As I’ve often said, fun is important to us. It refreshes us, it helps us find ourselves, it connects us to others. But sometimes it’s hard to have fun, to find joy in the large. Where are the hours or days of joy that we want or need?
Well, first, human moods are always changing. I think rare is the time someone experiences joy near constantly, except for some transcendent experiences. But, still, there are times we need an extended period of being mostly-happy – and I’m sure a lot of us would like something like that right now.
I think the important thing is to string moments of joy together.
We an go looking for the Big Happy, the Giant Bliss and maybe we can’t have that. Or we shouldn’t. Or, as I will address later, that’s not a solid thing.
Instead, I’m finding as I age that happiness is when we can string together small moments together. An hour with a book, an evening with a friend, a thirty minute run in a video game. If we can’t have the Big Happy, we can have many small happies – manageable moments of fun and joy.
First, this is practical. In our busy days and trying times, we might not be able to get a week off or a free day. We can work in fun when possible.
Secondly, this makes fun resilient. When we can have many joyful moments, the loss of one or the other may not trouble us as much – we change a schedule or power through a challenge. When we have fun moments strung along our lives like beads in a necklace, we can overcome one missing bead.
In fact, I’d say that the small moments are the way we build a Big Happy. As we can find joy in small moments, they come together in larger ones. Perhaps that’s the best kind of fun – pieces adding up to a whole.
Third and finally, I find that these little moments of joy and fun make life more manageable. It’s one thing to look forward to an ill-defined week long vacation. To know you’re going to have a chocolate bar or play a game makes fun solid, manageable, and real. Tie enough of those moments together and you have something larger.
We can stack fun and joy together to build something bigger. It may be easier.
And these days, maybe the best thing we can do.