I like the serious things. I like deep conversations. I watch a good TED talk with relish and feel inspired by people who are tackling social issues. I think life is too important to waste on the superficial. All. The. Time.

But life is also too short to let it slip away without having a tonne of fun, too. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when you lose your health and can no longer do the things you love. The things you might have done on occasion because it was fun but couldn’t always fit into your busy schedule or ‘important’ work. I’ve seen that, and it scares me to think that one day I could lose the ability to dance or play the piano or get dressed up or eat a (ridiculously large) slice of decadent cheesecake.

I don’t want to forget to have fun.

There’s a part of me that’s been whispering this to me for a little while now, especially since I launched Her Story with my friend Karen. I’ll tell you more about Her Story in another post, but suffice it to say it is a platform that deals with some pretty heavy topics. And I’m thrilled about it! But ever since it launched, actually even before that when Karen and I exchanged ideas and this thing started to grow, a little voice inside me kept reminding me to keep things as light as I possibly could, where I could.

About a week before Her Story made its debut on social media, I remembered what it was like to let that fun-loving young woman come out and hit the dance floor. My husband and I were at our school’s Fall Social – a fundraiser for the kids but a party for the adults! The company was awesome – we’re lucky to be surrounded by some great couples where we live and around the school – the food was delicious (there was this cheesecake that cameo’d in the second paragraph above), and the MUSIC…oh my GOD, when was the last time I danced from the first song till the last? Danced and sang at the top of my lungs. And it wasn’t that I forgot about the parts of me that are serious and steady, it was that I remembered that I am so much more than that. I am multi-dimensional and I love that.

And I bet you are, too.

But we tend to lose track of the part of us that’s silly or fun because we’re busy managing schedules and coordinating life. Maybe we’ve become more like tag-team partners in a wrestling ring of chores and children than dance partners with our spouses. But that night I remembered what it was like when my husband and I went dancing before we had kids. And I remembered that thrill of catching him looking at me like I was this extraordinary being that amused and awed him. (It’s a great look).

There has GOT to be more dancing (outside of my kitchen) in 2017, I can tell you that much.

Around the same time, I was introduced to a line of safer skincare and makeup products. I’m not normally someone who wears makeup. Not because I don’t like it but because I’m conscious of what I put on my skin (I’ll eat the ridiculously large slice of decadent cheesecake but keep the chemicals in a blush off my face, thanks). Along came this line that not only bans 1500 known toxins that are otherwise found in traditional brands, but it actually looks good! I’m impressed with the quality of the products and the colour choices. I’ve started stocking up and wearing colour on my face again. And you know what? It’s fun! My lips are stained plum right now just to write this to you from my home, and it just feels nice. I love the products and the mission behind Beautycounter and I’m officially a consultant now! So, here I am: Writer, Social Change Ambassador & Advocate for Safer Beauty. (Or: Writer, Social Change Ambassador & Girl Wearing Makeup At Home).

Last year at this time I chose a guiding word for 2016: Shine. Today I’m choosing my word for 2017 and it is FUN.

What are you making space for in the new year? Or today? I’d love to hear in the comments!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative