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Monday, February 23, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet?

By Judith Ashley

During February I’m blogging every Monday on one of Dr. William Glasser’s Four Psychological Basic Needs. Today I’m talking about Fun. Dr. Glasser said this Basic Need was the last to evolve as we developed. First we banded together (love and belonging) because that increased our rate of survival. Second those who honed specific skills such as tracking, weapon making, reading the signs of the weather, etc. to the point of mastery were accorded special standing in the group. Third the ability to follow a herd, to move and forage for food was essential to survival.

In my short story “Is He The One?” included in Windtree PressGifts From The Heart, my heroine, Sophia Denton uses Dr. William Glasser’s Psychological Basic Needs to sort through her feelings and find the answer to Jonathan’s proposal. She knows herself pretty well. Laughing and feelings of joy and happiness are important to her. She enjoys teaching high school, seeing students’ master skills, inspiring students to achieve and even excel. Laughing, a sense of lightness, of joy is important to her in her relationships. Does she have that with him?

Dr. Glasser points out that when we are young we have fun learning. The look on babies faces when they take their first steps or the wonder in a child’s eyes when they print a letter or can recognize their names is part of the joy (fun) of learning. Children also “play” house, school, store—a whole host of “games” where they practice the skills used in those professions. So having fun first became a basic need because of our need to learn the skills for survival.

My two longest friends love to shop. I’d rather clean house than shop and I’m not at all fond of that activity. Neither of them are into sports at all. However, I enjoy watching college football (Oregon Ducks) and enjoy track and field (probably because I was able to watch Steve Prefontane and other world-class racers run under the four minute mile when that was an amazing feat) and I dated a discus thrower for a short period of time. I like to watch the Little League World Series and the College World Series but I’m not big into professional sports.

I find it inspiring to watch people who are focused on being the best they can be. I’m encouraged when watching the coaches at the Little League World Series level teach sportsmanship because I’m disheartened to see it losing ground in college and professional sports.

Personally, fun is walking through my neighborhood, reading a favorite author and sampling the work of a new-to-me writer, spending time with close friends and talking about so many different topics my brain is active. My other “happy place” is at my computer. As an author, watching the story unfold on the computer screen is a joyful experience.

It’s question time!

1. When was the last time you laughed? Not smiled or chuckled or giggled, but laughed from deep inside you – maybe tears streamed down your face you were laughing so hard?

2. What ideas, memories bring a smile to your face? Why? Are those things you can still do? Or can you modify or build off them? Would they be as satisfying to you now as they were then? Why or why not?

3. Who do you have fun with? And if the answer is ‘no one’, if you shared what you do for fun, would doing it with other enhance the joy?

4. How often do you have fun? Do you save it up for weekends or vacation? Are you someone who looks for joy and happiness in the mundane activities of everyday life? Are you someone who needs an adrenaline rush to have fun? (Think Xtreme Sports for example).

Next week starts a new month. I’ll have taken a couple of classes from the awesome Maggie Lynch. I expect to have a lot of fun learning how to use Mail Chimp to create a newsletter! I’ll be back to share that experience with you.

I hope you’ll join me. And, please ask questions! I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual
practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute and schedules trainings leading to Certification in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Learn more about her work with Dr. Glasser’s concepts here or check out The William Glasser Institute to learn about more educational and training opportunities.

Learn more about her writing and The Sacred Women’s Circle series at www.judithashleyromance.com


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