What do you do for fun?

Seriously. I want you to take a moment and make a list to answer this question. If you are like many people I work with, you will have a very hard time answering it. And, that’s the point. I need you to be able to answer this question.

The other weekend I was lucky enough to spend it with my 6 year old niece and 4 year old nephew in the magic of their imaginations. We created. We played. We laughed. We lego’d the shit out of the weekend. I recognized that I need more play in my life.

Day in and day out I sit with many people who describe themselves stuck, dull and in a rut. Every person I work with I ask “what do you do for yourself?” I’m often met with a blank stare and then I am asked to clarify. So, I reword it as “what do you do for fun?” I am met with silence promptly followed is by this list: I go to work, I take my kids to school, I shuttle them to activities, I make dinner, I try to stay up after they go to bed but often fall asleep on the couch. I kindly smile and remind them I’m curious about they do for fun, not what they do in a day. Sound familiar? You are not alone.

I was caught off guard by this very question last summer while attending a music festival. You see, my elevator speech is always ready to go as typically new people always ask two questions: 1. What is your name? 2. What do you do for a living? This person through me off guard as after asking my name, he asked what I do for fun. Dead. Silence. Crickets. I was stunned as rather than asking what I do for a living, he asked what it is I do for myself.

Fact. Many of my clients feeling stuck and unhappy lack personal hobbies and interests. They can tell me what they used to enjoy but not what they currently enjoy. They do so much for everyone else and so little for themselves. I get it, life is busy and demanding and filled with obligations. I know that almost every minute of your day is accounted for. I also know that only you have the power to change that. Making time for yourself means saying no and overcoming guilt, it means asking for help when you’ve convinced yourself you can do it all, it means leaving the dishes in the sink and running the bath, it means taking the long way home just because your favourite song comes on the radio. It means choosing yourself, 5 minutes at a time.

Im asking what you do for yourself because awareness is always the first step. When we get clarity we can get intentional and our intentions will become our roadmaps. When we know what we want, we develop purpose. We become proactive in our lives, rather than reactive. We become more than our profession, our role at home and more than our fears of judgement. When we focus on our relationship with ourself, we are more apt to move out of perfection and into self compassion. 

Not sure what you can do for yourself? This is my list: I read. I create in the kitchen. I write. I watch my favourite TV shows (I’m a frequent visitor to Shondaland). I Yoga and I would really like to run more than I do. I spend time with close friends. I organize and I clean. I attend a 4cats art class.

And you? Still not sure? Get in touch with that inner child and remember what it is you loved to do. There is a strong chance that you still love the same things that 7 year old you loved, you just need the permission to do it. So, you have mine. Bust out the crayons. Pick up some Lego. Work on a puzzle. Play on the monkey bars. Run through the puddles. Say yes to the glitter. Buy the comic book.

Tell me about the relationship you have with yourself.

From my inner child to yours,