Intensely looking for Fun…

My closest friends, my Pastors, my covenant relationships have all told me in the last year a continuous theme:

“You need to have fun”…

I suppose its due to my nature which is a combination of a highly strategic prophetic persona mixed with a heavy dose of “High D” or dominant behavior tendency…my natural and adaptive scores on the DISC test are 99 and 100% Dominant respectively…so I’m a driven individual with a strong desire to create strategies and solutions and apparently I have no idea how to have fun…

So I want to explore that a little…

Knowing my drive as a “D” means I score really high in competition I think I need to approach this by removing competitive elements out of the equation…I know myself well enough to realize that if I go try to do something recreational that involves “points, score, or ranking”…I will soon turn it into a breakneck race to the top and will avoid the fun part of it while trampling on others in my pursuit…which is obviously “no fun” when I finish…

So eliminating that aspect of it kinda removes most of the sports activities I would generally get involved in…and unfortunately my history proves this to be true, anyone who has played me in table tennis (or “ping pong” as its is referred to by people who have fun playing it) can attest, my competitive nature has a tendency to over-ride the simple pleasure of getting the ball over the net and I can’t seem to do it without burning a hole in the other persons paddle…

This is the first road-sign for my journey to successful fun: obviously it needs to be fun for other people as well…which means I need to stay out of the competitive arena…this eliminates a whole lotta of stuff that most men my age are doing…but I do want to learn so I’m willing to handicap myself in the process.


The other side of this “no war” approach to fun is the balance that comes from my friends in the audio industry…one of the engineers I know has a saying…”If everything’s BIG, then nothing is BIG”…the idea being that value and significance come from uniqueness, in other words “Hey lets do the dishes, that would be fun!”…is not really fun because we do the dishes all the time, they are always big, so today they are not anymore fun than yesterday…because…well they always are…


There is a part of me that can enjoy the mundane, the boring, (I’ll demonstrate that in a bit) but honestly as a single male coming home to a quiet house every night stops being fun…because …well its every night…I know there is a certain pleasure in routine, and some of it even qualifies as fun…but we have to define what can make the mundane “big” or other ordinary, rather than always ordinary…not sure I get that one yet…it could be the “alone” factor at play here…but without a lab partner the hypothesis cannot be verified.


So here are the area’s I currently look at to discover fun:


Science and technology: Nope, I compete to stay ahead of the curve on this stuff and usually am


Music: My own is a product of intensity, it is usually born out worship/prayer  and what isn’t, is a product of driving to excellence, I do play for pleasure and most of that happens naturally…late at night on my own…so its sorta fun…but it doesn’t seem to translate into the world of my relationships outside of a worship environment…so I gotta place a “no” here as well.


This kinda drags me into a discussion I wasn’t ready for…how much fun can you have by yourself before its no fun, and why doesn’t that make you a “fun” person to be around…?


See the issue I am being told about is I need to have fun because I am to intense around other people…so its not that I don’t have fun alone, its that I am not fun because I don’t let others relax or something bizarre in that range of understanding that I haven’t gotten a clue about yet…


And this confuses me a little…do I need to “have ” fun, or do I need to “be” fun…


I suppose I am a bit intense, but I do try to keep things light, I guess it comes down to learning to shut off the side of me that wants to strategize, conquer, overcome, and generally drive people to the next level at a really fast pace…


So back to my list:

The list is pointless now because its not about me its about how I engage others…


And I think the best way for me to approach this is to change my environment variable a little to help me reset how I engage…most people want me in relationship for a certain level of the intensity I bring, so dinner, or lunch almost always involves a process of encouragement and me pushing people to believe beyond the current mindset…its what I do, I always bring a different perspective and unfortunately my viewpoint is almost always rather intense…(if not downright extreme to the average mind)…


Which means going to lunch and or dinner is only fun with me if we avoid intense topics which means shallow conversation about the weather…yep I can see loads of fun in my future…after awhile everything gets big again and nothing is big…but at least everyone else is having fun…


I do realize I need to turn off the “Goes to Eleven” setting on my intensity amp and allow people to engage with me at their own pace, I am not faulting anyone for not enjoying the breakneck intensity that comes with a relationship with me, but I also get to be me at some part of the equation and a certain level of this seems like the drive for fun is a one sided deal that I don’t get to have, what if strategy is how I get my fun?


Just a question…no need to answer it ….


So back to my strategy of becoming fun…


I think the best way to do this for my personality is change the environment where I engage…create a “fun zone”  where I am not competing, am not strategical, don’t need to adjust perspective, really don’t need to be much more than a compadre spectator letting others enjoy my lack of intensity…


So here’s a new list:


Shopping (as an observer)….absolutely impossible for me to analyze, make strategy, or actually engage beyond “Yes I like that one”…

I know this because I did it for four girls and prom dresses and homecoming outfits and many other times…my opinion was only a window dressing to the experience, and I have to say I did rather enjoy the journey of discovery, its a bit like watching a lioness in her natural environment hunting for the prey, stalking each and every rack and row for the perfect item that only she and she alone understood the true nature of the chase…I can do this but not alone…


Ballroom Dancing (as a student)…I have no skill in this arena, and there is no drive in me to become a champion ballroom dancer, it just seems like it would be fun because I would probably be terrible at it and would enjoy laughing at myself in the futility of it all,and it would be a great opportunity for others to see that I don’t take myself nearly as seriously as they do…again no fun for me if I’m the only one laughing at me…


Motorcycle Picnics (as a driver) because it would be virtually impossible for anyone to take you seriously when you have bugs stuck all over your face…and the open air and road seems fun and the idea of driving a motorcycle again has enough intensity in it to drain away any other need to be intense…just saying…and who doesn’t like a picnic?


Symphony/Arts/Concerts (as a listener/observer)…
hmmmm….seems like I’ve tried this but didn’t get the vote here…apparently I either analyze or push to much…so I need to try this with different subjects before I decide that I am a failure at this kind of fun…I know I enjoy it, and it relaxes me, but not by myself…


Of course all of these things now sound like “dates” which isn’t really an issue to me, a date actually sounds like a great place to have fun, but I’m not sure that this is what the target is, actually in some cases I know this is not the target, but I’m not sure how to be less intense without becoming some sort of total bore…which seems counter-productive to being “fun”…unless as I have suggested I change the environment for me to be myself in…


So I think it comes down to either changing my environment or changing me…(something I’m not sure I’m capable of without being rather intense about it)…


I think what makes this difficult for me is that others don’t really get to see the less than intense side of me that happens away from where we normally engage…


One of the reasons I like coffee is everyday, I stop and enjoy one cup…I drink lots, but there’s always one cup that I pause to simply enjoy, I drink it slower and I smile because I know God made it for me and me for it…(no one ever see’s this) that seems a little fun for me even if no one knows…


I have a song or two that I sing to God and God alone, and then there’s this crazy dance I dance when no one is watching, its totally uncoordinated and more like skipping than anything else and I’ve nearly broken three guitars doing it…(and I always lock the doors and check the windows before I cut loose)…that seems fun to me…but somehow that person never gets to engage with others and he’s frankly a bit of a nut…


I sometimes talk to my food when I’m alone “Thank you Mister fish for giving your life to make me feel yummy, and Mr. Croissant, I ate your mom you know, come and join her…” of course this behavior would get me in trouble if others saw it, but it seems rather fun to me…


For some reason little kids think I’m fun…apparently I know how to turn off the intense setting for them…sigh…


I sometimes go outside in my pajamas and stretch out on the hood and look at the stars…nothing intense there, just gazing absent-mindedly for an hour then back into the warm bed…


I watch a lot of cartoons…really I do…just because they make me laugh…but see that’s not something we do as adults…because well for others it apparently is no fun…(why is that?)…


If you’ve ever heard me on the phone with tech help you’d know I’m really fun…the last time I actually got the girl to admit she was in the Philippines and she said “God Bless You Sir” at the end of the 3 hour call and the entire time I was teasing her about her job and how wonderful she was at it…that seems like a lot of fun to me…I mean whats more intense than a three hour phone call to “tech” as you’re trying to get the computers to connect…and I had fun, and I think she did too…


But I guess I have no idea how to be or have fun…sheesh I must have missed school that day because I just don’t seem to get it…


I guess in my quest to discover fun I have to discover this about myself…I might not be as “intense” as I am maybe “extreme”…

…maybe I was born to live on the edges and everyone else lives in the middle…I like the edge…God lives near here…not many people come around these parts…so the air is cleaner…


But ultimately I guess I need to learn to live a little nearer the “middle”….


And be a bit less “intense” or as we now know “extreme”…


And make it fun for others…


I’m going to try…


Really hard…


And am also taking applications for anyone interested in my list…


But it’s not a date…


That’s no fun…





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3 thoughts on “Intensely looking for Fun…

  1. ouldn't post a comment on your blog as "anonymous," so I'll send it here.Ahhh…. yes. That is great, Mark. I do have an idea, but first – let me be one of likely a zillion who have suggested to you that this is largely an "empty nest syndrome" where your life has been so full, and has had sooooo much purpose and intensity for sooo long, and although you obviously still speak into the lives of your children (they appear attentive to your every word and movement) – and their children – it is just not the same. They're out of your "patrol" : ) (didn't say the c-word).But now let me suggest an activity which unfortunately can only be practiced when you're at the coast. Compete with the waves – God stuff. It's a lone activity where you can improve your skill with each wave, but you can never "beat" it. And it apparently never becomes as "always" as do other things – notice the old guys who still ride the waves. Doesn't one of your girls live at the coast? If not, I'll come and cheer.But I understand, and experience the same problem of fun for some of the same reasons. At least comfort yourself that you can get out there, and do anything you want at any hour of the day or night, and not be prey. You can lie out under the stars, go swimming in the lake at midnight (is there a lake near Williams?), safely go hear a band alone without looks askance, roller skate alone in the park…. you get the idea. I wanted to go to Boondocks tonight and listen to Grace friend Troy Martin (who played bass for Tiffany as she led worship at Canyon Del Oro AG for 14 years). But I'd best not go as it's down on First Avenue, and it will be dark….I did have a 2-hour coffee with Dave and Judy Rhodes Tuesday morning – that was fun. : ) But I ended up gossipping – one of the reason I avoid groups and conversation. Blah blah blah.Have fun finding fun!Rose

  2. Great idea's Rosey Lady, I need you to come up in about a month and do some vocal coaching with me and the worship encounter team as we will be recording and need an astute outsiders opinion who won't mind telling the truth…

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