, cowritten with Rich Thompson and Dan King is available January 25th. Have fun in 2018! Serious type I fun.