No really. This is just as important as any business plan and exit strategy you might conjure up. Fun opens up so many things. For starters, your mind. Less stress. Higher quality of life. Balance. Ideas emerge. Happy memories are formed. Life is sweeter. Purer.
I was dramatically reminded of this this past Friday. It might not sound like much, but it was the most wonderful day and afternoon. Here's what we did:
First, we went to the other side of what's known around my area as "the metroplex" and we spoke to a very large account. The meeting went phenomenally well and we closed several thousand dollars worth of business.
Next, we drove down to another town south of that town, and picked up some more money from another client who is so excited to do business with us- Leslie said: "I've heard about you guys and everyone just raves about you and that you do such a tremendous job!" (Staff training has paid off in spades, I can tell you.)
But here's what was so sweet. We went to an old mall that we used to go to before we moved where we live now. It was just SO much fun.
We have this silly little tradition. They have this over sized gumball machine there- it's over 8 feet tall. Here's how you play.
State your color. Red? Green? Yellow? Blue? White? Pink?
Put in your quarter and get your ball.
Next player: State your color: Red? Green? Yellow? Blue? White? Pink?
Put in your quarter and get your ball.
If you guess the correct color, let's say player one says that "pink" will come out and they get pink. They can either chose to keep their pink ball or exchange it for a better gum ball that player # two has, should player #two be incorrect.
After all that, then, at the very end of the guessing game- you tap your gumballs together THREE TIMES- then, and only then, may you chew your gum.
We've played the gumball game for years now.
After that, we looked at all the Fall and Halloween decorations, which is a blast. Nothing floats our boat more like holidays and new decorations.
But before all this fun and frivolity, we went to eat at one of our "regular" hot spots from four years ago- as we have not been there in four years. I was SO bad. I had fish, tarter sauce, green jello salad, fried potatoes, broccoli salad AND pumpkin pie. I never, EVER eat like that. That was enough food to last me two days. Not one meal.
The next day, we hung out in our pajamas. The next day, we had a picnic- but couldn't stay long because some of you know I'm scared of bugs. In August, in Texas, and particularly after a big rain, which we had, these big, honking, fat-ass (can bugs have fat asses?) green affairs come out and fly around everywhere just wrecking any picnic I could possibly have. I know it's an irrational fear. I realize that. These bugs don't bite. I guess it's just the Ewwww-U-R-SO-GROSS factor.
So after that, we made our way on over to the lake, and lo and behold, what do you think? A fishing barge! Do you know what a fishing barge is? Neither did I. It's so cool!
It has been on the lake since 1957. I was not even around at all in 1957. Nonetheless, it's this huge, floating, offshore structure, where, for just a few dollars, you can fish. But here's the deal. You will certainly catch fish! BIG FISH.
Joe, who's been there ever since he was just in his 20's, told us all about it and showed us around.
"Look here. Here's where you can catch Bass, Croppy, Cats, and Blue Gills. You just drop yer line in here. Lemme show you. Lookie here. If yer ever out in da wild and ya don't have no worms and no bait, here's what ya do. You just take ya a hook like dis one here, and ya drop in in like dis- awww, lookie here. Here's my bait now!" And with that, out Joe pulls a little croppy that he then escorts, flopping and flipping and squirming- proudly and magically; goes over to the other fishing hole carved out of the barge, and drops it gently in, in effort to land an even bigger fish!
I watched, completely mesmerized.
Joe, realizing that I'm not just some "Entrepreneur Chick", and truly interested and enthralled, then pulled out the big guns. Well, the big underwater camera anyway.
"Lookie here. Huh? I'm a gonna drop this down in der water and you can see those big babies I've been talkin' to ya about. Know what I did with dis camera? Why, I saw you and yer husband git outta da car and come walkin' in here. Yeah. I see everybody. Got to. Sometimes I git some peoples in here that get to fightin' and carryin' on... I can deal wit 'em. Been here a long time. Work the ten ta two shift. No one wants dat shift but me. I can deal wit 'em. I got da Dallas Cowboys comin' in here doe- De Marcus Ware, Eric Williams- da cheerleaders even."
Splash! The camera floats deep down into the murky green water. Stirred unwilling out of the darkness with a blank stare, are Joe's "babies"he's been truly talking about. Sure enough.
"Well, I'm concerned." I assert. "If you have all these fish, you must have moccasins too. You got moccasin's too?"
"Sure, I got moccasins. Lookie right yer. See doze two black dots on my thumb? Dat's a moccasin."
"Ize jus feedin' da fish and reached my hand down in da bait bucket, he's sittin' in da bait bucket- go swirling ma hand in der and damn, bit me just like dat! I jus shoot 'em though. Anyone comes in here ain't supposed to, I shoot 'em."
That goes for people or water moccasins.
Joe was not kidding.
As we were leaving, one of those tricky moccasins must have thought that maybe today was the day he'd get by Joe.
Joe pulled out, as matter- of -factly as you or I would pull out a business card- a big, brown, menacing shot gun and took direct aim.
Okay- I'm going to go over and stand on top of this red chair from 1961, hold onto the pole to steady myself from falling into Joe's "babies", and hope like hell he's a good shot.
"Whattcha doin' up there fer? I got 'em."
Man, whatta fun day!