Putting the FUN back into FUNction.
We have things to do. Many things to do every day. It never stops. We’re so busy, here and there doing this and that. We are fully functioning beings completing our tasks through a series of functions. We are functioning physically, moving our bodies in order to get to places, lifting and moving things and learning habitual movement patterns for tasks, employing dexterity, reaction and response. We are functioning physiologically and psychologically responding to chemical reactions and building synaptic connections in accordance with our assessment of our external and internal environment. We are a functioning being which means we function because we must: because we are designed and engineered to do so. But if we are not careful, the obligation of the function spills over into our choices or free will and we lose the fun that exists in engaging with our functioning form whilst it engages with the function of life and living.
So, how to put the FUN back into function. The first step is to re-programme functions into our life that are fun! Have a think about this for a few moments and then see if you can list between 5 and 10 functions that you know are fun for you. Once you have your list, you can start to programme at least one of them into each day to guarantee your daily dose of fun. Fun is one of my Core Values so I am happy to share my list with you:
- Doing exercise: being active has always been top of my list of fun. Whether practising sport or out dancing, going for a long walk or even spring cleaning!
- Engaging with friends/people: the great thing about this one is that whether I am teaching yoga or massaging I am engaging with people who often become friends! I have chosen a vocation that facilitates fun.
- Taking a shower: something about being immersed in warm water that brings to mind pampering. I am aware of the water shortage so restrict my time but sometimes I combine it with the next thing on my list…
- Singing: since having a few singing lessons, I am more confident about my voice and less worried about being heard by or bothering the neighbours with it. Ideal karaoke song has to be Holding Out for a Hero! Turn it up!!
- Animals: I loved having a dog. We would literally laugh together, and I miss having them around. If I’m feeling like I need some ‘animal’ fun, I can contact my friends and go for a walk with them and their dogs. That’s another 2 for the price of 1 fun moment!
- Coffee & cake: Watching people, reading a book, a decent coffee and a freshly made cake. Smiles all round.
- Watching a comedy film: belly aching, laugh out-loud, films. Great fun. Favourite recent laugh-a-long film: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Brilliant!
- Gardening: I have a Jumanji flat. One room studio filled with greenery! I also have a lovely little garden outside of the yoga studio crammed with plants and flowers, which is now a feature of Bedford Place. Immensely rewarding fun.
- Feeding the birds/engaging with wildlife: during lockdown I started feeding the birds outside my window. The joy of being awakened to the sound of a sparrow on my window-sill chirping its request for food was fabulous.
- Writing: feeds my curiosity and as I tap away trying to keep up with the words as my mind dictates, I have a smile on my face.
The FUN-ctions must be accessible and easily inserted into daily life. Functions are not life experiences. Functions are daily occurrences. We must reconnect with the FUN in these daily functions, perhaps taking a moment to understand what it is about the function that we find FUN. Fun for me is anything that might put a smile on my face. It’s fun to taste good, healthy food and I enjoy the satisfaction my body feels after eating a good meal. Fun for me is something that moves me and agitates my emotions, like listening to a Radio Programme or Podcast that stops me in my tracks or inspires me to write or research an issue. Fun for me is the joy I feel in hearing the power of my voice as I sing along to a favourite song or singer or feeding the birds feeling a connection with these flighty creatures but linking their behaviour to mine. In the morning, I love the sensation of the warm water that cleanses and caresses my skin as I shower, and in the evening I enjoy the process of letting go of thoughts and tensions as I drift off to sleep in the safe space of my bed. These are daily functions that help me reconnect with the fun that exists in them. Fun isn’t about having the time of your life. Fun relates to an expanse of emotive experiences that will produce a good feeling, a lifting of the corners of your mouth, a softening across the forehead, and a gentle inflation of the space within your heart.
Stay In the Moment.
Fun is a discipline and can become a habit with frequency and awareness. The sensation produced by habits, as we know, can also recede into the subconscious. This is when fun becomes numb. It is therefore important to engage with the awareness of the fun and the sensation it produces in the moment. Commit to the purpose. This is how you will put the FUN back into FUN-ction.