Finding Time to Laugh and Have Fun Shouldn’t Be So Hard

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. laughter-fun-play-adults

George Bernard Shaw said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” You’ve got 2,496 extra hours a year to play. Do you know where they are?

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As we get older we’re made to believe that being serious makes us “responsible adults”. But in truth, as we age, the moments of pure fun seem to diminish.

And it’s killing us.

It’s been proven that laughter is not only good medicine, but laughing often can make us live longer. Not to mention we become way more fun to hang with.

Did you know that on average children laugh 200 times per day compared to adults who laugh only 26 times? And that might be a stretch for many.

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Go figure, farts and burps and silly knock-knock jokes amuse kids.

As adults we ask them, “What’s so funny?”

Their answer? In a sing-song voice, all together now: “Nothing!!”

Yet they continue to laugh. Probably at us.

Is losing our sense of humor inevitable as we age?

Are we afraid of creating laugh lines?

Is it possible to figure out how to let go of all the seriousness and laugh more often and find the fun again? Like a kid?


Your grandparents were not funny (honestly)

We thumbed through old family photos of the great-grandparents. The stern and stoic faces made us laugh and comment that nobody looked happy.

Maybe they had bad teeth.

Mostly we think their lives didn’t leave much room for fun.

Sure we made fun of their stiff clothing and arranged marriages.  Perhaps these things, and who knows what other personal struggles, excuse the resting bitch look on their faces.

I don’t remember a whole lotta laughter going on during our visits to grandma’s house. Mostly they were content. Happy to be alive on the day we visited. (Not laughing).

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Of course my grandparents had tougher lives than we do today.

Food was grown or caught; any excess was preserved for the long winters as a means to SURVIVE, not win a blue ribbon at the county fair. Clothing was sewn by hand, swapped or bartered for other domestic services or goods. The house warmth, if heated at all, came from gathered wood or coal. If you were wealthy the coal man delivered it. If you were poor, like my father’s family, you followed the coal truck to pick up fallen shards to stoke the sole source of heat, the kitchen stove.

But it got me thinking: Did these people EVER laugh? Surely as children they must have found something funny.

When did they lose that sense of fun and joy?

Our excuses today are lame

We’re tired. Bored. Too busy being busy, but not necessarily productive. We’ve got a million reasons for wasting time.

Where our relatives were busy trying to keep the family fed and alive, our “busy” often is making nachos for the ballgame or complaining about slow internet service.

Most of us work the Monday through Friday, 40 hour week routine. Before you say that you have no time to relax, laugh and have fun, consider Saturday and Sunday.

You have 2,496 hours of FREE TIME each year.

C’mon…you can raise a helluva lot of woot-woot with hours to spare.

Laughter and having fun is good for your health

It’s imperative to your health that you laugh and have fun more than you do. We’ve all heard “Laughter Is The Best Medicine” and it’s true.

A good dose of gaffaw has the following health benefits:

Burns calories

Just 15 minutes of laughter a day burns 10 to 40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. This equals anywhere between the one pound and four pound bag of M&Ms.

Releases anger

Anger is a prime source of comedy material. By turning what pisses off the comedian into a punchline the audience can relate to, everybody laughs. Instead of feeling like an angry victim, the comedian, and the audience who gets the joke, become winners.

Longer life

A Norwegian study found that people with a stronger sense of humor live longer. And don’t you want to hang out with THOSE people in pretty knit sweaters?

Relaxes your body

A good, deep laugh that leaves you near tears will relieve physical tension and stress. Your muscles will relax for up to 45 minutes after you’ve stopped giggling. Have a nice nap.

Life is better when you're laughing quote image from

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Boosts your immune system

Laughing triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve minor aches and pains. Like when you pull your sides from laughing too hard.

Protects your heart

Laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation and increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol. So watching a funny movie improves blood vessel function and increases blood flow.  Not so sure about spending money on a “bad” movie.

Helps with having the blues

We all get those days…maybe mid-week or Sunday night! Engage in a fun diversion, like bad karaoke, for a surefire way to beat the feeling.

Ways to spend those 2,496 hours

Laughing and having fun almost always involves one or more people. You know how it goes…the first joke begins and everyone feeds off of it until you’re all in hysterics. The Domino effect. Literally peeing your pants (ah, aging bladder).

Here are a few ways to spend all that free time with people, have some fun and enjoy a few laughs:

Sip and do anything parties

These pop-up gatherings include alcohol (usually wine) and some craft: painting, pottery making, flower arranging. Whether you do it in a formal setting or DIY, the key is that everyone makes the same project. None of them come out alike and that’s part of the fun. Creativity and happiness are linked. Nobody said we all need to be Picasso wannabes.

Comedy shows

Many restaurants have regular comedy nights. You’ll find groups and organizations hosting comedy nights to raise funds for their causes. Win-laugh for everyone.

George Bernard Shaw quote on stop playing and growing old/ laughter-fun-play-adults

Old home movie night

Get your siblings, family or childhood friends together and watch old home movies (we had a slide projector). A good sense of humor is required. Be prepared for a fashion and hairdo smack down. Make some throwback party snacks for added fun.

Game night

Pictionary, Say Anything, UNO, Mexican Train, etc. Choose a few in case someone gets bored or forgets the rules.


Okay, I like camping when the tent says “Marriott” at the top and there’s hot running water and a private toilet, but that’s just me.

Still one of the best times ever was a camping and rafting trip with a small group. When my sister-in-law brought out her hairdryer in the morning in search of an outlet in the middle of Maine’s Acadia National Park…well, twenty-something years later it still makes us city girls laugh.

Laugh it off till your gone

Your long life depends on a steady dose of laughter and fun. Don’t waste all 2,496 hours each year catching up on sleep, drinking too much or binge watching Game of Thrones (don’t blame you really).

For good measure, throw in a few farts and burps and silly knock-knock jokes.



NOTE: No medical advice is implied here. Information provided in this post is gathered from multiple and reputable sources, and is presented here for entertainment purposes only. Seek professional medical attention for physical or mental health concerns.

If you got one smidgen of inspiration or a needed kick in the booty from this post, please subscribe to this blog, share with your friends or leave a comment. Thanks so much. I hope you have a great day! XO

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We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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