As I wrote something for this week’s email (post), I was struck by how bloody serious I’ve been.
I love going deep and thinking about complex concepts, yes. But I swear I’m not always so serious.
That serious email (post) has been deleted and you’re reading the new one I felt called to write instead.
I really wanted you to know that I’m a pretty silly person. And I checked with my daughter to see if she’d corroborate this. She said, “you are very silly” and laughed. I love her laugh.
But my desire to let you know that I can be fun seems pretty egotistical. So I’m now going to be serious about what it means to be silly. Ha!
What does it mean to be silly?
You probably know that person who is always trying to get the laugh.
They want attention and will do all kinds of ‘silly’ things to get it.
But they’re usually just loud and obnoxious.
That’s not silly.
Real silly is the kind that puts the spotlight on the part of you that’s playful.
Things like drawing faces on my finger tips during a meeting. When I looked at my hands on my lap, I had little smiley finger people looking up at me. I was amused.
It’s even better when you’re silly with someone. Because silly is most joyful when it’s shared.
My daughter and I have created our own silly vocabulary over the years. Throughout the day, we’ll simply start talking in our special language with silly accents. We smile and often giggle. It brings us closer.
In our productivity obsessed society, we discourage silliness.
Work is serious. Errands are serious. School is serious. Being human is serious.
There’s a bit of rebellion in being silly. It’s freeing to not conform to the staid situations we too often find ourselves in.
When we go into business for ourselves to be able to get away from the rules and expectations of traditional workplaces, we may not consider that we can now crank up the silly ratio.
It’s taken me more than a year to realize this.
There is of course a balance. But for many of us silly is sorely lacking.
It’s hard to chuck the feeling that to be taken seriously, you must almost always be serious.
As much as I love to be silly, when I’m writing I often edit out my less serious asides or thoughts. How silly of me.
Serious stuff is serious because it’s getting somewhere, accomplishing something, making an effort, paying attention, putting your head down, and being respectful.
Silly has no goal, no ambition, no productive usefulness.
But it has an inherent purpose.
It makes you feel good, light, connected, engaged, and more alive. There are no strings attached to silliness (except for this kind).
So, if like me, you’ve been feeling like shit is too damn serious, more silly might be just what you need.