Be Silly For a Change

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I read about this bear at a zoo. She had enough room to pace around, but her cage was not that big, only about ten feet square. At first she seemed unhappy, restricted. But she was well fed, and after a while she just got used to not being able to go beyond her allotted space. Then the zoo expanded with new renovations. A brand new, much bigger, landscaped enclosure was built around the bear's cage. When the enclosure was finished, the bear cage was dismantled around the bear. There was lots of space and freedom for the taking. But no. The bear wouldn't venture beyond the 10-foot-square space that her cage had previously occupied. There was nothing stopping her except the invisible barrier she'd created in her own mind.

Sometimes we are like that. We close our minds to new experiences and possibilities. We just stay put.

We stop celebrating the funny, silly things in life too.

Remember when you were a kid when you got your giggle box turned over. You laughed at the silliest things and couldn't stop laughing no matter what. Most often, when we grow older we become inhibited and too serious. We build a cage around ourselves and forget to celebrate the silly things.

I know this woman who has forgotten how to have fun. She's so bogged down with life's cares, she sees no reason to laugh. She confines herself with paying bills, washing clothes, grocery shopping. Her social entertainment is watching television every night. Silliness has no place in her agenda. She is reconciled to the comfort zone she has built around herself.

Maybe she needs a dose of silliness in her life.

Family traditions can include something silly. Jean Kirschenman says her mom and aunt went hog wild with a pig theme for their family reunion. The food was barbecue pork loin and ham sandwiches, pork and beans and pig cutout cookies. The program included readings and poems about pigs, plus pig-related songs. There was even a hog-calling contest with a representative from every family. Decorations were all pig-themed, including strings of pig lights and a talking ceramic pig that greeted members as they arrived.

Barbara Hammond says they no longer have the traditional family reunion with ball games and swimming as sole entertainment. They now have a family auction where all members bring homemade crafts, white elephant items or baked goods for sale. Money earned from the auction is put into a fund to purchase meat and drinks for the reunions. They do silly things like awarding prizes for no reason. They might call out all the names of people over 70 or award a prize to the sexiest grandmother in attendance....silly things like that.

One family in Louisiana exchanges white elephant gifts at Christmastime, which they celebrate in July.

On a day to day basis there are ways to celebrate silliness. Like wearing a silly cap, or silly socks...walking backwards or making faces.

Oprah says, "Be silly for a change."

Fun is good for your head, your heart, your spirit and your blood pressure.