My other favorite F-word

This is a guest post by Allie Smith-Hobbs.

Fun is a four letter word around the American workplace. When I worked in Silicon Valley during the dotcom boom of endless foozball rounds and mini-golf in the all-you-can-eat-cafeteria, “fun” was mandatory ad nauseum. But in the wake of the collapse, playing and even hard-earned vacation time seem to be the casualty of economic downturn and unhealthy cultural norms. People I know roll over their vacation time year after year until they “finally have time to take a vacation.”

Fun and playing = goofing off.

Fun and playing = screwing around.

Fun and playing = NOT working. NOT making money.  And generally not contributing or being productive…or does it?

Overworked, overstressed and overtired is exactly the time to take a vacation. It’s the reset button on your creative work life.

I just spent a week playing in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. I played with my friends. An10405420_10206365606116502_8669581598549735927_nd by played, I mean I didn’t play on my phone. In fact, the utter lack of wifi ensured that I gave my international adventure the full attention that it deserved.

My Australian traveling companions are spending their holiday by traveling for three weeks. Three weeks?! That’s unheard of in America unless you’re taking a university sabbatical or short-term disability leave. This is a culture where even maternity leave is tacitly frowned upon. So where do we stand on a frivolous vacation bent on play?

A holiday is a shortcut to deep belly laughing, making new friends and adopting the immersion method of adventure. And yes, I approach it tongue-in-cheek but in all honesty, when was the last time you played? On a micro scale of getting on the floor with children or grandchildren or the macro scale of packing your carry-on, hopping on a plane, and leaving your emotional baggage at the airport?

This is your friendly reminder to have more fun. I’d wager that your life needs more of this particular F-word. In fact, I’d even swear by it. 🙂


Allie Smith-Hobbs has a background in administration with a M.S. in Instructional and Performance Technology and a passion for literature and writing. She combines adventure, administrative support and cool technology in supporting Dr. Morgan Giddings and her clients.

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