For years I had a Post-It note on my wall that said in my own handwriting, "Have fun! What is fun?"
Recently someone I'm working with asked me what I did for fun. I was stumped. "Fun? Fun. Hunh. Well, let me think..." and I thought and thought and eventually I said I'd get back to her and we moved on.
Here's the thing: I was stuck between identifying things that made me happy and things that I thought were defined by outside sources. Fun is not what our culture tells us it is (think ads); it is clearly a subjective experience.
I recently went to a baby shower and among the many gifts the expectant parents received were toys, games, mobiles, playmats, things that rattle and squeak -- in short, all devices designed to inspire FUN! As school kids, we learn games, sports and other activities meant to be fun. As we move on and enter the adult world of work we may shift our attention to taking time off to have fun. That is, there's work (not fun) and weekends or vacations (fun). We start to believe (the lie) that fun is something that has to register above a 5 on a 1-10 scale. Maybe that's just me.
But, on reflection, I realized how subjective this topic is and that fun is not defined by the world "out there," but by each one of us individually. For some of us, it's fun to travel the world; for others, a four hour stretch on the couch with a good book is what it takes. Some ski, play tennis or softball; some play chess or Sudoku. You might like to bake or cook or sew; I might like to paint or write or build a dog house. You might go to a party; I might like to discuss the world with an eight-year-old or just watch a leaf float on a pond.
Fun is what soothes you. It takes you out of yourself and to a place of joy and happiness for a while. Fun is what you say it is.
The important thing is this: make sure you make some time this week, and every week, to have some fun.