Having Fun

In The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, she dedicates the month of May to play, to really looking at what she does that is purely for fun. Reading it got me thinking about what I consider fun, how often do I actively engage in those activities and when do I participate in something that I think “should” be fun because others find it fun.

Here is what I’ve come up with so far.

I think it is fun to read seed catalogs for hours. It is fun to have a dozen young plant catalogs spread out all around me making lists of what I will grow for the coming season. Fun is opening the boxes of baby plants, talking to them, smiling at them, making sure they are watered and then potting them all up. Yes, sometimes fun is what I do for work! It is fun to plant up beautiful hanging baskets and custom containers for customers. I have so much fun interacting with customers that it is astonishing I get paid to do it. Shopping for the perfect plants with a customer is fun. Practically anything I do with my daughter, Jaska, is fun. Making silly noises. Pretending I am a singing star on a stage as I sing in to a make-believe microphone! Playing Christmas carols full blast while wrapping Christmas presents. Wrapping Christmas presents exquisitely…they could be photographed for ‘Martha Stewart Living’. Facilitating drum circles. Dancing under the full moon. Playing the drum by a fire. Sitting on the beach with my sister. Playing Trivial Pursuit with Jaska, my sister and her daughter, Christine, all the while laughing uproariously as we cheat our way around the board. Visiting the snow geese in late October. Picking apples with Jaska. Making applesauce. Making cranberry jelly. Organizing holiday gatherings at my home. Cooking for the holidays. Having people in my home for the holidays…laughing, singing, talking, eating great food. Singing with Jaska. Being silly and not acting my age. Dancing and singing while working in the greenhouse. Tea in the road with my neighbor. Hanging out with friends and neighbors on a summer evening. Reading a good book. Laughing. Getting dressed up. Dancing with my husband. Reading to a child. Finding the perfect gift for someone I love. Rearranging furniture. Talking to trees and rocks. Dowsing. Having conversations with strangers in the grocery store.

Do I engage in activities that I think should be fun because other people think they are? Not usually anymore. I guess being 50 something has provided me with enough insight in to who I am that I am not willing to play that game very often. Although I do find myself thinking that I “should” do yoga or do weight training or go to a gym or dance studio. Other people enjoy those activities and derive benefits from them. But, you know, none of that really sounds appealing to me, not much like fun. So I think I will skip the yoga and the gym and go take a walk out in Red Rocks and talk to some trees. Or sing a song to the sun. Maybe turn the music up and dance for awhile.

When I read over my list of what I consider fun, I pause and give thanks that so much of what is fun for me is in the work that I do. I give thanks that I have fun in so many areas of my life. Taking time to really think about what is fun is a very useful exercise. I encourage all of you to do it. You may be surprised at how much of what you do you consider fun. Then again, you may realize that you are definitely coming up short in the fun department. If that’s the case, now is an excellent time to put fun on the menu! Life is short go ahead and play a little, you will be glad you did and so will the people in your life.