When I wrote yesterday about happiness, I asked some specific questions.
But one of you asked one of me.
How do I find out what will make me happy? What do grown-ups do for 'fun' anyway?
And, at first, I thought to myself - well, they just do fun stuff. Who doesn't know HOW to be fun?
She goes on to add:
I don't like shopping particularly; we have a new puppy so the cinema and so on are out for now; my partner doesn't like clubs or jazz or any of that stuff; we walk the dogs everyday so walking for fun isn't an option. I want to exercise more but cannot get excited about it (I used to go the gym every day pre-dogs but now can't seem to manage anything). I do play field hockey and love it. My partner can't think of anything she wants to do either. I feel rather pathetic and stupid :-)
and then, woo boy - I got to thinking. Because I can really remember a time when I *wasn't* happy - and trying, trying oh so hard to determine where the line between happy and not happy fell for me.
I don't think that the reader means she's not happy - in fact, she clarified that later - Not at all, it's pretty fabulous, but I would love to be excited more, and thrilled and look back on great days that I have just had, or even great hours or moments! - but I know what she means. For a long while there, I wondered when the excitement would come, the fun, the woo-hoo!!! that I just KNEW the adults must feel, the fun times that I knew were right around the corner, just as soon as I got off work and cleaned the kitchen and sorted the dirty clothes and, oh, yeah, went to the teacher meeting
And it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, everyone was out there having SO much more fun than I was, and I was deficient in some way, lacking in that elusive fun gene, that I was slow and plodding and boring and stupid
I'm not. And you aren't. Maybe, just maybe, different things define fun for different people.
I hate roller coasters. Spinning rides give me migraines. I can't watch 3D movies. I don't especially enjoy concerts (unless my kid is in them, natch). I really don't enjoy bike riding or anything that I have to think about too much - like fencing. I don't enjoy karaoke. I don't like getting completely wasted - unless I'm out dancing, which, ok, is really a ton of fun, but not all that common in my life. I'm not a huge fan of running distance races, and swimming is one form of torture for me. I don't like sewing.
Those are all activities that other people say are fun.
I love to read. Could spend an entire day reading. I love to go to the movies. Love to turn on the music really loud and dance around - make a one woman dance party. I love to cook and bake. LOVE to take Zumba, love to go watch The Deloreans (an 80's band) and dance like I've been electrocuted. Love to go to the beach BY MYSELF and sit and read and listen to music and watch the water and sleep.I really like to go to Sephora and try on tons and tons of make up. I love to write on this blog. Have so, so much fun driving down the road really fast with the windows down and the music blasting and sing my guts out.
Used to love to do pad rounds at boxing class. I need to figure out a way to get back to that.
I have fun doing those things. I'm not a shopper for fun, mostly because I just don't have the money to do it - I'll bet if I did, though - I'd have fun doing it. The point is - what I find fun works for ME and not for you. But if I only did the things that worked for you, I'd never know what I enjoyed, I'd feel like I was missing something, and as if I was a failure.
I know someone who has gone to college for forever and ever. Every time he gets close to completing, he changes directions and learns something else. That's FUN for him. It's torture in a bottle for me.
Doesn't mean I'm stupid. Doesn't mean he's smarter than I am. He finds fun in a different manner than I do.
Find what works for YOU. Not for anyone else. You may have to try an awful lot of things - it's ok. There's no limit to how many things you can try in your lifetime - you don't have a sticker on the bottom of your foot that says you expire after you try ten activities. So you try a dozen, twenty, forty different things that other people find to be fun
and one day, you'll realize that you are having fun. It's not the fun that you see in the movies and on TV shows
but no one is having fun like that. Instead, we are all having the fun that matters to us
whatever that might be.