PSA: You Don’t Need an Excuse to Have Fun

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By Jillian Stacia

One of the best things I did this year was join a women’s indoor soccer league.

I know, I know, it sounds sort of lame. The teenage version of myself cannot stop rolling her eyes. A bunch of grown women out there on a Friday night flailing around on the soccer field sounds incredibly pathetic. I get it.

But after the first time I played, I was hooked. I found myself looking forward to those Friday night games. I started practicing in the backyard and thinking about ways I could get better. I bought new shin guards. I checked the league standings online. I was becoming obsessed, and I wasn’t exactly sure why.

It took a few weeks before I realized that the reason I liked playing so much was because I was having fun. And not fun in a “this was fun let’s do it again sometime” kind of way. I’m talking about real, pure, childlike FUN that rarely exists in adulthood.

Think about it – when’s the last time that you did something simply because it was fun? Not because it brought you money or advanced your career in some way or was part of your social life. Something that was simply and truly fun, something that you did just for you, where you had absolutely no expectations or desired outcomes. If you’re anything like me, it doesn’t happen very often.

I think the lack of fun stems from the fact that everything we do must have a purpose. We need to know why we’re doing something- what benefits it will bring, what lessons it will teach us. We are obsessed with ideas like productivity and ambition and focus. We are less interested in things like fun and silliness and adventure.

It’s a sad reality, but we tend to not pursue fun as an adult, at least not as much as we should. Instead, we focus on more practical things or career related hobbies and projects that might bring in some extra revenue. We rarely, if ever, do something just for the hell of it. Time is limited. We’ve all got schedules and responsibilities and never ending to-do lists. Who has the time or the money or the energy to do commit to doing something just because it’s fun?

And if we do have the resources to make it happen, most of us feel guilty if we indulge in something so frivolous. It’s okay to spend money on resources that will help us improve in our profession. It’s not exactly okay to spend the same amount of money on things that simply exist to bring us joy. We feel guilty when we spend money on things that don’t serve a clear purpose, even if they bring an extra element of fun and excitement into our daily lives. We beat ourselves up for buying a new book or spending money on a fun vacation, yet we have no problem spending the same amount on a career seminar or a new computer.

Playing soccer has caused me to re-examine my priorities. I can’t believe how much fun I’m having, and how much I’ve missed having this simple experience in my life. I’m not sure when and where I decided to compromise my fun for productivity. I don’t think it happened in one fell swoop. I think it’s just part of the gradual wearing down process that tends to happen when you’re growing up.

Fun used to be my number one priority. Now, I’m more restrained. My goals have shifted. The way I see the world and my purpose in it has shifted. I’ve found a focus and a drive and a dream and all of that has made me both happier and more serious at the same time. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a growth thing. Maybe a growing up thing.

But I miss being silly. I miss being light and playful and airy. I miss having fun just for the sake of having fun.

Playing soccer makes me feel that way. And that’s why it’s so special. Because at the end of the day, I’m not going to be recruited by the US Women’s National Soccer Team. I am not doing this to get anything. I will not make more money or get more attention or have a cleaner house or be even one micro-step closer to achieving any of my goals.

But I will laugh. I will move my body. I will feel alive and full of joy. And I will remember that you can do something simply because it’s fun to do. That, in fact, you should do things just because they’re fun. Life is too short to not let ourselves enjoy the moment.

If you’re looking for permission to let yourself have more fun in the new year, this is it. You don’t need a reason. You don’t need an excuse. You just need to show up and start living life on your own terms. Spend your time doing what matters most to you. Pursue fun and it will pursue you right back.


Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

{featured image via unsplash}

One thought on “PSA: You Don’t Need an Excuse to Have Fun

  1. TheLionheartSociety says:

    “It’s a sad reality, but we tend to not pursue fun as an adult, at least not as much as we should.”
    I LOVE THIS! It is just so true! We just think that we have to be an “adult” and do “adult things” and that includes paying bills, cooking dinner, etc. We forget that we need to have fun!

    Like

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