“If it's not fun, you're not doing it right.” ~Bob Basso
Every morning my daughter and I go for a twenty-minute walk to my workplace. For me, in those twenty minutes, I'm in transit. For my toddler, it’s nothing less than a parade of flowers, fire trucks, pebbles, and friendly folk.
I walk alongside her, engrossed in my thoughts of concern that her bouncing body might fall down the stairs, or jump onto incoming traffic.
One morning, I noticed that a sweet old man, amused by my toddler, was watching her with a smile on his face. As we crossed his path, he chuckled to himself, “Children have all the fun!”
He's right. They do. And clearly, I’m missing out! My age is no good reason for me to miss out on this street party!
Now, I try to remember that fun is a perspective. It's not a force bound within the walls of amusement parks. The days that I remember this, it makes all the difference.
Line-ups are a great way to make new friends. Dusting is a contemporary dance. My world is a playground.
We are born with a complete understanding of fun, which seems to fade over time and conditioning. I say we learn a thing, or 15, from children.
How To Put Fun Into Every Day
1. Be where you are.
Kids are really good at enjoying the moment. Adults are addicted to thinking about all the things we have to do tonight, tomorrow, next week. Where you are is where the fun is. Nowhere else.
2. Learn something new.
From new words to new facial expressions, kids are constantly mastering new skills. Make it a point to continuously be learning something, anything. Aren't we the ones who tell our kids that “learning is fun”?
3. Get out of your comfort zone.
Toddlers take risks all day long. As we mature, we tend to stay in our safe place. Your day will be so much more exciting if you gather the guts to wear hot pink pants.
4. Find the beat.
While adults would find a car alarm loud and obnoxious, my daughter dances to the rhythm of the beat. Seek out the symphony in the background noise.
5. Smile 27 times more than you do.
I've heard that children smile 400 times a day and adults, only 15. Smiling is the catalyst to having fun.
6. Notice nature.
Every child is in awe of ants, birds, and dandelions. At some point, we become creatures of the concrete jungle. Allow yourself to be enamored by Mother Nature.
7. Climb things.
As soon as they discover their legs, kids start climbing everything. There is something about being above ground level that is somewhat thrilling. Climb a rock. Climb a tree. You'll feel like the master of the universe.
8. Embrace your “flaws.”
Being self-conscious is stifling. My toddler brings more attention to her Buddha belly than I ever would. But she also has more fun.
9. Use your imagination.
A child can get lost in her make-believe world for hours. Imagine riding an elephant in Thailand. Or running a marathon on the Great Wall of China. You'll have so much fun pretending that you might want to make it a reality—which leads to more fun than you can imagine.
10. Be unpredictable.
There is no knowing what a kid will get up to next. Step out of your ordinary routine and you'll be surprised at how liberated you'll feel.
11. Hand out high-fives.
For no reason at all, kids hand out high-fives like they just won gold at the Olympics. Next time you hear some good news, give somebody a high-five. It feels good to get pumped about the little things.
12. Slow down.
Children know how to take their sweet time. Allow yourself enough time to enjoy living. Rushing sucks all the fun out of the day.
Paint, draw, build, write. Kids clearly enjoy those activities. Fun is being in your creative element.
14. Get dirty.
Kids aren't afraid to experience life hands on. Get right in there. Make sandcastles. Turn up a log.
15. Break the rules.
Fun doesn't follow all the rules. Neither do kids. If it doesn't hurt, go for it! Leave those pretty Christmas lights up year-round.
How can you add more fun to your day?
Photo by SaraiRachel