“Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they’re looking for ideas.” — --- Paula Poundstone
I recently completed a passion mining exercise and surprisingly among my top 5 passions emerged this one: "Have more fun with friends and family."
I wasn't expecting to see fun among the top 5 but maybe that is because I don't actively spend time thinking about it. I guess I ruminate about things like purpose, meaning and how I can make a difference in the world and still provide income for my family so often, that I rarely think about fun.
I suppose it seems like f-u-n should just happen, but even as I purposefully attempt to slow my life down, I realize that some of us have to work at "fun" more than others. We have to be deliberate in making time for it. Left to my own devices I would oftentimes choose accomplishment over f-u-n. It is in my nature (and always has been) to set goals, to be efficient and to get things done. This exercise made me see that somewhere deep down I believe I am missing out -- or have missed out on some fun time in life.
It is weird that I can make myself a giant "to do" list of things I think I should get done, in less than a minute -- pretty much at any given time. But creating a list of fun things is more work than it should be. Each item I start to add to the list has so many buts attached to it: I'd like to write my book, but.....I really need to respond to the emails in my inbox in case one of them leads to my dream job. Or I'd love to spend the day making something out of paper, but I really should update my Linked In profile first. There always seems to be something more practical to do.
I have also come to realize that everyone has a different idea of what "fun" is. I imagine some people draw their ideas of possibilities for new "fun" by watching others enjoying an activity. We might notice someone sailing for example, and think: "I should try that." Or maybe our idea of fun is based on an activity we used to love doing, and we think we'd be having a lot more fun if only we had time to ..... sew, paint, or grow a garden again.
But the truth is that finding "fun" can sometimes be a moving target. It can depend on our mood, our current job or life situation, the weather, our health, our attitude, even our unique personality and how we are wired on the inside. And I think our ideas of fun change as we grow older, too.
So how often do you allow yourself time to rethink "fun"?
The Question of the Week #27/ What Do You Consider Fun and Do You Need More Of it in Your Life Right Now?
Need help jump starting your list? Here are something things that helped me rethink my idea of fun.
What did you do as a kid?
I am a big believer in thinking back to when we were kids and remembering what we spent our free time doing. One of my earlier questions of the week revolved around what roles you played as a kid. Now think about the activities you spent time doing, especially on rainy days. The things that interested you then, might actually help you think of things you want to do now.
In other words don't let others tell you that your idea of fun isn't acceptable. If you like collecting things, or scrapbooking or reading children's literature or writing poetry, do it. Fun is as unique to you as is everything about you.
It's ok to change your mind.
Lots of people find that they love the idea of doing something but once they get started do not actually even like doing it. (Include me in this category). As we age our bodies change, our patience levels adjust, and our basic needs are different... so things we once found fun might not interest us anymore. Like dusting off that softball glove, or putting on the roller blades.... clearly that would be entertainment only for those watching my attempt, not for the parts of my body sure to end up on the ground.
Here are my current ideas of FUN:
1. A day with no schedule, no responsibilities
2. Reading for hours (a real printed book)
3. Deeply connecting with someone via a face to face conversation
4. Helping someone see things differently, showing them a new perspective
5. Playing with my camera
7. GROOVIN' with friends
8. Taking a walk
9. Teaching someone something new
10. Relaxing in the sun
My choices are different than they once would have been. A lifetime of being an extrovert has left me with strangely introverted ideas of fun as I age. I now enjoy my time alone or with limited people around. I like doing less of the organizing I once thrived on. Instead I like to just be, with time to think, to be more spur of the moment and to live without a plan. A few years back my list would have been filled with more active doing, and centered more around helping others have fun around me. Not sure if this new idea of fun for me is an age related thing or maybe I am now able to hear my inner voice, the one that is telling me to slow it down and take time to enjoy this life, or it will surely pass me by.
I'm curious about your list, did rethinking your idea of FUN change any of the things you thought would be on it?
Please comment and share... and don't forget to do something fun just for YOU this week.