Time for more fun, when life gets too serious
It recently dawned on me that I had become way too serious.
It’s not that my life doesn’t contain enjoyable parts, but fun didn’t seem too high on the agenda – and fun and enjoyment are not the same.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been embarking on a quest to enrich our lives with more fun! Much of this is linked to time with my family – especially my children – and it is definitely helping to release my ‘inner-child’.
Let’s look first at the importance of fun, how we can define it and then I can share some ways that I’ve tried to inject more fun into my life.
Why is fun important?
I generally love life. The direction my life takes is based on choices I’ve made, and continue to make, about today and tomorrow. As I’ve mentioned before, these choices are part of what I talk about in my Age Life Balance journey. However, I recently realised that I had become way too serious. I had forgotten rule number six, i.e. “Don’t take yourself so damn seriously”. My life contains many enjoyable components, but fun had become low priority.
Silly me, I’d forgotten that fun is important. It’s one of the things that keeps us youthful and young at heart, which in turn has a positive impact on our lives and the way in which we age.
Definition of fun
Fun – noun
- something that provides mirth or amusement: A picnic would be fun.
- enjoyment or playfulness: She’s full of fun.
How fun is defined can be quite different from person to person, but for me it’s something that simply makes me smile, or even laugh involuntarily. Over the last few weeks I’ve been embarking on a quest to enrich my life with more fun, with whoever I’m with, sometimes with friends and family, and sometimes alone.
Fun, fun, fun!
I thought a good start would be to list 12 things I’ve done to inject more fun in my life:
As a family, we went to a Bounce trampoline park and bounced around like crazy fools. It was brilliant (beaming smiles) fun, but given the high temperatures an hour was enough for us all!
We camped a lot when the kids were younger, but as they’ve got older and we’ve all become busier, this has dropped off the agenda. With no camping opportunities on the horizon we pitched the tent in the garden for a week and spent two consecutive Saturday nights camped out in it. Complete with sleeping bags, hot chocolate, torches and rain, these are two of the only nights I’ve slept for a full 8 hours in about a year!
Family bike rides
This is one of the visions I had in my mind of “my family” pre-kids. This dream is now a reality and we periodically try to get out & about on bikes, especially when the weather is kind.
My husband bought me a scooter for Christmas, not just any scooter, but an adult-sized fast scooter! My initial justification was that I needed to keep up with the kids when they were on their bikes (and I was walking). Ultimately, it’s just great fun, and I sometimes get odd looks from onlookers, but do I really care?!
Remote control car
Walking around our village the other day with my daughter, she insisted on taking a remote-control car and a walkie-talkie. At one point she offered me the chance to have a go on the car. I reluctantly agreed, (in the spirit of having fun) and 10 mins later I was still enjoying the experience. I then heard her talking into the walkie-talkie. “Yeah Dad, Mum’s having fun with my car and won’t give it back!” Oops!
One of the great things about holidays is having the time and opportunity to play games together, and we often bring a couple along to pass the time. Our current favourites include Dobble, Mexican Train and Exploding Kittens. I’m a good loser, but I can be pretty competitive when I’m in the right mood, and it’s great fun!
We’re currently on holiday in North Devon and my sea-loving family are happy to spend hours in the sea hoping to catch a wave or two. I wear triathlon wetsuit, rather than a surfing one (who knew I could be so easily identified as a non-surfer?!) and I get colder much quicker than my family, but what amazing fun to simply catch some waves and feel what the sea can do!
There are some amazing sand dunes at the back of the beach that we visit. While my family are still in the sea, I explore the sand dunes, maybe indulging a little in running up and down some of the slopes and even scrambling down the sandy ‘cliff’ back down to the beach. No-one saw me, right?!
Painting nails with my daughter
Painting nails is simple girly bonding fun with my 7-year old daughter. Maybe the result isn’t quite as neat as it could be, but it’s good fun and makes us smile! Note to self – always remember to have some cotton wool and nail varnish on hand for this one!
Fun with food
I love food, but I’m generally pretty health conscious, so cooking and eating can become pretty serious business at times. This week we’ve been mixing it up a bit and having some fun:
- Marrow cake – a neighbour kindly brought over a spare and hmmmmm…. marrow, what else to do when I’m trying to pack for holiday?
- Breakfast burritos – OMG – English-Mexican breakfast twist – let me know if you want the recipe. The children danced round singing ‘Yum, Yum, Breakfast Burrito’
- Home-made pizzas – from flat bread, from pizza bases etc.
- Croissants – from a Jus-Roll pack – who knew these were so easy, and so tasty!
There are few things that take me back to my inner child like rock pooling. It fills me with a sense of awe that this little eco-system is going on, and may have only been there since the last tide. Armed with a bucket and net I didn’t even have to fight for as my kids were still in the sea!
Catching up with friends
I’m fortunate to have many people I count as my friends. However, I don’t have many really close friends, nor many that live close by. Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to catch-up with some of these – partaking in mountain biking and Tacos – cycling and calzone – riverside walk and lunch – BBQ and drinks – hmm, there seems to be a theme here!
I’m sure fun can be defined in many ways by different people, and what actually constitutes fun can be even more widely diversified. What appeals to me and what I find fun, may not appeal to you, and vice versa. But I have been pleasantly reminded how fun can make a big difference to my life and can lighten up both the enjoyable and more mundane bits.
I will continue my quest for fun and make a conscious effort to build some into my life every day, no matter how planned/spontaneous, big/small, with the aim of building a new habit of having more fun!
Thank you for reading. For more interesting articles, visit my blog at www.agelifebalance.com to learn more.