We made it to the end of term and now have two weeks off with no school, no gymnastics or dance for the girls, nothing. It is very exciting and seems like an ideal time to get to work on my ‘fun project’. In my last post, I wrote about the struggles I had been having answering the question posed by Gretchen Rubin in her podcast. She asked what you would do for fun if you had a fun fund of $500.
I think this was a really hard question for me to answer for two reasons. Firstly, due to the box of anxiety and depression that I retreated into during much of my teenage life, I don’t remember much of what I truly found fun back then and I think that has affected my ability to have fun as an adult.
Secondly, my adult self is so caught up in my mummy and work identity that I have neglected my own sense of fun. I love spending time with my family and we have tons of fun together but as an individual, I have lost sight of what I find fun.
This became apparent to me me when I tried to answer Gretchen Rubin’s fun question and realised that when I have a rare and precious day to myself and can do anything I want, I usually end up doing the laundry, dusting and ironing because I am not sure what else to do. I wonder how many other people do the same- not because they find dusting fun but because they too have no idea what having fun for them really means and they experience the same mummy guilt I do about taking time for themselves, so instead prefer to just keep busy and productive.
I have thought about it long and hard, however, and have realised that I think I have most fun when I try new things, I am active and when I am creative.
Even when I was a very sad teenager, I loved making collages out of old magazines, cutting out pictures and arranging them differently. There was something satisfying out of taking something redundant and turning in into something beautiful. I no longer read so many magazines, but I am interested in finding out how to turn other redundant things into something new, so that is the first of my projects for this holiday. Yesterday we went to the monster garage sale at my daughter’s school gala and with Amy and Lucy’s help, retrieved some old jars and photo frames to work on.
On reflection, one of the saddest parts of teenage depression for me, was that it took away my love of physical activity. I have written before of the dream I once had to be an olympic athlete which disappeared once my head started to tell me I was no good at anything and I became too self- conscious. Before then, I often felt most free when I was riding my bike, roller skating around my neighbourhood or running as fast as I could just for fun.
As a child, I spent hours in the garden throwing a ball against the wall to see how many times I could catch it and bouncing with my sister on our disco hoppers. Even when I was older and battling against myself, my favourite thing to do was to go rollerblading with one of my dearest, most special friends. So…my second aim for the holiday in my personal fun project is to start to get more active. Not to get fitter, not to tone up, but because I am on a quest to rediscover fun and I am determined to discover things I love to do. My list so far of activities to try includes:
- Ice skating
- Rock climbing
- Relaxing in a thermal pool
- Paddle boarding
If you have reflected on what fun means for you, maybe you could start your own fun project and if you do, I would love to hear about it!