In past posts I’ve written and pondered about enjoying the quiet moments, finding joy in the small things and the pleasure that comes from having a childlike state of mind. But what happens when we have to do something we don’t like? There are always boring chores to do, errands to run and mind numbingly dull work tasks. We can’t always enjoy what we’re doing – can we?
Actually, yes we can. We simply need to remember to approach each dull task as a child would.
I vividly remember my daughter Rachel’s way of dealing with the dull when she was very young. She was a singer. Not in a ‘she’s going to be a star’ kind of way, more of a ‘she’s a bit tone deaf like her mum but likes to belt out a song’. No matter where we were going or what we were doing I could almost guarantee that Rachel would be singing her little heart out and either dancing, twirling or tapping her foot. She found a tune in even the dullest of days.
On bus rides, trips to the doctor, walks to school, as she tidied her room, brushed her hair and even as she cleaned her teeth she sang or hummed.
Everything she did became an opportunity to string together notes and words to create a song. She was always happy and never bored. Why was that?
Because in her young eyes nothing was boring. Everything was new, fresh and there was always music in the air.
We too can find that music. We can hum our way through every task, clap along to our favourite songs, blast out a tune. Explore our surroundings afresh with a song in our soul – learn again to listen to the almost imperceptible rhythm of our lives, and sing!
On the other hand my son Daniel was a whirlwind. One day he would be superman, the next he’d be a wizard. Every piece of furniture became a fortress, a castle or a cave. His imagination knew no bounds and every situation became an opportunity for adventure.
A bus would miraculously turn into a submarine, lift rides became rocket rides to the moon, the walk to school became a journey to a land far-far-away. The adventures his young mind could create from nothing more than a cardboard box were astounding.
How can you fail to bring joy into every day if you think like this?
Isn’t it time to be playful in our midlife years? We’ve spent so many years of our lives working hard, towing the line, being sensible, fitting in – let’s have some fun! Your idea of fun may be very different to mine, but here are some suggestions:
How To Have Fun Every Day
- Sing at least once a day
- Put the kettle on and see if you can unload the dishwasher before it boils.
- Set a timer when doing mundane tasks and see if you can race it.
- Make a score sheet and allow yourself a point for every dull task. See if you can beat your own scores.
- Twirl in the park when you’re walking the dog.
- See if you can go through a whole day using a foreign accent.
- Set yourself mini challenges throughout the day.
- Split the tasks with your partner and race each other to complete them.
- Play music and dance!
- Set your SatNav to speak in an accent or in French/Spanish/etc.
- Imagine that you’re a competitor on Big Brother.
- Text your loved ones jokes.
- Make a game out of dull chores.
- Give your computer a name and talk to it – I often threaten mine 😉
- Call everyone dahling all day.
- Rhyme all your tweets for a day.
- Make one word out of two. Tweeting and emailing becomes ‘tweemailing’. WARNING: this was introduced to me by my mother-in-law and is incredibly addictive!
- Be creative, have fun and above all be empowered to play!
In Case You Get The Urge To Dress As A Pirate 😉
Over the years we’ve had the joy of play knocked out of us. From the schooling system stifling our creativity to the workplace forcing us to become cogs. Let’s watch a child play, see how thrilling life is for them every day and introduce fun and even silliness back into lives.
Whether that be by dressing as a pirate and joining in pirate day, finding the fun in dull moments or simply by being more open to the joy that surrounds us every day.
And remember: to err is human, to arr is pirate!