#5. Be Serious About Play

To catch up, scroll down to My Happiness Project in my archives.

The subgroups in the Be Serious About Play topic, from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, are:
* Find more fun
* Take time to be silly
* Go off the path
* Start a collection

“One way to feel good is to make time for play–which researchers define as an activity that’s very satisfying, has no economic significance, doesn’t create social harm, and doesn’t necessarily lead to praise or recognition.”
When it comes to “fun” & “play,” I, like Gretchen, tend to “stick to the familiar.” I usually do things I already know how to do or have done before. I’ll admit I don’t normally like to go out of my comfort zone.

[*Note: I am citing from Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. The following are my own thoughts based on what I read in her book. I am in no way taking credit for her research, writing, creativity, and opinions.]
Find more fun.
Not to sound like a PSA, but are you someone who does a lot of activities that you realize you don’t enjoy? (Okay, that totally sounded like a PSA–sorry!) My problem is that normally I’d rather do more quiet activities, whether it be by myself or with someone else. Don’t get me wrong though–I do enjoy things like water activities (when it’s not cold!) and having game nights. However, my idea of fun doesn’t involve going to a club until all hours of the night and getting obliterated like other people my age. Sometimes I wish I wanted to stay out later and have a drink, but it’s just not me. Even in college… I lived in my sorority house for two years and given the option I would rather stay in then go out to the local bars. Of course I did once in a blue moon, but I was pretty studious and would get paranoid that if I went out I’d be too hungover for class the next day. Looking back though, I wish I would have gone out more. So what if I was tired the next day? But, I can’t think, “I wish.” That won’t get me anywhere. I can only look forward. Gretchen tells it perfectly: “I need to acknowledge to myself what I enjoyed, not what I ‘wished’ I enjoyed.” I need to take this advice, but I must admit it saddens me a little to think I won’t ever be one of those people that live in New York, or sporadically jump on the next flight to who-knows-where. I wish I could be different than I am sometimes. A great quote by an unknown blogger: “I can DO ANYTHING I want, but I can’t DO EVERYTHING I want.” So true. I must accept that some things I want to do just aren’t going to happen. And I’m okay with that. Sometimes.

Take time to be silly.
“Taking the time to be silly means that we’re infecting one another with good cheer, and people who enjoy silliness are one third more likely to be happy.” If you know me personally, you know that I can be pretty silly, although I’m shy at first. B probably knows this the best. I’m constantly doing silly things, and he’s pretty good at it, too.

Go off the path.
Oh boy. Something I’m terrible at! Like I said before, I like to stick with the familiar. But Gretchen suggests doing things that would put you in unexpected scenes and situations, as well as new people. Honestly, I’m not really sure how I can do this. I’ll get back to you on this one. And I’m open to any ideas!

Start a collection.
Gretchen asked a lot of bloggers if they collected anything. They collected things from Barbies, birds, vintage items, etc. Personally, I don’t college anything. Never have, really. I don’t like a lot of clutter. I don’t see how collecting anything could make me happy. I understand it’s the “chase” for some people, or the sharing with a family member, but to me, it’s just a lot of “stuff” around the house. 

So, to sum it up, I’m trying to accept that other people’s ideas of “fun” aren’t necessarily my idea of fun (and vice versa). I’m going to continue being silly because it makes me happy, and next time I have the opportunity to go off the path I’m going to take it!

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4 Replies to “#5. Be Serious About Play”

  1. Great post!!! I am definitely going to check out this book and think about these topics! I totally identify with your "find more fun" section. Sometimes I waste too much time thinking about what I could have done, or what might have been really fun, but I need to just put that aside and focus on what the future has in store for me 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Awesome post!

    Going off the path can be so frightening – but some of my best memories and most rewarding experiences have come from doing just that! I applaud your efforts with trying this though! Good for you!

  3. I hope the concert was fun! I also like to be crazy and do fun things. I think I have yet to see the true crazy/silly side of you. Although, I haven't known you long and I'm shy at first too…mainly because I don't want people to think I'm a weirdo. 🙂

    Anyway, I could not agree more with you about collecting things! I HATE clutter. What about collecting shoes or jeans or something? Does that count?

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