Things That Make My Day

Playtime for You and for Me

Source: Flickr user terren in Virginia

Today, I followed a little blog-chain that took me from the Happiness Project blog to a link at the SHU Box blog on fun and play. Sarah over at the SHU Box decided to list some activities that, for her, are pure fun. The exercise is all about knowing that what is fun for you does not have to be fun for someone else and vice versa. She invited commenters to share their fun lists, and I thought, Hey, I’ll just steal her idea and write my own blog post on the topic. And of course, I’ve linked back to her and I’m going to go share a link in her comments after I post this.

Sarah split her list in two, listing the things she found to be purely fun when she was a child and those she finds fun now, which I think is an interesting way to look at it. So I’m going to do the same. Here we go!

Fun Things from My Childhood

  • Reading, pretty much anything, from fantasy and sci-fi to mysteries to the Babysitters Club and beyond
  • Swinging. I was never a very athletic kid, but I did love to pump my legs on the swings and get as high as I could go.
  • Playing pretend – particular favorites involved Barbies and My Little Ponies but also Restaurant (using Frisbees piled high with weeds for plates of salad), Horses (where we would pretend we owned and rode and showed horses, clip-clopping around the yard with pretend reins in our hands), and T-Shirt Factory (my sister and I would sit on our swingset and pretend we got orders for t-shirts to be printed with stuff on them, and we ran our t-shirt shop as a joint business)
  • Board and card games. My great-aunt Opal would usually play rummy with me, and my Grandma would play Clue and Parcheesi and just about any other game I wanted.
  • Watching cartoons, a love that lasted long past childhood.
  • Watching movies. I can’t even begin to guess how many times my sister and I watched Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, and Back to the Future.
  • Going to the pool. There can’t be many kids who didn’t love splashing around a pool with a bunch of other kids on a hot summer day.

I did other things that I liked, that I’m glad I did – things like piano lessons and Girl Scouts and summer tennis league – but if I had been allowed to make my own schedule as a kid, it probably would have only involved the above things. And I never enjoyed sports other than tennis very much, not even the “fun” playground games like kickball and dodgeball.

Fun Things Now

  • Reading. Still love to read all kinds of books, though I have always had a proclivity for fiction rather than nonfiction.
  • Board and card games. Fortunately I married a man who also likes to play games 🙂
  • Sleeping. That may sound ridiculous, but I love waking up, as I did this morning, at 10:30 am, having had no need for an alarm clock, aware that the rest of the house is already up and moving.
  • Social networking. I’ll admit it, I’m a junkie. I love keeping up with email and Facebook and Twitter and my RSS reader and, most recently, Google+. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, and I take a break for anywhere from a day to a week, ignoring everything that happened in my absence and start fresh when I’m ready to come back and play. But mostly, I enjoy being connected and keeping up with folks and learning new things in this way.
  • Going to the movies (a bit more so than just watching movies, which has become a little mundane in these days of easy access).
  • Eating good food and drinking good wine – the simplest of life’s pleasures (and probably why I have a hard time losing weight!).
  • Riding roller coasters and other exciting rides. I think this is connected to the high, high swinging of my childhood – I’ve always been a person who likes heights, and the rides are my preferred way to achieve an adrenaline rush.
  • Traveling – I like to see new places and try new restaurants. I like planning trips. I don’t even mind most of the inconveniences of travel that seem to bother most people – airports still hold a little bit of magic for me.

I still don’t enjoy sports, though if I’m going to be active, tennis or walking are the preferred activities. I might add playing piano to this list if we had a piano to play, which I hope we will someday…but right now we don’t, so I can’t say that. It’s interesting to me how many things that I find fun have stayed the same from childhood into adulthood.

What about you guys? What kinds of things do you find fun – especially if others don’t tend to – or find NOT fun – especially if most others do seem to enjoy whatever it is?

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4 thoughts on “Playtime for You and for Me

  1. For some reason, I can’t remember much of what I found fun when I was a kid, beyond reading, which I did LOTS of.

    I do remember thinking that gardening and exercise were most definitely NOT fun, but now they’re among my favorite things to do. I also still read a lot and I also write a lot. I’m definitely addicted to social media, particularly Facebook, and love seeing what my friends are up to.

  2. Fun Then:
    1. Definitely reading. Reading all day.
    2. Swimming, for sure.
    3. Playing Smurfs. Kings Dominion used to sell Smurf figurines. My sister, cousin, and I had a HUGE collection of them. We’d build these elaborate towns out of Fisher Price sets and other stuff and then set our Smurfs loose. They were highly evolved Smurfs. No mushrooms houses in the woods for these dudes.
    4. OMG! LEGOS!!!!!!!! I cannot wait until Jobot is old enough to play with Legos!
    5. Staying up all night during the summer. I remember sometimes going to bed when my parents were just waking up to start the day.
    6. Writing stories and books. The inner critic was not yet born, so writing was awesome!
    7. Barbies. Barbies are wonderful and did not affect my self-esteem (Seventeen magazine is another story though). In inner-critic is asking, “Should that be ‘affect’ or ‘effect’?” The librarian in me is too lazy to look it up.

    I think back often to my unstructured childhood and the relaxed pace of summertime. Those were good years.

    Fun Now:
    1. Hanging out with Jobot. Reading stories to him. Playing hide & seek. Chasing geese in the park. Making him laugh (which in turn makes me laugh). All of that stuff.
    2. Before having a kid, there was nothing I liked better than going to a bar with Will and/or friends and having several beers. We basically sat around for hours and talked. Always great conversations and fun. But pricey and irresponsible now that we’ve spawned.
    3. Reading. I’d love to be able to read all day. I have a hard time finishing a book these days.
    4. Friends. I take great pleasure in the time spent with friends.
    5. I could give two s**** about organized sports, but I like running. And I really like this challenging fitness class that I’m taking. I take some pride and pleasure in monitoring my increased strength. It’s impressive to see what the machine can do.

    1. Ooooh, Smurfs! I had a bunch of those Smurf figures too…in fact, they’re still at my mom’s house; my niece plays with them. I wish I enjoyed making my body strong more than I do. I’m always glad I did something after, but I have a hard time motivating myself to begin.

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