About a month ago, I came to a stark realization: I wasn't really enjoying my life anymore and I hadn't been for a while.
There was a pretty straightforward reason why I had been feeling this way: I had been going through a major breakup. We had lived together for years, so it really shook me up on both an emotional and practical level. (I had to get my own Netflix account for the first time ever! They didn't know my viewing history! And also other, more legitimately upsetting things.)
But before that, I had already been grappling with a life that felt constrained and generally unsatisfying for the better part of a year. I spent some time trying to locate the source of the dissatisfaction, changing little things (tweaking my routines) and big ones (changing jobs). I made some headway but couldn't shake that general feeling of... blah.
Well, actually, until about a month ago, when I realized what the problem is: in all my attempts to take care of myself, I had forgotten about having FUN.
While I was still doing things I very much enjoy (friend dates, park hangs, potlucks, games nights), I realized that my life had shrunk down to a much smaller version of itself. I need to expand and shake things up. I needed to throw myself back into a life that's a little more spontaneous, a little less responsible, and a little more indulgent. (Honestly, those "littles" are not a coy way to undersell a new, hedonic life. I've still got a budget, a job, some form of dignity, and a cat that needs me to come home and take care of it - I'm not about to transform into a twenty-something on spring break.)
It turns out a good friend of mine was feeling the same way, and so we agreed that we were going to team up for a Summer of Fun!
So far this has entailed karaoke, 90s dance parties, beach days, an island getaway, and generally saying yes a little more often to things that keep me up past my bedtime. Upcoming is a three-day backpacking trip and then... who knows? Possibilities!
My only rule for Summer of Fun is no dating apps. (Dating apps are not Fun.) Otherwise, I simply prioritize things that seem fun as much as possible.
It. Is. Working.
Turns out, (surprise!) fun is an important part of life. And honestly, I think that those of us who are really into self-care and wellness forget that sometimes. Most self-care advice focusses on putting up boundaries, pampering yourself, getting rest, and tuning into your deeper self. This is all great, and it can also lead to a life that contracts in on itself if you take it too far. Fun matters!
With more fun in the mix, I feel freer. I feel more motivated to do some of the less-fun, but still necessary, parts of life, probably because my entire life doesn't feel like one giant laundry day. My life feels like it belongs to me again; it's a place I want to hang out.
What about you? You may have looked at my list of Fun Things I've Been Doing and cringed. Maybe they all sounded horrible to you. Well, what would your Summer of Fun look like? What fun-for-you things do you want to bring into your life?
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