By Mira Khatib
Close your eyes for a second or two and answer these two questions:
1. Do I really know how to have fun and enjoy the little things in life?
2. When was the last time I laughed hysterically and enjoyed the company of my loved one?
If you answered the first question with “No, sometimes, not sure, or maybe”; then you need to immediately change your life style and learn how to enjoy your days, weeks and years as life is too short to watch slip away.
If you answered the second question with “Long time ago; don’t remember; not sure or never”; then you need to immediately pick up the phone and call as many of your loved ones and arrange to see them and let them know that you love them and you want to be part of their lives.
I know we all live a world filled with challenges, wars, and atrocities. Moreover, I know we all have to work really hard and continuously strive to make a living. I know many will say we no longer have time or it costs lot of money to have fun or some may say I do not know how to have fun even if I wanted to.
In the Arab world it is no surprise that we are more challenged than many other nations. Arab women particularly have to endure many more cultural challenges that make it even harder on them to enjoy their daily living and in turn bring up families that know how to have fun. So what is the answer to learning to have fun?
1. Surround yourself with positive and fun people. Yes, “misery likes company” and in my opinion this is the number one change that needs to happen to set yourself on the track for happiness.
2. Find a hobby. Having fun need not be expensive, or by having many friends. Call it “me time”; time to relax and recharge. Anything that makes you escape the pressures of your daily routine even as simple as reading a book, taking a stroll, or meditate.
3. Count your blessings and not your mishaps. See the glass half full not half empty.
4. Don’t over analyze. Whatever has happened has happened and you cannot change it. Move on and don’t look back. Carrying a chip on your shoulder will add nothing but pain and stress.
5. Plan for the future but don’t obsess about it.
6. Simple is beautiful.
7. Help others as this is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Yet, in doing so, do not forget yourself.
I will end this piece with a simple but a “real” comparison. Two brothers brought up in identical conditions and given the same love and opportunities. Both are married, compassionate and are loved immensely by their family and friends; one is very successful financially while the other is less fortunate. Yet the less fortunate has a stress level of “Zero” and enjoys the many little things life offers, while the other is always stressed, angry and does not have as much fun. So why? The simple answer to this is “attitude”. A conscious decision to have fun and go to bed and forget all the pressures a day has brought vs. a continuous concern of what the future may hold.
Happy women create happy families. Change your attitude today and make a conscious decision to have fun, alone or with others. Teach your children it is OK to have fun.