Years ago when I lived in Santa Barbara, I observed a weekly ritual—the Friday migration north which was followed by the Sunday migration south. I’ve often wondered if such traffic jams inspired Loverboy’s Working for the Weekend.
For too many of us, work and fun have occupied separate territories. In my family, there was a frequently quoted German adage that translated to “first you work, then you play.” The implication was that never the twain shall meet.
No adults I knew growing up suggested that I should discover what brought me joy before I began to think about choosing a career—and I certainly didn’t see many folks who seemed to be having a great time going about their work.
When I realized that I would be spending a huge amount of time working, an occasional fun weekend didn’t seem a fair tradeoff for days of drudgery. Although it was done in private, I began my own Joy Quest to see if I could get paid to have fun.
Along the way, I heard Moneylove author Jerry Gilles say, “Anything worth having is worth having fun getting.” It seemed like an idea worth testing. I decided to go for joy all along the way.
Some of the things I discovered were downright startling. I found that as my own boss, with a new vision to create, I could tackle things on behalf of building my own business that would have driven me crazy had I been doing them as part of a job.
Working with joy seemed to spill over to activities I might previously have dreaded. For instance, if someone had handed me thousands of newsletters to label and stamp, I’d have tensed right up, but when that pile is Winning Ways, and I’ve put it together myself, I can’t wait to share it with my subscribers.
When our work is also a source of joy and fun, it leads us to become more creative, more engaged, more masterful. Those rewards are much harder to obtain when we’re only working for money.
So during March, we’ll be exploring the theme of Money for Fun. I’d love to hear your stories about the most fun you’ve ever had earning money. Since I made that request in the last Joyfully Jobless News, people have been sending me delightful examples which I’m going to be sharing throughout the month, but I’d love more inspiring tales.
As poet David Whyte reminds us, “Anyone or anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you.”
I’m pretty sure that includes work.