Ever notice how your To Do List never seems to shrink? To me, this is one of life’s greatest mysteries. How can you accomplish so much, and yet feel like you’ve only scratched the surface? Tasks and chores seem to multiply and pile up like all those coloured blocks in a losing Tetrus game. There are always things that you “should be” doing. The way I see it, we have two choices: 1) we stay on the treadmill and just keep trying to make our way through the never ending list of stuff that needs to get done, or 2) we hit the Pause button and purposely make some room for fun.
What does that look like? (indeed, in today’s world it can even be hard to imagine this!) Here are some ideas:
- Pick a family sport or activity, and commit to doing it one or two times a week. We recently joined a local rock climbing gym and the whole family looks forward to climbing every Tuesday and Friday nights. Sure it’s tough to get out of work a little early, but when you make it there by 4:30 and you’re working on a tough route, you can’t help but have a little grin on your face ‘cause it feels like you’re playing hooky.
- Plan a couples’ night every Wednesday to break up the frenetic pace of the work week. This doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. We simply crack open a bottle of wine as soon as we put the kids to bed (oh yeah … we’ve always maintained an early bed time … the kids are in bed by 8:15 reading, which gives us some good grown up time). We take this time to chat and unwind. Sometimes this involves discussion questions (from an app, a box of questions, or from that old game Scruples); on a good night, this might involve sexy discussion questions or a naughty board game. You get the point … a fun Wednesday night can pick up the whole week.
- Pick two fun things to do every weekend – and interpret fun pretty liberally. Just the way you schedule your work and chores, make sure to build time into your schedule for fun. While this may lack spontaneity, it will make sure you always have something to contribute when friends or colleagues ask you what you did on the weekend (because honestly, there’s nothing worse than having to answer “nothing” or “chores and running around”). Hanging out at the coffee shop and blogging, going for a hike or a ski, or doing an impromptu take-out meal with friends all up the fun factor.
Let’s face it … the demands won’t stop. Rogers will still want to be paid, your boss will still want you to re-do that report, and your kids will still want you to referee, buy them those cool boots, and make home-made cupcakes for the bake sale. In the grand scheme of things, all of these things will eventually get done … but ensuring you’re having some fun and taking time to play, work out and/or relax is oh so worth paying a little interest and passing off store-bought cupcakes as your own.