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  • Shonleigh Draper

Is it just me, or is everyone else having more fun than I am right now?

So i've been thinking a lot about the topic and idea of "fun" and "joy" lately.

It feels like everywhere I look, everyone is talking about the fun they are having, the fun activities they are doing, the fun hobby they love doing each week, the fun time they had on the weekend doing XYZ. It feels like everyone BUT me is having oodles of fun each and every day so now i’m on a serious mission to figure out “What do I do for fun?” 😅

Now listen I know that sounds kinda dramatic because I am a super happy, fun-loving and relatively positive person at my core, but that doesn't mean that I can't feel as though i’m lacking some serious fun in my life right now and I wanna bring the fun back (not joy, I have plenty of joy, just fun!). It also doesn’t help that i’m probably comparing my day job (that I actually really love) to Sally’s dreamy travel blogger job that see’s her gallivanting across the globe each week that she has so much FUN doing. I’d love to be Sally having this much fun each week but i’ll never be Sally, i’ll always be Shonleigh, so I need to find her version of fun wherever I can. Are you picking up what i’m putting down here?

And on that note, just to throw a curveball into the mix, is the ‘fun’ people are having and posting about all over social media REALLY the fun they’re having in real-life or is it a word we throw around loosely but don’t actually feel in the moment or really understand the meaning of? Are we replacing #blessed with #somuchfun because fun is what we WANT to have because it feels good, but aren’t really experiencing in that moment? Is it that we’ve simply lost this childlike playfulness part of ourselves as adults and we don’t know what to do for fun anymore?

I turned to my trusty can’t-live-without-her sidekick Google last week and looked up "What's the difference between fun and joy" and this is what she presented me with:

JOY IS A FEELING OF EXTREME HAPPINESS OR CHEERFULNESS, ESPECIALLY RELATED TO THE ACQUISITION OR EXPECTATION OF SOMETHING GOOD WHILE FUN IS AMUSEMENT, ENJOYMENT OR PLEASURE.

So I guess the question i'm really asking here is... what truly makes me happy (joy) and what brings me enjoyment/pleasure (fun)? It's such an interesting concept to explore and one i'm keen to dive in and unpack for myself a little further because I certainly don't want to live a life without fun and so right now i’m trying to figure out what that really looks like for me. And of course, it will look different for everyone. One of my best friends is obsessed with going to gigs, she loves it, she has so much fun at these events and they bring her so much joy to her life. See - fun and joy all in one! Another one of my girlfriends plays rugby, this is her type of fun. My husband lives and breathes surfing and again this is his hybrid form of fun and joy all rolled into one. Sometimes I actually feel envious of my husbands love for surfing, not because it takes him away from Alfie and I for hours on end each weekend, but because he’s so deeply invested in it. I don’t think i’ve ever seen someone so ‘lit up’ the way he is after he’s had a really good surf and that’s what i’m on a mission to find for myself.

Joy is a whole other ball game and one I know well. I know what makes me happy and brings me joy in my life because i’m consciously in pursuit of those experiences, the list is never ending. Drinking my morning coffee in silence, watching the sun come up across the ocean, beach days and pool swims with Alfie and Drapes, watching my parents in awe of their grandson, slow weekends with no set plants, date night at a new restaurant, morning meditation and a 60 minute yoga class, waking up to a clean house, cuddling and smooching my baby and hearing him say “Mama”, Turkish delight and Netflix in bed, long dinners with friends and family, reading a book in the sun, a deep and meaningful catch up with a girlfriend. All these things bring me crazy amounts of joy and make me feel happy in the moment, and in the moments after.

It’s 4am and i’m sitting on the couch with my cup of tea in complete silence (joy) thinking really hard about the last time I had a lot of fun and how I can bring more of that into my life. I just scrolled back through my photos to see if I could find some fun times that i’d captured and I came across photos from the recent cocktail night that I hosted at my home with my girlfriends and it dawned on me that the process and outcome of this was so much FUN for me (the morning after… not so fun). What made it fun? I spent a couple of days before hand drying out fruits to pop in the cocktails and curated the cocktail list and menu of what Drapes would cook for us, I made sure the cocktail station was set up super pretty and Instagram-worthy for the girls, we had good soulful music on and even better company, we were laughing and having fun and when I looked around at one point in the afternoon I just felt so happy. For me, hosting events ARE my kinda fun. Well well well, would you look at that... I found something that I like to do for fun - tick! Board games night! Yes! We recently hosted dinner and a board games night at our home with some friends and we belly laughed a lot - that was FUN. We also played board games at a big family catch up last month which resulted in me laughing so hard that I cried - fun! The fun-floodgates are well and truly open now, yes! Nights out dancing with my girlfriends at the Beach Hotel in Byron, now this isn’t something that I don’t do often enough but when I do I really enjoy myself and my fun cup is overflowing by the end of the night. Travel and exploring new places with Drapes is absolutely my idea of fun, we did a lot of travel before we had our son and these memories bring me so much joy because we always had so much fun travelling together. We are also the kind of travellers who don’t plan every single inch of their trip, we tend to just pick a place, book a hotel and let the adventure unfold once we’ve arrived which is our version of having FUN!

So all of these things are well and good but it’s got me thinking “How can I incorporate more fun into my life every single week?”. Do I need to take up a hobby? I have been grappling with finding a hobby since I started dating my husband 9 years ago because he is the King of hobbies and I don’t have a single one. I probably can't host a cocktail night every week, or play board games with friends every week, and I do believe that sky's the limit but i’m not sure that weekly travel trips are very realistic for this 29 year old Mama and business owner right now either, so how do I find more fun in the everyday? I think i'm going to find it in a hobby and so that’s my mission for this year! Find a hobby, find more fun.

As you can tell, i'm SO curious about fun and what that looks like for you.

What do YOU do for fun? Are you like me and thinking “I really don’t know”, or are you someone who attends a weekly ballroom dancing session that you're counting down the days until each week?

And my second question to you is, what brings YOU crazy amounts of joy?

Write two lists in your notes, “Fun” + “Joy” and jot those things down when you have 5 minutes. I promise you this will be a super insightful exercise!

Now look at that list long and hard and ask yourself, how often are you doing whatever it is that you deem to be fun and whatever brings you joy?

Are you doing those things daily? Weekly? Monthly? Once a year?

Do you want to do those things much more often?

I'm yet to write my list but i'm going to make it my 2020 mission to incorporate as much fun as possible into my weeks because as I mentioned earlier, a life without fun doesn’t sound very fun at all!

P.S I bet you're really sick of me saying the word 'fun' by now, but just for the record, this is me having fun at my cocktail night the other week!


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