My father-in-law lost his fight to cancer earlier this year. The end was difficult and all-consuming.
But, what truly surprised us were the drastic changes we saw in our older kids with the passing of their grandpa.
They fought with us constantly, exploding in anger. And they had trouble focusing. We often had to tell them five or six times to do ONE thing. Our days were filled with tension and conflict months after his passing. And it was exhausting.
We tried everything. We took away screen time. We incorporated rewards. We doled out praise every moment we could. And yet nothing worked. We couldn’t seem to get our kids back.
Finally, one night, I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time we did something fun. Our lives had been so heavy that we had stopped making room for lightheartedness and play.
Perhaps our kids had noticed too?
So, starting from that moment, my husband and I made a commitment to tickle, joke, and bring back devoted family time.
Within days, we noticed an 80% change in the kids. Within weeks, they were back to their regular behavior.
The transformation was quite shocking. And it was a humble lesson in how important play is – even when life is hard. Even when you are sad.
We learned that:
Life’s too short to take things too seriously.
And we have to be able to smile through the rain.
My kids instinctively knew this…and it took us adults a little longer to figure out.
It’s just one more reason PLAY is SO POWERFUL.
So, what about you? What kind of fun are you intentionally adding to your life?
And if you are wondering what “fun” is to you, perhaps it’s time to address a different question…
HOW do you have MORE fun?
In our world, worries and anxieties seem to be always present. And frankly, life is messy. Having fun isn’t as easy as it used to be.
That’s why I’m sharing my personal “Fun & Beauty” List from my journal. I wrote it months ago, and I have it bookmarked so that I look at it when planning my week.
It has helped me include more lightheartedness into my weeks lately. I hope it gives you ideas too!
My Fun & Beauty List
- Nature walks
- Good movies
- Sitting by the fireplace or fire pit
- Checking something off of my life bucket list
- Working at a coffee shop or on my deck
- Walks with friends
- Family traditions
- Tickling my kids
- Doing fun things on birthdays
- Eating excellent food or wine (or eating from a new restaurant)
- Family bike rides
- Family questions and games
- Date night
- Vacations (or weekend getaways) to beautiful natural places (mountains, beach, camping)
Your idea of fun will be different than mine, but if you struggle with play or inspiration in your life, I challenge you to make your own list today!
Here are additional ideas that you may consider:
- Art galleries
- Coffee dates with your partner or friends
- Field trips with your kids
- Playing sports
- Making a vision board
- Road trips
- Spa days or massages
- Fun classes (sip and paint, cooking, etc.)
- Going to the pool
- Taking pictures
- Cuddling with your kids or fur babies
- Being near water
- Bubble baths
- Drinks with coworkers
- Nature hikes or bike rides
One thing is for sure, you’ll never regret ENJOYING your life a little bit more. So, what does it hurt to incorporate more fun into your life? Chances are your relationships will improve, your health will elevate, and your heart will soar. Now, it’s that the best way to live.