What do you do for fun?

I decided to do a survey of women and asked each woman I met (mainly mothers), what they did for fun. The responses astounded and saddened me. Firstly, every woman I asked had to really think about it, contemplate it, on average taking between 30 seconds to a minute to answer. It was like I had asked them a really, really difficult question and they had to search for the answer. The answers were interesting, “I don’t know, was most women’s first response then upon thinking about it these were the answers: drinking (champagne or wine) came in the highest, followed by shopping or online shopping, then sleeping/lying in the sun, then going to the gym (though nearly everyone clarified after they didn’t actually think it was fun they just did it for their health.) Then after answering, most of the women said actually I don’t know, what a strange question. When I asked “how often they did these supposed fun things,” the usual response was once a week if they were lucky.

If you ask a child what they do for fun, they rattle off a list of things as fast as they can. So, at what point do we stop having fun or knowing what fun is?

B (my “friend”) says women stop having fun as soon as they give birth, it is like as the baby comes out they switch off the fun switch. I think he may be right. When I asked the same women what did they do for fun before they had children, most could rattle off a few things quickly, from going to see live music (or playing it), to sport, to surfing, to having parties and the list went on. Most couldn’t remember the last time they did those things.

When we meet new people, usually one of the first questions they ask is “what do you do?” Everyone immediately assumes they are asking what job they do. This defines who they are, what kind of money they make, where they are placed in society, are they even worth talking to. Wouldn’t a better more interesting question be, what do you do for fun? As this actually shows who the person is, what they love, what their passions are. So if what we do for fun really says who we are, what about all those who had to think really hard about what they do for fun.

So, it made me think about fun. We plan fun, we work hard and then have a scheduled week of “fun” in the holidays usually if you are a parent this is based around the children. We organise “fun” activities for kids on the weekends but what about for ourselves? The mothers I spoke with couldn’t think what they did for fun, just for themselves or when they last had real fun.

So what exactly is fun? Well, the dictionary says fun is: Enjoyment, amusement, playful behaviour or light-hearted pleasure. “Activity that is intended purely for amusement and should not be interpreted as having any serious purpose. “ (Oxford living dictionary.)

When did you last do something that was just for amusement, just for fun, just because you wanted to do it? When I asked the mothers why they no longer had “fun”, they rattled off a million excuses, (and they didn’t need time to think of those), “NO TIME, the children, work, house work, finances, looking after husbands etc. So, what they were saying to me is we have no time in our lives apart from the weeks holiday once every six months for fun? Then really, why live? Shouldn’t life be filled with fun?

A few years ago, I changed my life, or started to. I uprooted my children, moved to one of the most beautiful places in the world and dated a man, who just has fun every single day. He taught me to have fun – and I mean taught me. It was like I had forgotten how, or never really knew. Of course, I had laughed and played with my children and gone on family holidays but I had forgotten how to have fun for me. My fun – not related to anyone else. Some days now I remember, others I seem to slip back into my old world of fear, worries and responsibility. Whilst everyone has these things, isn’t there room in our lives for fun every single day?

On facebook, instagram, tv, the internet, there are all these “change your life” courses: you can do a (install trainer name here) 28 day get fit challenge, you can do a 21 day weight diet, or a 7 day cleanse your liver program all to change your self image. You can pay a fortune and go on yoga retreats or even attend laughing classes, you can take courses or attend seminars to “find your true self”. These all come with facilitators or instructions to follow on how to do it. Follow this program, do as I say and you will have this result. I have a much harder yet perhaps more fulfilling challenge, it is harder because there is no one there to tell you what to do or how to do it. It is to have fun!! No-one can tell you how to do it because it has to be fun for you. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, it might be thirty minutes in your day. So, my challenge is the fun challenge.

A habit is defined as : “A regular tendency that is hard to give up, something that you often do without thinking about it. “(Oxford dictionary)   According to research to break or create a habit takes 21 days, shouldn’t we make having fun a habit. Shouldn’t fun being (light hearted pleasure) be something that we do often without thinking about it – something that is hard almost impossible to give up?

So I am going to make fun a habit by doing a 21 day fun challenge. I will endeavour to do something fun for 21 days straight (despite what the world throws at me) and see if I can break the habit of not having fun everyday of my life. I haven’t tried it yet and I don’t know if I can achieve it and I will be honest I am both excited and afraid. (Sounds weird I know, to be afraid of having fun everyday – but it is true. I am making a commitment to fun!) So for the next 21 days, this blog and my instagram will be dedicated to having fun. I will post something fun everyday and perhaps others will be inspired.  So this is my fun challenge.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

I dare you to have FUN too.