No Shave November has come to an end. Once again I decided to participate by growing a gnarly beard. I would love to say that the primary reason I grow a beard this time of year is to raise awareness about men’s cancer.
But, that would be a lie. I mainly participate because it is something fun to do. People ask me why am I growing a beard. I mention No Shave November and they get it.
Several of my friends also take the opportunity to let me know that I look like Santa Clause as the years go by. I enjoy these silly kinds of conversations. They are fun.
I can take myself too seriously
At times I take myself way too seriously. Many of us do.
The older I get the easier it is to fall into “serious mode”.
Others have given me this feedback, especially at work. Some will say that I am really intense at work. I usually agree with them.
Or they will ask if I am mad about something? Most days I am not.
When it comes to working, I take it seriously and have my game face on most of the time.
Those who know me well realize that I also like to have some fun in the office. But I reserve most joking around for my inner circle.
It seems like I am not the only one
Next time you are out, scan the room.
Does it look like others are having fun, or do they have a grimace on their face?
Nowadays I usually will notice the serious faces when I am in a restaurant. I like eating and especially enjoy a savory meal. Sometimes when I look around a restaurant I see a bunch of miserable people.
Makes me wonder what is going on. Is their life that bad? It might be.
Or do they just not know how to have fun, and enjoy themselves.
I don’t want you to fall into that trap.
With that thought in mind here are three ways to have more fun in life.
They are based on my own experience.
1. Spend time with your friends
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it isn’t. At least it wasn’t for me.
I have written before about the fact that I became detached from my friends over the years. It was my fault. I let work, marriage, and family activities consume almost all of my time.
I did not hang out with my friends much at all.
An additional challenge is that most of my best friends do not live in the local area. They are scattered across the country. But, that is just an excuse.
Make sure you spend time with your friends. I always have fun with mine whether we are catching up on life or talking about stupid things.
Just like you enjoy hanging out with your friends. Keep up that habit as you grow older. Don’t be like I was.
We talk about everything and nothing
Nowadays I have a small group of friends that get together on a regular basis.
Pete, Joel, Geoff, Jamie and I do our best to gather every few weeks. Sometimes others join us. It is always a good time.
We talk about everything and nothing at all. For example, we discuss taboo topics like politics, religion, and sex.
We argue about silly things like which Rolling Stone album is the best. The correct answer is Sticky Fingers in case you are wondering.
And we share our views on stupid stuff like which celebrity crush would we leave our spouse or significant other for. If you are reading this blog Jennifer Anniston, give me a call, or respond to my text messages.
She keeps ignoring me for some strange reason.
The point of our gathering is simple — to have some fun together. I recommend you do something likewise with your buddies.
2. Support your sports teams
Being a Washington area sports fan sucks. It is rare that we win a championship. It was not always this way. The Washington Redskins won multiple Super Bowls when I was young.
But that is no longer the case. They are mediocre.
The Washington Capitals are great these days. They won the Stanly Cup last year — which is awesome. Unfortunately, I am not a big hockey fan.
The Washington Wizards are pretty awful.
DC United are decent, but I am not a big fan of US-based soccer. I prefer the German Bundesliga or the English Premier League. The quality of play is much, much better.
That leaves my beloved Washington Nationals. They were horrible years ago. I remember attending many blowout games. Now they are competitive and even make the playoffs most years.
Considering the talent they possess, the World Series is not unrealistic.
Yet, they continue to disappoint. It has been painful to watch them fold in the playoffs.
UVA is better, but still painful at times
The good news is that my alma mater is better at sports. In fact, the Cavaliers have fielded many great teams and even won several National Championships. Their trophy case is full.
The bad news is that we are not good at football anymore. We were really good back when I was a student. In fact, UVA was ranked #1 in football for a few weeks back in the day. But, those days are long gone.
It pains me to witness how mediocre we are in football.
Fortunately, we are better at men’s basketball than ever. UVA won the ACC multiple years, are usually ranked in the top 20.
We were the top seed for last year’s NCAA national championship tournament. But, we suffered the worst loss in tournament history last year.
It was painful to watch my mighty Cavaliers lose to UMBC. That loss still makes me shake my head. I bet we will hear about it every year from now on.
I still go to games to have a good time
Despite all the heartache my teams have caused over the years I still try to make it to a few games each year.
That said, I do not attend Washington Redskin games. They are hard to get to, expensive, and the product is mediocre. Hardly a good deal for fans.
As both of you know, I attend a few Washington Nationals games every year. I love going to the ballpark and always have fun there.
I hope you have some fond memories from Nationals games.
I enjoy visiting UVA and try to make a football game, or basketball game each year. This year I was able to make it to the homecoming game and had a blast.
We even won that day. Wahoowa!!
3. See your favorite bands in concert
The third way I like to have fun in life is attending concerts. Over the years I have been to many concerts. Too many to list here. Almost every one of them has been great. I especially enjoy watching my favorite bands live in concert.
In fact, I saw more than one U2 concert this year. The first one was in DC. It was excellent. The second U2 concert was in Dublin. It was awesome.
This past summer I saw the Foo Fighters. They put on a great show.
I also went to an Echo and the Bunnymen concert along with the Violent Femmes. Both bands were weird and wonderful as expected.
I encourage you to attend concerts when you get a chance.
It is one thing to like a band. It is something else to see them live in concert.
The best ones always put on a great show. Get out there and enjoy it.
I write a blog for my sons called Doug Keating Letter to Sons. I am sharing content from my blog here. I hope you enjoyed it. All feedback is welcome. Thanks for reading it.
Originally published at www.lettertosons.com on December 3, 2018.