I absolutely love creating positive memories for others. Throughout my life I have had so much fun. I cannot remember having uproarious fun in our family life when I was growing up. We were poor, without a vehicle, phone or TV, but we were happy and very much loved. I grew up learning how to be responsible from an early age and soon got to know who I really was, discover my purpose and develop good self-esteem.

I decided to live my life like every day counted and that every day’s challenges were an opportunity to grow. Time was too short to simply exist and that yesterday will never come around again. At the end of my life I want to be able to look back with integrity, definitely not regret. I want people to be able to think or say, “He made a difference.”

My wife and I ensured that our kids (now 43 and 41) had great memories to look back on, so we included a lot of fun activities. As a couple we had parties that would never be forgotten and over 30 years later there are still friends who mention or Facebook photos of those wonderful times. We had a bad taste party, an upper-class party, and inside-out party, an election party and numerous others. People came in appropriate costumes and stayed in character the whole time. Oh, they were hilarious! The best thing was that our kids saw all this and tell us how much fun we were when they were growing up.

Life is too short to be serious all the time. Some of us really need to lighten up and get a life. A happy, fun-filled home is a delicious medium in which to grow kids. Sure, there has to be serious times. Times of sadness will ogle you forlornly. Tough challenges will raise their ugly heads. You can change those circumstances by turning them into life lessons. Water and fertilize these lessons to afford them maximum growth.

Spontaneity is a good thing to coddle, but not everyone is that way inclined. Often you have to plan to have fun. That doesn’t happen by being a couch potato or furiously working to give your family a good life. In a survey administered to young people after the 911 incident in New York they were asked what two things they most wanted from their parents. Time and love were the two most popular. Both are free. During the quality time I hope you will liberally give your children in the future, plan for long-lasting memories and fun.

Have a wonderful week with your family. Laugh a lot. Receive joy and give joy to others.

Written by Brian Burgess, School Counselor, PPE, Nashville TN (These are my opinions and not those of PPE)