My “40 days of fun” was a very good exercise for me. The idea to do it was absolutely spontaneous and completely on a whim. It’s interesting that I’ve gained a number of insights from something I didn’t “plan” (which is what I do 99% of the time).
1. It is perfectly acceptable to “plan” fun. Prior to this exercise I thought that “fun” equaled spontaneous. This is not true. Just as I “plan” for the work projects and chores I do on a regular (and non-regular) basis I can also “plan” for fun. Planning does not make it any less fun. At the start of my “40 days of fun” I was worried that I would run out of new fun things to do so I started “planning” for fun a couple of days or a week or more ahead.
2. My perspective changed. Usually when I wake up in the morning my brain immediately starts running through a list of all the things I have to “do” for that day. But for my “40 days of fun” I would wake up in the morning and start thinking about what kind of “fun” things I could do for that day. And it’s not like the work didn’t get done. It’s just that my perspective changed and I found more joy in my day as a result.
3. Seize the opportunities when they come up. I used to see things pop up that I’d like to attend or participate in (like public lectures or drop-in classes). But I’d “sit on the fence” and delay enrolling usually until it was too late and I’d miss the opportunity. My reasoning was that I didn’t have the time or I couldn’t give up an evening away from my family, etc., etc. (I came up with all sorts of excuses). This time around I jumped on those opportunities without hesitation (like taking in the “Tornado Hunter” public lecture and being part of a flash mob). And all my excuses that I came up with before didn’t happen – my family didn’t suffer, I did have the time. This exercise defused the reasons I had for not going ahead with things. So now I am without excuse. If an opportunity comes up for something I want to do I should seize it.
4. Trying new things is good for me. I generally like to stay within my comfort zone but with 40 days of fun I tried new things (largely because I thought I would run out of new fun things to do, but also because I had wanted to try some things but had never got around to it – see point #3). I sketched a picture with charcoal and even posted it for all to see – that was a big step out of my comfort zone. And I had fun doing it. I shouldn’t be afraid to try new things even if I think other people might view it as silly. It’s fun in itself to explore and create (whether it’s a work of art or not).
5. I do more “fun” things than I realized. Being in a frame of mind where I was “looking” for fun things I discovered that there are many fun things that I do already that I never recognized as fun (like reading or watching a movie or listening to music or going for a walk or seeing my massage therapist).
6. I learned to see more beauty. My mind tends to focus on “tasks” more than “stopping to smell the roses”. I did a lot more “rose smelling” during my 40 days of fun. And that was really good for me. It’s like my sight was adjusted to enable me to see more beauty and joy than it had before. I was deliberate about enjoying at least some part of my day which is something I needed to learn. I don’t have to go through days of all “work” and no “play”. I need a mixture of both.
One last thing: for the first time in my life I actually blogged (and posted on Facebook) for 40 days in a row. I would have never thought that was possible. But the difference was I had “something” to blog about (a purpose, a topic, a theme). If I want to blog/post with any consistency I’ll need specific things/topics to write about. Then it probably won’t be hard at all. So if anyone has ideas on topics or things I could write about, feel free to share. Maybe I should join in with some other regular blogging practices (like “5 Minute Fridays” – I saw that one at Lani’s blog).
Anyways, there are my thoughts and insights from my “40 days of fun”. Thanks again for “stalking” me on this part of the journey.