Stringing It All Together

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

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.

Steven Savage

Fun And Yourself

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

We’re in a crisis as I write this. We’ve got a worldwide Pandemic, and not every country is managing it very well (or at all). It’s possible you’re escaping with fun, but you may also feel guilty, or unable to enjoy yourself, worrying you’re wasting time.

You’re not.

Yes, fun is relaxing, yes, fun distracts. But fun also is a great way to get back to who you are and find out who you are.

When we have fun, we express parts of ourselves in safe ways. Perhaps we love the camaraderie of sports, and thus enjoy them because of shared identity. Maybe we love managing things and ticking boxes, playing strategy games and using that organized sides of ourselves. We may crave adventure, our hands holding a controller as we fire our guns in an action-adventure game. Fun lets us get back to who we are.

Knowing who we are is vital for navigating crises. It centers us, but in a safe way, and gives us the hope to become more of who we are. It’s an expression, and a reminder.

But also, fun lets you find new parts of ourselves. When we see we’ve played the same kind of video game three times in a row, that says something about us. When we avoid this kind of movie but indulge in others, that says something about us. When we have fun, things we don’t know of emerge.

Knowing who we can be is vital for navigating crises. It helps us grow and learn and understand, and experience the joy of being.

Finally, fun lets us find things we hide. We may find a dark side that comes out in our musical tastes. We may discover we work through issues with certain kinds of movies. Even finding we dodge stress with our recreations tells us what we’re dodging.

Knowing who we are lets us overcome our problems, turn vices into virtues, and accept ourselves. Fun does that.

So sure, you’re relaxing and exscaping with fun. That’s great. But you’re also becoming, exploring, and discovering. That’s great to.

Have fun. Become yourself.

Steven Savage

Spread The Fun

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I’ve written in praise of fun many times. Fun liberates, fun soothes, fun inspires, fun explores. Fun is a great thing, and I am totally behind it.

We also need fun as human beings. It can connect us to each other. Notice how we share fun, even if it’s just discussing cool things with each other?

So I want to encourage you to share fun with others. Buy people games and books that you enjoyed. Purchase art for them that fits their passions. Have viewing parties of great movies or television. You don’t even have to like what you share – as long as your loved ones enjoy it.

Spread the fun.

Now, why would you do this? I’d like to leave this “as is,” but analyzing it also helps us understand the value and think of better ways to do it.

Here’s why you spread the fun.

It makes people happy. That’s the obvious one, but it’s worth repeating. The world needs happiness and joy, and just one gift can make a different.

It connects you to people. A gift that brings joy connects you with the receiver. It’s a way to be closer to someone. We all need strong ties.

It teaches you about people. To learn what people enjoy and what they care about is to learn about them specifically and people in general. Giving the gift of fun teaches you deep things about people.

It exposes you to more. Giving gifts of games and shows and such that people enjoy exposes you to their tastes. You might just learn about the world and find new things to try.

It sets an example. Share with someone and they may be inspired to do the same. You become a role model or a source of ideas.

It puts money in the hands of creators. Help support creators with your money when you share fun. This is especially important in supporting innovative, small, interesting, and radical makers, writers, and more.

So the world needs more fun and more joy. One small gift can have a cascade effect.

Start spreading the fun.

Steven Savage