A nap is not a kayak.

kayak“I never have fun anymore.” This sudden declaration of gloom isn’t what you’d expect during a scenic drive along the bay. But that’s just what happened, and no one was more surprised than I because it came out of my own mouth. Just bubbled up from somewhere deep, and poor Bill—my amazing husband who’s actually a lot of fun—wasn’t sure what to say. But because he’s a great guy (and because he probably wondered where this was going), he wanted details. At the moment, though, I didn’t have any.

All I knew was that I’d just spotted two people kayaking, and that’s where I wanted to be. And for the life of me, I could not remember anything recently that made me feel the joy of those kayakers (of course I’m projecting my own storyline into these people. For all I know, they were fighting with choppy waves and each other. But from a distance, trust me: they were the picture of fun).

So for weeks now, I’ve been thinking: what in the world happened to me? When did I start mistaking the concept of fun for un-fun things like naps? Naps, for crying out loud. Okay, maybe I crave a nap—or a lot of them. But it’s probably more of a sign that my life needs some tweaking in the departments of rundown, overworked, or stressed. But fun? No. A nap is restorative. But a nap is not a kayak.

Neither is productivity. Or the feeling of accomplishment we all desire. Yes, crossing off a long list of projects is a good day, and reaching a goal is the stuff of high-fives. But achievement is still work mode; it’s a laborious means to a methodical end. For example, I’ve cleaned out three closets since summer began. And I’ve started running again. But while productivity gives me a sweet sense of well-being, my thirsty, fun-deprived soul craves more. You probably already know that clean closets aren’t that exciting. And running for sure ain’t fun.

For now, I can’t say what uplifting, soul-satisfying fun looks like. It’s been a while. But I’ve asked God to restore this simple joy, to help me embrace an abundant life where there’s “time to laugh” and “time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). And He’s helping me, even through penning this blog. I do love to write.

Now back to that drive across the bay. Bill asked, “If you could do anything right now, what would it be? What kind of thing would excite you?” Maybe it’s easier to find than I think; maybe it’s simply the blissful abandon my heart remembers: playing the piano, painting a picture, hiking to a waterfall. Or kayaking. Yes, most definitely kayaking.

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