I went for a massage the other day. It’s part of my strategy for maintaining my mobility and eventually getting back to full health. Sam has been a fantastic support through all of this and we’ve become quite good friends.
So we chat during the massages. And part of our recent conversation was the importance of having fun.
She and I are very good at being conscientious and responsible. And we’re getting better at the things we need to do to look after ourselves (for some reason, the term ‘self-care’ makes me shudder). But we both agreed that we could do with having a little more fun in our lives.
“Why don’t we ever schedule that?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she said, digging into a knot in my shoulder. “But we really should!”
So we agreed to be a little more conscious of adding more fun to our days.
I really believe that having fun every day is as important to our health as eating fresh veggies and breathing fresh air. And yet, we neglect it almost constantly.
If you’re on the path to minimalism or slow-living, I think this is an important, if counter-intuitive way to get there. Because the reason most of us take on minimalism and slow-living is so that we can enjoy our lives more. So that we can, in other words, have more fun. But if we make that our end point and try to get there on a path of solemn decluttering, meditation and self-care (sorry!), we might miss the exit.
If the point of all of this is to enjoy life more, adding enjoyment into our day now, will, I think, keep us from losing momentum, from the sorts of backtracks and wrong turns that will lead to buying useless things and pursuing useless activities, whatever those may be for us.
Alan and I, on our days off, like to cook up a nice breakfast and sit down at the table to enjoy it together and chat about life and joke with each other and laugh a lot. And by the time we’re done, because it’s a day off, we’re usually ready to head back to bed for a nap.
This keeps us from going shopping for things we don’t need. And keeping this time available keeps me from committing to activities I won’t enjoy. Which makes the whole decluttering/mimimalizing/slow-living thing a whole lot easier and less time-consuming which leaves more time for naps and fun. See how that works?
If we live the life we want, right here, right now, using what’s available to us now, we spend a whole lot less time and effort trying to get to that ideal in a future that may never come.
This is a variation on The Happies that I wrote about a while back. That was about having a list of things that you can do on a daily basis to make yourself feel good. Some were about having fun and some were more about (there’s that term again!) self-care. It was about tracking how many of those activities you did on your list in a given day and seeing how you felt with more or fewer of those activities in your day. And then, hopefully, aiming to include that number in as many days as you could.
Every Day Have Some Fun will be sillier and much more personal. It’s answering for yourself “What do you do for fun?” and then committing to doing that every day. It’s good to have a bunch of options to choose from depending on your mood, the weather and if you have someone you want to include in your fun.
You can schedule it or you can decide on a chunk of time to be worked in at your convenience. I suggest at least twenty minutes a day, to counter-balance the cleaning.
There’s something soothing about this practice. It can help to quell the panicked voices in your head that tell you that you’ll never save enough money to retire, you’re going to be stuck working that job or living in that house or never finding your ideal partner or friend or whatever it is you fear will never happen to allow you to relax and have a life you love. If you’re having fun every day, you can point to that when the voice of doom gets too loud. You can realize that you don’t actually need the ideal house/job/partner to live a good life. That you, all on your own, can do what’s needed to hand yourself a life worth living, even when your circumstances aren’t where you want them to be.
Pretty powerful results from a bit of daily fun. Are you in? What do you do for fun?