“Have fun.” Those are the last two words that I ever heard my beloved grandpa speak. A phrase that is so simple, yet SO profound. My 90 year-old grandpa spoke those two words to me while he was in the intensive care unit, barely clinging to life. But in that very moment he still knew what life was all about. When all is said and done, it does not matter how much money you have or how many awards you have won. It does not matter what you look like or how big your house is. What matters is that you have lived life and loved life. And that you have lived and loved to the fullest.
I am guilty of letting the monotony of daily life get to me. I’m guilty of looking at the clock in the late afternoon wondering how many hours (or minutes!) until I can put my kids to sleep for the day. Let’s face it – being a parent can be exhausting. It can be overwhelming. But it can be (and is) the most rewarding job in this world. My life began again the day I became a mother. I’m not going to let my fun stop… viewing life through the eyes of children gives FUN a whole new meaning!
Life is a playground for my toddler. She is enamored by the world. I see dandelions and she sees beautiful flowers. I see sticks and rocks and she sees nature. I see a bird and she sees a graceful flying creature. She finds joy in the littlest things, she sees beauty and fun in everything. We are all born with a complete understanding of fun, which somehow seems to fade as we grow older… so today I’m sharing how to learn a thing (or 10) about HOW to have FUN.
Laugh and smile more: If I tried to count the number of times my daughter smiles each day, I would lose track. Be equally intentional and genuine with your smiles – have you ever noticed how contagious smiles can be?! Watch a funny movie or go to a comedy club. Laughter is immediately uplifting.
Use your imagination: Create. Fun is being in your creative element. Write, paint, draw, build. Whatever it is that can help you escape – and let your imagination run wild!
Slow Down: Have you ever noticed that your child is never in a hurry. Children know how to take their sweet time… allow yourself enough time to simply enjoy just being alive. If that means waking up 15 minutes earlier to take an uninterrupted shower or to read the news or to grab a cup of coffee, then do it. If that means saying ‘no’ to an obligation that you don’t want to do… then SAY NO.
Girls Night Out: My girlfriends and I try to plan at least one night out a month. We make it a goal to try to do something different each time. But whatever it is that we do, we always have SO much fun together. Fun ideas are to have a Favorite Things Party, go to a Paint Night, try a new restaurant, do a sip and shop party, host a girls night IN. Be intentional – plan ahead and go paint the town red!
Date Night: Same idea as I mentioned above only with your significant other. Find a babysitter and get out and explore the city!
Create a bucket list: Speaking of date nights – on arecent night out, my husband I got to talking about all the places we would love to go in our lifetime. And all the things we crave to experience. Right then and there we created a bucket list with the goal to check off at least one ‘big’ thing per year – from going to ‘The Today Show’ to a Napa Valley winery tour to Wimbledon to an African Safari. Having things to look forward to keeps life exciting!
Embrace your flaws: Have you ever met a toddler who was self-conscious? Children are born blind to ‘flaws’ and quite frankly life is more fun if we focus on the positive. It’s helpful to recognize everything we are grateful for and stop obsessing over what we would change.
Learn something new: Never stop learning for as long as you live. Learn a new language, learn how to paint – take up swimming, running or yoga. Whatever you do, make sure you commit to doing it at least once a week and it will change the way you view the world.
Be present in the moment: Children are really good at living in the moment. Adults are more likely to be thinking about everything that needs to be done tomorrow or next week or next month.
Be a positive thinker: Your whole life will brighten. Daily life will be more attractive once we learn to embrace the best in every situation.
So while the words ‘Have fun’ sound simple, they are also paramount to living a full life. When the stress of daily life starts to get to you, remember why we are here. We are here to love and live – and the thrill of that never has to fade away!