Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Plan For Fun

Have you ever noticed that once you reach adulthood, especially once you have children, that it's much easier to plan for all the work you have to do than to make a plan for having fun?

I make grocery lists, chore lists, homeschooling lists, meal lists, but I rarely sit down and make a list of all the fun acitivities I'd like to get to in the coming month.

But that's what I'm going to do today. I'm going to plug in my dance classes, my art get-togethers and my Artist's Way group meetings. Then I'm going to call up some of my friends and plug in a few lunch dates across the next few weeks.

I'm also going to make a few plans with my husband. We normally have a "date night" once a week, but lately we've been so busy it's been easy to put it off. Since our weekend evenings are kind of full, I'm going to plan a few mid-week dates. Dessert at a local restaurant, maybe, or even a late-night walk holding hands under the....uh...falling snow. (It seems to snow every day lately).

How about fun activities with the kids? I have to bully them into joining in these days, but even sitting down to a movie as a family means you've spent a little time together and have shared a common experience. We're watching a Masterpiece Theatre movie of the book Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevensen. Boy did the kids grumble about sitting down for it, but once it's on they settle right in. (It's long - probably four hours total, so we're watching it in stages).

I could take it a step farther, too - I often have fairly detailed schedules during the day that include exercise, school, meal prep, etc. I could plug in some short periods of "fun" right into those: 15 minutes reading a decadent novel, a bubble-bath mid-morning, a phone call to a friend late in the afternoon.

One thing that's good about scheduling fun is that once you put in on your "to-do" list you don't have to feel guilty about it anymore. You aren't taking time off from your schedule to get away with something - you're just checking off one more item! I don't mean that you shouldn't take your fun seriously - but you shouldn't feel guilty about adding joy to your day. Make sure you show up for everything on your list - your chores and your fun activities. Then you can feel like you've really accomplished something at the end of the day.

Off I go to get my calendar. What kind of fun things are you planning this month? Any good ideas for what to do with older kids?

1 comment:

L Harris said...

Jennifer, what a great idea. I think I will do the same. I have a few free minutes right now. I'm going to schedule getting my hair cut about every 2 months. And I'm going to schedule a date on the 29th of each month (the day of the month we were married) and maybe one other day. Something for the kids or us to do together as a family is tougher. But we have two birthdays this month. Those are fun times.

Fun is so important!