Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boars, Monsters and Polar Bears

I'm always a couple years behind on whatever the popular TV shows are. For example, I love "24," but for me President Logan just went down. I'm a year behind! I always have to wait for the DVD's. Even with a TiVo now, my effort at watching "Bionic Woman" from the beginning fell apart quickly.

Anyhow, one series I'm catching up on is "Lost." Of course, I'm still back in the first season. One of my favorite moments in the series so far comes in episode 9 - "Solitary." In this episode, Hurley finds a set of golf clubs from the plane's wreckage and decides to build a golf course. The scene where he invites his fellow castaways to join him in a game of golf is a great example of the importance of having fun.

Hurley: Welcome to the first, and hopefully last, Island Open!

Jack: What?

Hurley: It’s two holes, for now, three par, and no waiting.

Jack: Hurley, you built a golf course?

Hurley: Rich idiots fly to tropical islands all the time to whack balls around.

Michael: All the stuff we got to deal with man, this is what you’ve been wasting your time on?

Hurley: Dudes, our lives suck. Everyone’s nerves are stretched to the max. I mean, we’re lost an an island…runnin’ from boars, and monsters…freakin’ polar bears!

Michael: Polar bears?

Charlie: You didn’t hear about the polar bear?

Hurley: Look all I’m saying is, if we’re stuck here then just surviving’s not going to cut it. We need some kind of relief, you know. We need some way that we can…you know, have fun. That’s right have fun, or else we’re just going to go crazy waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

Now let me be perfectly clear about something...having my toenails pulled out with a pair of chopsticks would be more fun to me than a round of golf, but what Hurley's getting at is still true. My life is full of boars, monsters and polar bears. I'll bet yours is too. But do we make a real effort to have play? I know I don't as much as I should. The boars, monsters and polar bears are at home, at work, at church...many times we let all those environments become so tense. Often we truly are just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. We need to make an effort to have fun!

When I tell people that I'm a puppeteer many respond by saying, "oh that must be so much fun!" Well, it is fun, and exhausting, and stressful, and everything that every other job is. Even when there are plenty of things around me that can bring me fun, I'm the kind of person who spends a lot more time focusing on the boars, monsters, and polar bears.

So here's a challenge: Christmas time is upon us, it's a festive time of the year anyway...but it's also pretty stressful. Try to approach this month with that spirit of fun that came automatically when you were a kid. Have fun! Lick the spoon when you're making Christmas cookies. Go Christmas shopping wearing a pair of antlers and a light-up nose.'s going to be a challenge for me too, my wife says I've been a real grouch the last few days. Don't try to just survive each day...Have fun!

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