What do you do for fun???

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine last night and was asked “what are you doing for fun”? And I had to really think about that one as I’m doing a lot of “stuff” but I’m not sure how much fun any of these things are.

But the overall question got me to thinking because the best answer I had was – “I’m trying to figure out what fun is for me”. And as I thought about this, I realized I’m not entirely sure what the definition of fun is for me any longer. I am a different person now trying to figure out who I am. What makes me tick? What makes me happy? And I have no idea what any of this looks like. My lack of a good response bothered me slightly, so I pondered this while walking the dogs this AM. Here’s what I have come up with so far…

I have things that I have to do, things I should do, and things I want to do. Making time for all of this, and more importantly, sometimes the energy that goes into this can be a challenge. I have a job that I am responsible for, a house to take care of, and let’s not forget the two dogs that run my life. I take a lot of satisfaction from my “to-dos” as well as a lot of pride in them on most days; a job well done, mastering taking care of my yard, skippering my boat, shoveling dead critters when necessary – all things that I have overcome and taken satisfaction from – yes. Fun??? Not so sure. This led me to more thinking…

There is a difference between fun, satisfaction, happiness and peace – all seem to be related but they are not all defined as fun. Here’s how I look at this further: I do a lot of things that satisfy me and this is often related to a challenge – getting from point A to point B with a set goal in mind. Much of my satisfaction and seemingly happiness comes from these types of actions, yet they are not necessarily fun for the sake of being fun. I think about my job – I have a lot of challenges and I get great satisfaction from solving problems and being successful at it. I have participated in two triathlons – each was a challenge and it felt great to accomplish these actions, but was it fun? It feels good to say I’ve accomplished something, but was the swimming in the cold water, biking the hills and running in the street fun?? I came, I saw, I conquered; I’m not sure I’m doing another triathlon anytime soon. So I thought about the notion of satisfaction and happiness…

I derive a great deal of happiness when I help other people or know I make an impact in their lives. Whether it’s writing something that resonates, a Facebook post in response to someone that needs genuine help, or a chance meeting at an airport bar, I have not just a sense of satisfaction, but happiness, when helping someone else. Just yesterday, I chatted with a friend that recently lost her job. She thanked me for the chat and said it was really helpful. Satisfied? Yes. Happy to help a friend? Yes. Fun? I wouldn’t say it was necessarily fun.

This friend of mine asked me the original “fun” question asked about my enjoyment of boating, which yes is fun. I experience great enjoyment when being out on the water, but I’m not sure if I’d describe it as fun for two reasons. First, boating was something that was a source of enjoyment for Ed and I. We discovered this together, and we had pure enjoyment when we were out boating together. We were very opposites in the things we liked to do, but boating was this space where we had common ground. Being out on the water is where I find my peace as did Ed. The stress melted away, we were disconnected from the rest of the world with each other. I don’t know if I describe this as fun, rather a space of serenity, and for me, this still holds true. But like with most things in life these days, without Ed, being out on the water is different. I still find peace and serenity, but it’s not the same. If I had ever described it as fun, then it just isn’t any longer. I will need to figure out how to achieve this again because I truly love being out on the water even in this new life. It’s something that is engrained in me and makes me tick.

So what does “fun” look like for me?

My quick response during this conversation was surrounding spending time with friends. I genuinely have fun when I am out with friends for any occasion just connecting. Laughing, sharing, more laughing and just talking. I am energized by compelling conversation that is meaningful. Anyone who knows me knows I have the “gift of gab” and am rarely at a loss of words. This is what I crave – deep meaningful connections with people. It doesn’t matter where it takes place just that it happens. This to me is fun. And I don’t always get enough of it, so it is sacred to me.

So as I thought about this more I came to this conclusion…fun isn’t be about getting from point A to point B with an end game in mind. It’s that thing you seek that is unique in its own right. It has a hint of satisfaction, happiness and peace from it even if for a brief moment in time. It’s something that is familiar that you can come back to over and over for no reason other than it is fun. It’s simple.

Tomorrow evening, I am going to have fun connecting with some of my closest friends supporting a good cause…and looking good doing it  :wink: What’s your definition of fun?

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