What do you do for fun? I’ve been contemplating this question for the last week or so, noticing that each of us might define “fun” differently and go about answering the question in our own unique ways.
Similarly, I have a girlfriend who has begun to play pickleball (just this past summer) in an effort to make new friends and enjoy the competition of play. She’s getting very good at it!
Some of us go out on a limb and do something more extravagant when we’re seeking fun:
- Recently, my nephew colored his hair green to celebrate his fandom for the 6-1 Philadelphia Eagles, that’s his way of having fun.
- My next-door neighbors have decorated their home with lights to acknowledge at least three holidays all at once, Halloween, Diwali, and Christmas – it’s quite a colorful display!
- A girlfriend took a second job (as a waitperson/bartender) at a local haunt just to broaden her circle of friends and have some fun in an atmosphere very different from her healthcare work.
As for me, I’m struggling to find an answer to my own question: What do I do for fun?
A year ago, my answer would have included things like playing with the cat and tending to my plants on the porch or on the deck, and driving up to Duluth, to spend a weekend with a girlfriend there. But this year is different. The cat died in May. The plants, while they flourished all summer, are long gone now. And the annual trip to Duluth hasn’t happened this year; I haven’t been there since last Thanksgiving!
What MIGHT I do for fun? Clearly, it is time for me to find some new distractions! It’s going to be a long Minnesota winter so I’d better start brainstorming what I’m going to do for the coming months just to bring some fun and celebration into my life. It occurs to me that I could. . .
- Dust off the bargain snowshoes I bought at a local thrift store (on a whim) and explore my own back yard once the snow begins to accumulate.
- Pull out the needlework project I started (some years ago now) and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with actually finishing a project.
- Reach into the pantry and use a Saturday afternoon to turn that Pillsbury Pumpkin Cookie mix collecting dust on the shelf into some warm, gooey treats to enjoy with coffee!
I don’t suppose it matters as much WHAT we do for fun, but rather that we deliberately pursue some fun in our lives. Often, I hear caregivers say that they’ve lost all the “fun” from their lives – their days are consumed with chores and an endless “to-do” list that perpetually grows, rather than shrinks.
They’ve lost the capacity to enjoy the things that used to be their everyday response to the question, “What do you do for fun?” Their lives have shrunk, become more confined, and many of the things they relied on for fun in the past, just aren’t available or easily pursued anymore.
We sometimes mistakenly equate fun with extravagance in a way that minimizes the smaller, more modestly joyful things we might pursue. There can be fun in finding a new book to read (a juicy novel?) or playing with a neighbor’s dog or indulging in a tear-jerking movie we can stream. Just because we can’t (or don’t have the resources to) engage in great-big-guilty-pleasures, doesn’t mean we can’t find fun in our lives.
So that’s my challenge to you this week – deliberately put some fun in your life! It doesn’t matter WHAT you choose, it’s really more important THAT you choose – that you make a point of noticing what might lift your spirits, capture your attention (in a good way) or fill a bit of time with pure pleasure.
We all need fun in our lives, and it’s unlikely that someone else is going to assure that we find it! This is one of those self-care practices that only you can provide for yourself, because only you know what might genuinely bring you joy. This is one way we fill our own cup, so that we have plenty to share with others, who need us most!
Wishing you a splendid week, and as always, let me know if I can help in some way!