We also use this same expression when we get into a frustrating situation, like sitting in traffic when we are trying to get somewhere, or going store to store not finding the very thing we need. ‘Are we having fun yet’ has prevented many potential “discussions” in our relationship!
Our son-in-law, Matt, met our nephew, Noah, for the first time about a year ago. We all went out to have brunch together. Matt said that he was anticipating they would talk about the regular things; where are you from, what do you do, what about those Flame. But instead, early in the conversation Noah inserted the unsuspecting question, “What do you do for fun?” As Matt later said, “He sure stumped me!” That of course got us laughing and talking about how we all better start doing some fun things so that we have something to contribute to these kinds of conversations.
When taking stock of our satisfaction with our lives we often measure our satisfaction with things like our career, our relationships, our finances or our fitness. One segment often overlooked, or completely ignored is our satisfaction with the amount of fun we have in our lives.
When I was growing up, the rule was that we were to do the work first and save the fun for when the work was done. Somehow the idea of fun began to get tangled up with frivolity or even time wasting. I am so grateful that I have learned to separate out these very distinct ideas. My more current belief is that fun is not only legal, but it is an important part of life satisfaction. If we are going to rank parts of our life like relationships and finance, then it is only fair that we designate and equal portion of the pie of life pie to fun.
For me, I often link joy and fun. When I am engaged in something I really enjoy, I would say that I am having fun. Having just written that, I can also bring joy to tasks I don’t love, thus infusing them with fun.
One of my friends, Sheri, doesn’t love housework BUT she does like a clean house. Every Saturday morning, she gets her cleaning supplies assembled, puts on her headset, cranks up the music, and sings her heart out for three hours while she cleans. She chooses to create this time to be a time of fun.
I know two sisters who happen to also be good friends to each other. They are very close and do a lot together. Sometimes the chores and activities they need to do are not fun. Their strategy, when they find themselves in one of these situations, is to play ‘Amazing Race’. Every obstacle is simply a ‘detour’ and their mission is to win the leg of the race. A high five ends the adventure! What fun!
Last weekend I joined my brother on a training ride for his upcoming bike race. He will be competing in the TransAmerica Bike Race, biking across ten states from Oregon on the Pacific Atlantic Ocean to Virginial on the Atlantic. His goal is to do about 300km per day with little breaks for naps! Our training ride was part of his taper, so we ‘only’ went 105km, including biking up the Highwood Pass in the Rocky Mountains. We ride very well together. Sometimes we visit, often we are quiet. We usually stop a couple of times and I remind him to take a picture – and we laugh at each other because we really both just want to get done! The mountain climb is not fun. The distance is not fun. But the day, the feeling, the chance to be with my brother and to be even a teeny part of his adventure – now that is my kind of fun!
I am grateful that Jim and I have developed a habit of asking, ‘Are we having fun yet?’ If we aren’t it is always just a quick adjustment to make sure we add some to the day.
This is always a busy time of year. As you travel through this next week, think about the mini ways you can add fun to the routine of your life.
My inquiry for you this week is ‘Are we having fun yet?’