06 July 2006

My Philosophy of Fun

Wednesday night at institute our stake president's wife said something that might have been a slip of the tongue--or just a poorly constructed sentence--which I can't stop thinking about. It went something like this: "Being single is a time to practice vital life skills and habits you will need when you get married, like eating right, exercising, self-discipline, following the commandments, and having fun."

Having fun as a life skill, huh? I like it. I think I'll have much more fun working on that than many of the others. :D More than a little dry humor there, but still it's set me thinking: is the ability to have fun a life skill?

I've come to the conclusion that yes, it probably is. It involves knowing when you are taking too much work on yourself (work-a-holics, this means you!) and being able to take time off to just do things that are fun. Yes, work can sometimes be fun--I'll admit I pretty much love writing English essays for school--but don't you think there is a difference between the fun you have enjoying your work and fun you have just having fun? When you start transforming your hobbies into work, they lose some of the element of fun. For instance, when I started knitting something as a wedding present for a friend, instead of just fooling around making stuff for me, knitting took on a new character--still fun, but sort of a burden at the same time. Somehow not as relaxing as before.

And that's the main thing about having fun, I think: relaxing. Fun is sort of like the sleep we can do while we're awake: you can be free from the constraints that every day life puts upon you and just have a good time, doing something for no other reason than because you enjoy it. Not to create a finished product, not to hone your skills, or learn things, or help others, or even to spend quality time with other people (which is a kind of work--at least if you are me). Just for fun. It's like CS Lewis and an essay I read at the Writing Center both said: what is the purpose of a sport? Not to win, but to have fun (which is why games get boring when people become too competitive).

It's the same reason I play video games, or ARGs, since that's what I'm into now: to do something that doesn't count. Unlike real life where the ending is crucial, there is (usually) no eternal consequence to a game. You can just do things without the pressure you feel in real life.

So get out there and have fun.

If you need a game to play, ask me for a copy of the rules I recently devised for a backwards scavenger hunt, inspired by the Zen Scavenger Hunt on Avant Game. We played it at FHE and it was one of the best activities I've had in a long time, and hilarious too. What's the key to world domination? Why, a plunger, of course!

And now I'm going to go run in the rain while the thunder is still going!

1 comment:

Marisa VanSkiver said...

It's true though, isn't it? Sometimes we forget to have fun with all the stresses of life. But honestly, we should be having the most fun now because we have little to worry about but ourselves. Why don't we enjoy ourselves more?