Go to work, come home, clean up, fix dinner, pay bills, zone out in front of Netflix, surf Facebook, fall into bed. Get up and start all over again.
Does this sound like your day?
Maybe there are variations but the constant days of adult life can turn us into a bunch of stuffy pants!
Hopefully you are craving something more than the hamster wheel of going through the motions of your days. But it can seem hard to move out of them with so much responsibility and so many “have to’s” on your to-do list.
Have we have actually forgotten how to have fun?
What if we took a step back and looked at the carefree ways that children have fun before they become so serious in “adulting”?
When I look at my own childhood this is what I notice:
- I never could pass the swings, slide or monkey bars without wanting to jump on them.
- I looked at everything in wonder and amazement.
- I skipped, ran, jumped, twirled, giggled and laughed openly.
- I used my imagination – sand became castles, blankets became forts, shadows became playmates.
But here is what I notice in those situation::
- I frequented places to have fun – playgrounds, our friend’s sleepover, our toy chest.
- I didn’t judge or question the time that I was taking for fun.
- I was open to the wonders of the world and my own imagination.
- I didn’t stuff my emotions and impulses when joy struck me, I responded.
Learning from the clues
Fun that children have are a reflection of their mindset.
Doing, seeing and being. Not worrying, second-guessing and suppressing.
When was the last time you took the time to “be”? To slow down enough to watch butterflies light on flowers or gaze up to find hidden animals hiding in white puffy clouds? When was the last time you allowed yourself to have fun? Be spontaneous? Laugh out loud?
“But, but, but….” Yes, there are always “buts”: bills to pay and jobs to go off to, responsibilities to take care of.
I get it. I certainly am not without them.
I wonder though if the “buts” haven’t turned into excuses? It’s much easier to place blame for our unhappiness than take responsibility for our happiness.
Could you please read that one more time?
It’s much easier to place blame for our unhappiness than take responsibility for our happiness.
(Did you know you can highlight any sentence, like the one above, and share on Twitter or Facebook? Give it a try!)
And please, don’t say you don’t have time. I wonder what it would be like to look at the places of your day where there is expendable time?
Ahem, Netflix-time, maybe? Your lunch hour in your cubicle perusing Facebook? Why not go for a walk instead? Not a walk with a purpose of burning 500 calories but a stroll, a meander with a purpose of just being. Maybe you’ll find that swing and decide to hop on or maybe a playground to watch children playing in the as a reminder.
Our sense of adulting is really out of habit and frankly it turn into a bad one at that.
Need a little inspiration to jump-start that fun seeking part of your brain?
Here is a quick list that I have built into my own days that I hope will provide some inspiration:
- Watching the birds on the bird feeder I placed outside my office window. Amazing the colors of the birds, the interaction and their energy.
- Impromptu dance parties. I have a whole playlist dedicated to songs that remind me of Starlight Skating Rink, circa 1975. Sometimes, I’m up dancing to Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band.
- Bubble solution is a staple in my office toy chest. A nice sunny day with a light breeze and need I say more? Here’s a challenge for you: Blow bubbles and then catch them on your bubble wand.
- Walking the dog. I notice how he sniffs everything and wants to meet everyone we come across and then take cues from my four-legged friend.
- Use my cell phone. Okay not to talk or surf social media but to go on a photo safari. I put the phone on airplane mode and document what catches my eye. It’s amazing what we tune into when we tune out.
- Plan a surprise day-trip. This is something new my husband and I started with a 1x month day trip that we take turns planning and surprising the other with. We mark the date on the calendar beforehand and don’t allow the weather to ruin our plans – we just plan for contingencies. You don’t need a partner for this either: grab a map, get in the car and set off on a course.
- Coloring books. Goodness adult coloring books are everywhere now! But seriously, just the smell of a 64 count box of crayons and a blank sheet of blank paper can make you smile.
- Volunteer. Read to children, help with a community or church function, walk dogs, deliver food to the elderly. Giving is fun and it allows you to meet people you may not otherwise.
- Learning something new. A new language, a hobby, a new skill, a new recipe. When I approach something new with a fun attitude it makes a world of difference on what I learn and how quickly. This also always has me open to learning more.
- Look at my local listings for community events. Again something new and unexpected that peaks my interest: a dog agility competition or a new art exhibit. Many fun things could be happening right around the corner if you look for them.
Notice how none of these really had to cost much money and many don’t need to take up much time?
A word of warning: fun is addicting. Once you try it, you will want to do it more often and you may just find that you aren’t such a stuffy-pants any longer.
And in closing, remember none of our great memories are from sitting in front of a screen (computer or television). They come from doing and seeing and being.
Have a favorite way you add in fun to your day? Leave a comment below! I’m always looking on ways to add to my fun list.
Here’s to having fun!
P.S. And if you are ready to have someone work with you on releasing guilt, regret, building that “enoughness muscle” and adding in more fun, I invite you book a no-pitch, free session with me. I’m offering two, complimentary 60-minute sessions each month through 2016*. It’s my gift to you in the hopes that being enough becomes a part of who you are. I only have one complimentary session left this month so don’t miss out.
*Two complimentary sessions per month: two individual people, one session per person.
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