Chasing Childlike Wonder: Go ahead, have some fun.

Growing up, my family has always had a habit of pointing out personality traits in others; thanks, Aunt Betty, I would have never known I was sensitive if you hadn’t told me 14 Thanksgivings in a row. But after 40+ years, I’ve grown to accept it, and most of the time, what is said doesn’t bother me.

Except for my lack of follow-through.

For some reason, this trait has always bothered me. Not because I let other people down, which I do at times, but more because 90% of the time, it’s myself I’m letting down.

A couple of years ago while golfing with my husband and a friend, my husband made the off-handed comment that my friend lacked commitment to her swing, and I lacked follow-through. And while he knows me well, I don’t think my husband realized at the time just how much that statement rings true.

I am great at throwing myself at things with little thought for the next step. Unfortunately, next steps are usually required, and those — the follow-through — always end up being my downfall. But hey, the first step is acknowledging the problem, right?

Enter the Chasing the Fun challenge.

My friend from the golfing story needed to find fun again in her daily life, and while I didn’t have any problem finding fun, I could definitely use a little practice at finishing something I started.

So, that’s how we began a 100-day challenge called “Chase the fun: 100 days to discover fun right where you are.”

The premise of the challenge is to incorporate one thing daily that brings childlike wonder into your life while also connecting to the reason why those things were fun and why you no longer do them. A mix of good times and introspection, if you will.

Sounds fun, right?

Yeah, it probably would be, except that I didn’t follow through.

Don’t get me wrong — I’ve had fun. In fact, the past few months have been exactly the fun and reprieve I’ve needed after a very long 2020 and 2021.

I’ve sung at the top of my lungs with the sunroof open on the way to work.

I’ve had unplanned happy hours and spontaneous weekend getaways with friends.

I’ve even made it to week seven on a couch-to-5k program (ha, take that, follow-through).

But have I faithfully shared my fun with my friend/accountability partner? Nope. Have I made it past page four of the devotional that accompanies the challenge? Nope. In fact, I’m not even sure where the book is.

But I have learned.

I’ve learned structured challenges aren’t for me — they don’t inspire childlike wonder in my soul, and I don’t get a sense of accomplishment from completing them. But, I do tend to instinctively find fun in each day.

I’ve learned fun can be simple. It doesn’t have to be elaborate trips or things that are on the calendar for months.

I’ve learned ice cream is always a good idea, and it’s OK if you skip cooking what’s in your fridge and say yes to dinner out with friends or your spouse.

I’ve learned it’s OK to let things that don’t involve you pass you by, and that sometimes, not doing something is more fun than doing everything.

And, I’ve learned I still need to work on learning follow-through.    

 

Want to do your own 100-day fun challenge? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

-Hit the playground and fly high on the swings.

-Order something random off the menu at dinner.

-Be an artist for the day with the help of a foolproof paint-by-numbers kit.

-Purchase beautiful stationery or create your own and send someone a letter via snail mail.

-Organize a friends or family field day full of your favorite field-day games such as three-legged races, rug-of-ware competitions, water balloon fights and obstacle courses.

-Have a dance party.

-Enjoy a food you used to love as a kid but don’t usually eat as an adult.

-Hula hoop.

-Host a themed party that is out of the ordinary, such as a murder mystery or a DIY pizza night.

-Attend a local event you’ve never been to before.

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