*Originally posted on WellWomen
Just a week before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) took the world by storm, I was enjoying some holiday reading. Scanning through the Amazon titles, I stumbled across Mandy Arioto’s book, Have More Fun. After a stressful latter half of the year, I was drawn to the title. I needed more fun! I had no idea what a timely read this would be for my family and I as the COVID-19 outbreak began.
In chapter 6, “Have More Fun When Things Don’t Go as Planned,” Mandy says this: “Our baseline happiness can be increased not by having cool things happen to us but by merely choosing to find the fun and joy in the midst of the hard stuff. Because the opportunity for fun is always there.” She goes on to say that, “choosing fun when life doesn’t go as planned is life changing.”
I love fun! I love to laugh, I love cake, and I love impromptu dance parties, all of it. But in situations like the present, I, like Mandy, tend to feel other emotions bigger; fear about my kids health, worry about my own personal sanity, and the panic of not knowing when this is going to end.
I often remind myself that I will find what I am looking for. If I am looking for disappointment, I will find it. If I am looking for something to worry about, I will indeed find it. Mandy goes on to say, “When we only focus on what is lacking, we fail to notice the things that are good in our lives.”
How can we choose gratitude when we feel stuck? Whether you are stuck in a city in Asia or stuck in another situation, we are all in an in-between space waiting for our “normal” to resume. Do we simply wait it out? Mandy suggests that the “fun response” is to “do what we can, with what we have, right where we are.”
Maybe our problem, whatever it might be, isn’t a problem, maybe it’s an opportunity for fun. With that in mind on February 1st I began something called, Fun-ruary, (because it’s pretty easy to understand and I couldn’t think of a cleverer name) and invited friends all across Asia to join me.
** Although February has come and gone, for many in other countries the social distancing and school cancelations have just begun. I’d love to share some of our Fun-ruary activities with you. It’s true, my family is living proof, that choosing fun in the midst of the hard stuff changes the atmosphere in your home and builds an amazing connection. Let’s make this time about connection even as many of us are in isolation.
What is Fun-ruary?
Fun-ruary is a call to gratitude over worry and fun in the midst of the hard stuff. As moms (parents, grandparents, god mothers), we have the amazing opportunity to be the catalyst for fun and joy in our homes.
How do you Fun-ruary?
Fun looks different to everyone. For me, this month I plan to do ONE fun, engaging activity with my family a day. We’ve been practicing Fun-ruary in my household since January. Everyday before lunch, we do something fun together. We’ve made volcanos, painted, had sock-ball fights and scavenger hunts for candy treats. Some days I genuinely don’t feel like it but the connection it has built in our family over this past week is stunning. I know it’s worth pushing through the momentary lapse of fun-atude.
Let’s make March fun too!