What’s FUN got to do with it?

Sooooooo much! 😊

Author: Esther Sarlo, BA, CEO | Founder | Myndful Spark of Mynd Myself

If you’re not including fun in your life regularly, you’re missing out! What’s the paraphrased saying, “All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl?” I stand by that! And, fun means many things to many people. What’s YOUR idea of fun?

I love walking in my neighbourhood. “How much fun can you have on a walk?” you ask? A lot! 😊

playing, shoulders
I have a favourite forty-minute oval loop in my neighbourhood that I often walk in the evenings. On this sunny but crisp ‘June-uary’ evening, along my route, I smile at a little girl wearing velour powder-blue jammies holding her dad’s hand as she skips with glee toward the play area of the park. Her dad’s ears sprout ¾” holes with dark rings inside. They both smile back at me.

I pass a group of neighbours, mostly men, sitting in a lawn-chair circle outside one of their homes. I don’t hear their conversations, but I feel the energy of community oozing from their side of the road. How wonderful!

Many of the back alleys and pathways I happen by, showcase eight- to ten-year-old boys on rollerblades clacking sticks and shooting pucks into nets, dreaming of playing for the Vancouver Canucks one day.

At the far end of my loop, I reach my favourite spot and celebrate that this heavily suburban, high-density area still sports a few small pockets of relatively unmanicured nature. I joyfully enter this verdant explosion of green surrounding a pond. The closely packed gravel path feels like it is encroaching on the wild abandon of flora and the proliferant variety of green smells—grasses, flowering bushes, thorny brambles, leafy saplings, ferns—scenting the air. I breathe deeply and feel like I am absorbing chlorophyll with every inhale. I hear the scuttling of creatures in the underbrush and see a few spring rabbits in their light brown camouflage coats hopping away.

green woods, bush, walkingAs I walk along the path, I encounter a young man and a woman, each leading small dogs along this small patch of heaven. It seems to me like it is a first date. They both appear to be gym-fit, tanning-bed brown, and dressed to impress. She spills out of her black tank and Bermuda-style yoga shorts. He shows off his pecks and sculpted calves. I enjoy the newness and the pleasant wafts of their individual colognes as I walk by. On my second lap of the pond, I see them again. As we are approaching each other I hear him mentioning the Yellowstone TV series, attempting to convince his counterpart that it is, in fact a great show. She’s not having it. When we are parallel, I hear him say, “And I think they’re coming back for a new season.” I playfully interject, “Nope. Wishful thinking but the show is over.” We have a brief exchange about Kevin Costner’s departure and then go our separate ways. Fading into the background, I hear him say, “See, it is a good show!” I smile.

I continue on this short circumnavigation, feasting my eyes on the lush summer greens and burgeoning blooms, getting quick glimpses of the encircled pond. Although I am sad to leave this flourishing oasis, I head to the next section of my loop.

dogs playing, labs, blonde and blackI love all the dogs I meet in my neighbourhood (with very few exceptions)—and those encounters are definitely highlights of my walks.  Tonight, I laugh at a Lab-party for two—a black Lab puppy tousling and tumbling with an older but still playful blonde Lab, as their respective guardians responsibly but gently manage their limits.

I see another young man in his late twenties/early thirties attempting to take his clearly aging, shaggy, dusty-charcoal pooch for a stroll—the dog was having none of it. He flopped by brown wooden divider posts along the sidewalk and looked around in lazy contentment. I playfully respond, “Now that’s a walk!” as the dog’s minder agrees, chagrined. I can tell he loves his dog…AND, that he really would rather be walking the dog, not standing beside it at the side of a road.

In the distance, I hear a yappy whine and wonder at its source. I look ahead and see this small, mostly grey, Chinese Crested dog—if it was three pounds soaking wet I’d be surprised. She gently leaps up my leg—barely two feet tall extending fully from her hind tiptoes—barking for attention, her shaggy little head, almost hairless body, and plume of a tail softly batting against me. How could something so small make such a big noise? We commune for a few moments and then move on.

Catahoula Tiger DogAnother couple out walking a really unusual looking dog tell me it’s a Catahoula Tiger Dog. What? I’d never heard of that breed before. It was a beautiful mix of thick stripes of white fur and black-spotted white fur. Gorgeous creature. I’ll have to do some research to find out more about them.

Finally, I come across an absolutely beautiful young man sitting in the direct evening sunlight, alone on a bench along the pathway. He’s smoking a joint and listening to something on his phone. I made an assumption—music, TikTok, SM…? As I reach earshot, I hear that it’s a preacher talking about God’s word. I laugh to myself and keep walking…but then I just have to turn and engage briefly with this striking young being. I retrace my steps and say with a laugh in my voice, “I couldn’t help but overhear a bit of what you’re listening to. There’s a bit of irony here, don’t you think?” I pause briefly and raise my hands, “No judgement at all, just enjoying the irony of someone listening to a preacher and smoking a joint at the same time.” He flashed a stunning but sheepish smile at me and said, “Yeah, I know…” I left him there, knowing I will always remember that moment.

park bench in summer'As I made my way along the final portion of my constitutional, I marveled at how rich and fun life can be when we take even the simplest of opportunities to get out into it, look around us, and engage with those we meet (including the two- and four-legged varieties). I entered my front door with a smile on my face and a pocket-full of memories to enjoy for a long time to come.

“Every blade of grass has its angel
that bends over it and whispers,
“Grow, grow!” 
~ Talmud

What’s something simple you’re going to do this summer that might be fun? If you don’t have anything planned, I encourage you to ‘get your butt in gear!’ Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: All of the information provided in this blog is provided by Mynd Myself for your general knowledge only. All the blog Information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition… READ MORE

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