In Others’ Word: Choosing Fun

My daughter, Katie Beth, nails her husband, Nate, during a recent family water battle!

“When you stop doing things for fun, you might as well be dead.”
Earnest Hemingway (1899-1961), American author & journalist

Sometimes I forget to have fun.

Does that ever happen to you?

I get so caught up in the business — also known as “busyness” — of life, that I can’t be bothered with something as silly as fun.

I’ll be all focused on accomplishing this, that, and the other thing … and then I’ll look up from my hot pursuit of the “To Do” list and think, “When was the last time I relaxed and had a good old fashioned belly laugh?”

Here’s the thing I’ve learned: Sometimes fun is spontaneous. And sometimes you have to plan fun into your life — do things for fun. Intentionally.

Fun for me looks like:

  1. sitting on the couch and watching black and white episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke” show with my 11-year-old daughter
  2. game nights with family — and friends too! Favorites: Settlers of Catan, Quelf, Scotland Yard (And I usually don’t win.)
  3. backyard water gun battles — oh, yeah!
  4. learning to make sushi, thanks to my precious daughter-in-love, Jenelle, who didn’t mind my somewhat squashed rolls
  5. date nights with my husband

My daughter, Amy, enjoys the backyard water battle.

In Your Words: Check your pulse for me, will you? Are you alive? What’s the last thing you did just for fun? What’s one of your favorite fun things to do?


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45 Comments

  1. Bernadette DesChamps
    September 28, 2012, 2:36 am   /  Reply

    I’m with Earnest! Love that quote! I am very much alive & fun-loving!

    Last thing I did for fun & for love: Yesterday, brought a young mom friend a replacement latte for the full one that she totally spilled on her front porch…nooooo! Then hung out with her, her 18 month old son, and another young friend. Lots of laughter, stories, and goofing with the little guy.

    Favorite fun thing: Hanging out at a coffee shop with someone I love.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:25 am   /  Reply

      What a great friend you are, Bernadette!

  2. Teresa R
    September 28, 2012, 4:57 am   /  Reply

    The last thing I did just for fun was to watch recorded programs on tv while holding hands with my husband.
    One of my favorite fun things to do is coloring in a coloring book

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:26 am   /  Reply

      Teresa:
      Ya know, I was never all that into coloring … but I still buy coloring books for my 20-something daughters.
      🙂

  3. September 28, 2012, 5:31 am   /  Reply

    Fun! I plan to have me some this weekend–starting with birthday celebration tonight and a trip to the apple orchard tomorrow. I have to say, too, that even though at times I kinda (REALLY!) struggle with balancing my day job with my dream pursuit, I am blessed with amazingly fun coworkers. Even on those days when I’m in spreadsheet purgatory, they always make me laugh for one reason or another.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:26 am   /  Reply

      I hope you have loads of birthday fun, Melissa, and feel thoroughly celebrated!

  4. September 28, 2012, 6:27 am   /  Reply

    What a wakeup call! As I pondered the last time I did something just for fun, I had to go back a year. Ooooh, not good. Now, I have downtime every day, but that’s just chillin’. Sooo, this weekend, I’m going to take off and go to the lake. Maybe. I hope.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:27 am   /  Reply

      Do it. Do it. Do. It.

  5. September 28, 2012, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    My days are filled with fun….when you’re surrounded by small children, it’s hard not to have fun together. I love hanging out and laughing with friends while we craft. I love family nights while we watch movies together. I love seeing writing friends and knowing they get me.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:28 am   /  Reply

      Ah, the Little Darlings. I know they add a whole other level of “fun” to your life, LJ.

  6. September 28, 2012, 7:22 am   /  Reply

    I seriously try to do something for fun every day. And even if I don’t try…fun just seems to happen. 🙂

    • September 28, 2012, 8:25 am   /  Reply

      Jessica – I can’t imagine being with you and NOT having fun just happen! 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:28 am   /  Reply

      I can believe it, Jess. Love your giggle.

  7. Jeanne
    September 28, 2012, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    I have to infuse more fun into my days. With this busy post ACFW week, there hasn’t been much of that “f” word in my days. My pulse is definitely running slow. 🙂

    Things I enjoy doing for fun:
    ~A tickle fest with one of my kiddos
    ~Game/Movie night with the fam
    ~Coffee with friends
    ~Getting outside and hiking or doing some other activity
    ~Scrapbooking
    There are others, but they’re not coming to mind right now. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:28 am   /  Reply

      I understand the whole post-ACFW “Where’s the fun?” reality, Jeanne.

  8. Amy Leigh Simpson
    September 28, 2012, 8:13 am   /  Reply

    Love this post! I’m big on fun! Whether it is doing some disastrous craft with my kiddos or just heading out to the park…I hate for my days to be stagnant. Easy to have fun with kids!

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:29 am   /  Reply

      Amy,
      Confession: I was always afraid my kiddos would grow up and tell me they were bored, bored, bored when they were little. Motherhood pushed me to go find the fun!

  9. September 28, 2012, 8:28 am   /  Reply

    I love to have fun – and when there are two year old twins running around the house, it seems like fun isn’t too far behind (neither are messes, but having fun usually involves making a mess!). Tonight I’m having my MOPS group over for a “Welcome” event to kick off the MOPS year. We’re having a fire down by the river and there will be s’mores and hot chocolate! It will be so much fun – I wish you could join us! 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:30 am   /  Reply

      Oh, I wish I could join you too, Gabrielle. I do, I do!

  10. September 28, 2012, 8:33 am   /  Reply

    Great reminder, Beth!

    We purposely have a weekly Family Night just so that we don’t ‘forget’ to have fun with the most important people in our lives. We play games, watch a movie, talk about life, etc.

    I’ve told you about this before, Beth, but thought I’d share because it was so much fun this last week! We have a weekly gathering of young people in our home who just need a ‘home-like’ place to come to. We do much the same as we do on Family Night, but on a much larger scale. It’s not always fun doing all the prep, but it always ends up being wonderful. Last weekend we celebrated the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit with a HUGE breakfast-for-dinner, the menu consisting of everything from Bilbo Baggins’ larder at the beginning of the book, even pork pie and cold chicken! Then we watched the terrible old animated version of The Hobbit. What fun!

    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Becky

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:30 am   /  Reply

      I love, love, love this!
      And yes, sometimes fun is an effort — but it is so, so worth it!

  11. September 28, 2012, 8:38 am   /  Reply

    I try to remind myself daily that attitude is everything, that even mundane things can be fun if we adjust our attitude : ) One thing that fits into that category for me is coming up with a new and easy-to-prepare recipe to spice up our dinner menus. Fun is also a walk in the park–or even the backyard, an extended hug with one of my dogs, and “date night” with my DH.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:31 am   /  Reply

      Kathy:
      One of my funn-est things to do lately: Watch our new puppy explore life. Simple and fun.

  12. September 28, 2012, 8:48 am   /  Reply

    Making sushi–there’s a good one. I have made seaweed rolls (better than they sound) probably actually in sushi category, should do again. Probably my most fun project is traveling and I’m blessed to do that right now, writing this from beautiful Kona, Hawaii 🙂 Aloha

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      OK: Everyone agree that Dee is having the most exotic fun right now?
      🙂

    • Jeanne
      September 28, 2012, 1:34 pm   /  Reply

      Kona! Enjoy the tropics, Dee! I learned to make sushi with my MIL. Yes, Dee is having the most fun right now. 🙂

  13. September 28, 2012, 9:26 am   /  Reply

    Like you, I can get so focused on something that I get stressed out and forget to have fun.

    Something fun I did this week was just sit outside with my husband and laugh at the new puppy. 😛

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      Puppy = fun.
      😉

  14. September 28, 2012, 9:45 am   /  Reply

    I always need a reminder to have fun, Beth. I don’t know if we’re twins in this, but I’m a task-focused freak. Not to be confused with an actual productive person. Or stinkin overachiever, which I secretly despise.

    Yes, I have to put “have fun” on the to-do list, and then actually do it. (And no, I don’t “mark it off.” I’m not THAT neurotic.) Lately, since my daughter was planning a wedding most of the year and I was told I couldn’t stay in my writing cave all year and write a new book, I’ve been “out there” with the funny, friendly family folk and enjoying their company and yes, even laughing and having fun.

    Sadly—and I am in recovery for this—I have to have my arm twisted and my wrist handcuffed to some brave but well-meaning soul in order to pull my tunnel focus off whatever task I’m on. (Be careful, this isn’t a safe thing for an amateur to attempt). And unfortunately, novel writing takes a long time, which means I can be tunnel-focused for months. So I have my daughter to thank for this year in which I’ve been reminded that I have a lovely family and friends, that fun is fun, and real life is as good as fiction.

    Almost. 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder, Beth.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:33 am   /  Reply

      Oh, Camille … I just love you. And I love your view of life. And I love the way you weave words together.
      I do.

  15. September 28, 2012, 9:49 am   /  Reply

    This morning my big brother called from Northern BC. It’s a 4 hour time difference and he’s on a job site doing the night shift. So he got me when he was loopy and over tired. I laughed so hard I was crying.
    He used to do stand-up comedy in Vancouver. He is truly the funniest person I know. If I need to laugh, I call him.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:33 am   /  Reply

      What’s your brother’s number, Jennifer?

    • Jeanne
      September 28, 2012, 1:35 pm   /  Reply

      I guess you guys both inherited the funny gene. I’ve ready many of your comments that leave me laughing and my kids saying, “What?” They’re nosy that way. 🙂

  16. September 28, 2012, 9:59 am   /  Reply

    Beth, a good reminder. It’s too easy to get caught up in day to day life and forget to have fun. Since my husband and I are both musicians, we enjoy going to concerts together. Two this summer were so enjoyable – one an evening concert on the river, another a Jazz Fest at Lake George. We pulled our lawn chairs down to the beach, sat right by the water, watching the boats drift by with easy jazz in the background. Lovely : )
    Other fun plans – visits with friends to a local tearoom, going to a fall festival with tons of apples, hot cider and fresh apple cider donuts, connecting with some new writer friends.
    Thanks for helping me plan for more fun!

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:34 am   /  Reply

      Music … lovely.
      And fun.
      One of the fun things my husband and I do is we go to Broadway musicals with another couple. Love doing this. Then we go to dinner afterward. All dressed up and having fun.

  17. September 28, 2012, 10:13 am   /  Reply

    I had oodles of fun hanging out with friends like you at the ACFW conference last week, Beth. I’m looking forward to taking a long walk with Gwynly this weekend. That will be fun, too.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:35 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Keli. Agreed.

  18. September 28, 2012, 10:37 am   /  Reply

    This is so appropriate for me today, Beth. Since I’m between two big writing trips (and so blessed to go on them!), I’ve been feeling like I need to step away from the computer this weekend and hang out with my family. Looks like the zoo is on our agenda tomorrow. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:35 am   /  Reply

      The zoo! Great fun. Haven’t been all summer. Need to do that.

  19. September 28, 2012, 10:53 am   /  Reply

    I love your examples of fun, Beth, because some people tend to confuse adventure with fun. Fun is whatever makes you smile/laugh and unwind. For me, that was the ACFW conference! It was such a blast meeting and hugging fellow writers, pray with/for them for appointments, and cheer like a fool when friends won awards. FUN!!

    • Beth Vogt
      September 28, 2012, 11:36 am   /  Reply

      Adventure can be fun, absolutely.
      But fun can be as close as your backyard too.

  20. September 28, 2012, 11:55 am   /  Reply

    I’m looking forward to a visit home to Ohio. Fun will be dropping into crunchy piles of leaves, stealing sweet, cinnamon apple slices out of the filling before my mom can get the top crust on the pie…and doing some serious jack o’ lantern carving. Love those fancy kits. Love, love, love the fall.

  21. September 28, 2012, 2:54 pm   /  Reply

    I don’t know where the Bradleu came from…or maybe I do. Seems like the only way to change it is to add another comment. 😉

  22. September 28, 2012, 9:13 pm   /  Reply

    Adopted a puppy last week and she insists on playing every evening. It’s great to have a four-legged creature around the house again, just for fun. (”’) (”’) Our kids both have dogs too so it’s fun for the “cousins” to get together. Also, our family likes to play Cranium and go out for a round of putt putt golf.

    Always looking for fun suggestions so I’m reading the comments above. Beth, thanks for the reminder about how important it is to play!

  23. Ganise
    September 29, 2012, 2:17 pm   /  Reply

    Praise the Lord and Hallelujah, Beth. I couldn’t agree more!!
    SOO glad to see these family pics of yours.
    I do forget to have fun.. many times! Because there’s always a list of things or something… just like you’ve said in the beginning.

    So what do I consider fun??

    – God!
    – Reading!
    – Laughing.
    – Little kids
    – Good food
    – Oh and I’m considering giving cinema a chance! It’s been a LONG time since I last saw a movie. *Sigh*

    Thanks Beth! Your post are always interesting and fun 😉

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