I once read a blog post a long time ago (and of course, I can’t for the life of me remember where) that people tend to fall between two tendencies—the tendency to favor work, or the tendency to favor play. For those who favor play, it’s best that their to-do list comprises items that they need to do for work, so as to balance out their natural tendency to want to have fun. For those who favor work, however, it’s actually more important to plan for fun and activity and spontaneity, since people who lean towards being more productive tend to get the work done anyway.
I am definitely one who leans more towards work—I have a hard time just relaxing and doing nothing, and I loooooooove to make long lists of productive tasks I want to get done (just so I can have the satisfaction of checking them off one by one by one).
While I’ll probably never give up my traditional to-do lists, I DO acknowledge the importance for me of planning for fun. For some people, fun and play come as naturally as breathing, but since I usually favor productivity if I have any pockets of spare time, it’s important for me to create some balance in my life by literally putting fun stuff on my to-do list.
I kind of put all this together by accident, over several years of experiences that taught me that this is just how I am. Various tragedies and hard circumstances taught me to value the people in my life while I still have them and to appreciate each day for its small but special moments, and many years of experiences setting goals and resolutions and making to-do lists have shown me that I tend to favor making myself needlessly busy rather than slowing down and enjoying.
This is one reason why last year, as part of my new year’s resolutions, I set apart a whole category devoted just to “pleasures.” While it is all too telling that many of those resolutions in that particular category went unfinished or only partially completed, one of them has stuck with me since its inception in January 2016, and that’s the resolution of having a monthly “day adventure.”
Day adventures don’t have to cost money or be something super elaborate, but they do have to be intentional, planned activities (preferably something we’ve never done before) that will be fun for everyone and that will help us to create positive, joyful memories together as a family. Very often, we will invite other people along with us to our day activities, which only increases the pleasure that we take in them.
This particular day adventure–a trip to the aquarium last Saturday–has been in the works for months, actually. For Christmas, by delightful chance, we gifted my in-laws a trip to the aquarium (when we would take Raven for the first time), and they gifted us tickets to the same. Originally, we had planned for the trip to happen back in January, but on the very weekend we were supposed to go, Matt’s dad ended up in the ER in life-threatening circumstances, and we had to postpone the trip indefinitely.
Last Saturday, we were finally able to go.
Every month, it takes energy and effort and planning upfront for our day adventures, and it often requires coordinating with other people’s schedules and planning out our budget more carefully and moving around our regular schedule with Raven. But one thing that I have no doubt about is that it’s always, ALWAYS worth it.
I’m so grateful we were able to finally make this excursion happen, especially in the light of everything that’s happened (and I’m glad that Raven really seemed to enjoy herself for 85% of it, at least until she got really, really tired from her skipped naptime). Creating these kinds of memories is really what I want our lives to be all about.
And now, I’m feeling all sorts of excited because we actually have our next TWO day adventures already all planned out 🙂
Are you one who easily takes the time to have fun without thinking about it? Or do you need to plan it in for it to happen (like me)?