Finding Fun - How to have more fun in your life.

Finding Fun: Our Simple Story of Making More Time for Fun

How good are you at finding fun? 

Are you scheduled and routine? Or do you occasionally allow a sense of adventure to take over? Sadly, in our hustle and bustle world, a common answer to the question How are you? Is not I’m having fun, but I’m busy! Struggeling to keep up with the workload, much like a bad amature plate-spinner, is now a status symbol. For many people, it’s also the new norm.

Wierd, huh? 

Due to all of all this rushing around, some professionals feel like they are slowly sinking in quicksand. Others feel like they are being asked to swim the Atlantic Ocean—tonight! If you have ever found yourself caught up in the busyness trap then these thoughts on finding fun are for you. 

Confessions of a Recovering Workaholic

When it comes to finding fun, I must start with a confession. I have not mastered this. Pausing the drive to get more done is not easy for me. However, when I get things right, it’s wonderful. And, believe it or not, people who take breaks from work actually get more done. There are plenty of reasons to pause our frantic rushing around and enjoy life. The trick is to put them into practice. 

As you read our story of finding fun, know that I’m on this journey with you. Perhaps we can be recovering workaholics together. 

Our Story of Finding Fun

Today I woke up happy. My body aches. A lingering soreness extends from the bottom of my feet all the way into my shoulders. It’s a pleasant reminder of yesterday’s seven-mile hike, with Addison joyfully bouncing along in the baby-backpack behind me. Addison and I didn’t plan this adventure. It happened accidentally, one small piece at a time.

Jenny needed time to work, and Addison (our one-year-old) was in a particularly feisty mood. After chasing her around the house, trying my best to keep her out of mischief (baby gates and safety latches are only minor detours at this point), Addison and I decided it was time for a hike. I tossed the diaper bag and baby backpack into our minivan, kissed Jenny goodbye, and the two of us were off.

My plan was for a quick, mile-long hike up Double Peak Hill. However, before reaching the trail-head, I could tell this was not going to be fun. It was hot out. Hot enough that I could see waves of heat reflecting off the asphalt in the parking lot. Addison and I decided we would need to find a cooler place to hike.

To Find Fun Allow Adventure to Take Over

Driving down the opposite end of Double Peak, we caught a glimpse of the ocean. Sudenly, a sinse of adventure took over. Thirty minutes later, we parked and were on our way. Addison pointed, giggled, and smiled at complete strangers as we hiked along the shore. She is already very much an extrovert and eventually fell asleep.

I thought back to when I had hiked from Moonlight Beach to Carlsbad State Beach with my other two girls. A narrow beach between the ocean and bluffs spans the three-and-a-half mile stretch separating these two beaches. It makes for a gorgeous hike. I hadn’t planned on taking the full, seven-mile, round trip. In my mind, I was too out of shape. Plus, I hadn’t packed for it.

And most of all… there was so much work at home needing to get done.

To Find Fun, Get a Little Crazy

Perhaps the impulsive actions came from reading my friend Erik’s post on crazy fun earlier in the week. Maybe it was because I realized that Addison is growing up, and the days of hiking with her on my back will soon be over. It could have been because it was such a gorgeous day out or the draw of the beach itself. More than likely, it was the culmination of all of these things that kept us going.

To Find Fun, Keep Going

And this morning, I’m so glad that the two of us didn’t stop.

Nearly five hours after setting off for a quick walk, Addison and I returned home… hungry, exhausted, and happy.

finding fun
Addison and I, in the middle of our hiking adventure, having fun.

Our Need for Fun

Yesterday, I planned on getting more work done than I did. Instead, the adventure took over. It wasn’t an enormous adventure, but it was exhilarating nonetheless. I share this story with you because, as a therapist:

  • I’m good at teaching others about the importance of fun. William Glasser (the founder of choice theory and therapist I highly respect) lists fun as one of the five basic human needs. And intellectually, I know the enormous value of finding fun.
  • I excel at encouraging the students and families that I work with to practice good self-care.
  • I talk about fun, write about fun, and expound on its importance in the college courses I teach.

Yet, I can also be guilty of failing to follow my own advice. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” Perhaps James observed other teachers giving advice that they weren’t following themselves. Or, maybe, James is a lot like me. Perhaps James recognized his own tendency to forget that knowing what we should do, isn’t the same as doing it.

Having Fun 3

Either way, I love this Scripture. James 1:22 is permission to pause from the hustle and bustle of life to take time for the things we know we should be doing. Knowing is good, but taking action is better! Yesterday was an excellent reminder that it’s perfectly okay to pause from the teaching to participate in the doing.

Knowing is good, but taking action is better! Click To Tweet

Being Product vs. Finding Fun

If your still not convinced of the importance of having fun, you may want to check out one of the articles below. I’ve seen numerous posts on the connection between happiness, rest, fun, and increase productivity lately. However, due to my busy schedule and personal difficulty in slowing down, I’ve been intentionally avoiding them 🙂 However, they really are worth the read!

The research is in. Those who make time for fun, accomplish more! Click To Tweet

Diving Deeper into Finding Fun

Now it’s your turn. How good are you at finding fun? Use the questions below for further reflection and discussion.

  • Have you ever found yourself caught up in the busyness trap? Are you in it right now?
  • What advice would you give to someone who is too rushed and stressed to find fun?
  • Is there advice you give to others that you need to practice yourself?
  • When was the last time you let a sense of adventure take over? What happened next?
  • Who are the people in your life who excel at finding fun?
  • What will you do to embrace adventure today?

I look forward to continuing the conversation in the comments below. I wish you a week filled with fun, happiness, and an abundance of adventure! 

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

8 thoughts on “Finding Fun: Our Simple Story of Making More Time for Fun”

  1. Love this one, Jed! And that picture of you and Addison – that look on her face! Worth every second of that hike, if only for capturing that.

    I, too, took a long beach walk this past weekend, after having written that post. I left at 11:00 PM, deciding to follow a whim. I ran my hand through the sand to watch the scintillation of the phosphorescent algae. I waded out to a sand bar and splashed until my clothes were wet. I explored every shadowy form. I was out too late – but as you discovered, it was not time lost. It was something else gained. It was good for my soul.

    1. Thanks Erik,

      It really was a fun day. It sounds like you had a blast too! On nights the beach is filled with phosphorescent algae, I could watch the waves crash forever. It is incredible. It must come at different levels too, Yes? Because sometimes I’ll see just a hint of the green glow, and on rare occasions, it’s really strong.

      I didn’t know that September is the time of year for it. I’m hardly ever at the beach after sunset, but now that I know, Jenny and I may have to see if we can plan a date night later in the evening 🙂

  2. Thanks for the post, Jed. I read Erik’s post too, and now have both of you reminding me of my need to break the routine and play more.

    Here’s a fun moment from this last week.

    I had stepped outside to walk for a few minutes after eating my breakfast and listen to part of a podcast. That’s my routine.

    My wife Tami stepped out of the barn where she was cleaning up after our goats. She called out to me to come and play with our 3 month old buckling Romeo. He was feeling rambunctious, running and jumping around the barnyard. So, I paused the podcast I’d started, went into the barnyard and chased Romeo. Then I’d turn and let him chase me. He’d rear up on his hind legs and playfully head-butt my shins. We played for about 10 minutes until he was panting and tired.

  3. Great post Jed. I will tell you I like to have fun everyday but fail some days. Whether it’s dancing to a song on a cartoon with the kids or flipping them around or acting silly running about the house we get something in but not as much as I’d like or should.

    Your story reminds me of my three day hike with my 11 year old son this summer. I also did a few hikes with my two year old son like you did with a baby carrier like yours. These are great times to bond and work on 1-on-1 relationships. We forget the family is a unit of individuals who have unique relationships with each person of the unit. Those relationships have needs and require nurturing.

    1. I love the pictures you paint of the fun times with your kids. And it’s such a good point. It really is amazing how much joy that joining in these silly activities with our kids can bring, when we are willing to let down our defenses and join in the fun 🙂

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