Deep fun: How to find enjoyment in mundane or unpleasant activities

a shot of my hair blowing madly in the windI’m spending much of my time having fun at the moment

(Please note, I did say ‘much’ of my time, not all of my time. I still have to go to the dentist, have days with too much work, get stressed, shout at the kids and behave unpleasantly.)

But, for much of the time I seem to be having a ball. I reckon most people know now that I am spending this year ‘doing different daily’ – it’s my own mini challenge for 2013. Many of the things are tiny, just a slight change in conscious behavior. Some are work related – playing with altering the levels of tech I use, doing without lists, working on projects that are completely new to me and that demand different skills. Some are simply hippy – I’ve had my nose pierced and this weekend I’m doing a firewalk.

Some involve trying to find new ways to do routine things. This tends to be one place where the fun is coming in bucket loads.

For example, I have a dog, so with two walks a day when I’m at home, it’s not a surprise that ‘how to make a dog walk fun’ has been a theme. Trying out urban dog agility, not crossing tracks in the snow, and taking pictures of the sun, my hair in the wind, my daughter and I sleeping in trees – just some of the things I have tried.

New things have been a source of deep fun too: learning to blow giant bubbles, going bouldering and taking a ballet class.

What’s ‘deep’ about the fun? It’s a word that came up when I tried to describe how different I was feeling about life since having started out on the project – actually, since before that even. I suppose it really all started with the Clore Leadership Programme I did, which began to kick me out of my comfort zone.

So what’s ‘deep’ about it? Here’s five things:

  1. It’s genuine not half hearted – I somehow feel more open to it, it feels rooted deep inside and very heartfelt.
  2. It feels earnt, not frivolous. I feel I deserve it. Like most people I have a degree of imposture syndrome, feel a lack of self confidence and so on. With this I feel a strong sense of ownership and ‘rightness’. I am choosing what I do; and I am choosing to really recognise when I am enjoying myself doing it
  3. It’s conscious – I’m fully aware of it. It’s the difference between having a drink in front of you that you just drink whilst talking, or watching TV (one minute it’s full and the next you’ve finished it and you can’t quite remember doing so) and finding a spring when you are really thirty and you drink deeply from it, really tasting every mouthful.
  4. It feels balanced – or maybe it’s that it is nudging my life into greater balance. Family, home, type of work, interests – all influencing and being influenced by each other as a result.
  5. I’m learning stuff – about the world and about me. I find it a real surprise that I can be the age I am and have missed out on so many things that I now realize I can do, I like or that make me laugh.

Can’t ask for much more than that, I reckon. Got to go – more deep fun beckons…

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2 thoughts on “Deep fun: How to find enjoyment in mundane or unpleasant activities

  1. You can probably understand why I’m commenting on this post. First, Deep Fun is the name of my site – one that I’ve had now for 20 years, can you believe it. Second, what you say about making things more fun for yourself is insightful and valuable. So I felt a little pat on the conceptual back of fellow-travelers would be appropriate.

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