As a male in his mid 30’s I am becoming increasingly aware of what can be described as the “fun chasm”. Before I get into the details of explaining this I just want to ensure you that this isn’t just an errant rant of a man grappling with the slide toward middle age. This issue is real and I am meeting people struggling with it every day. It is the empty space that was once filled with variety, fun and adventure in peoples younger lives. I’m going to write this from a man’s perspective because well, I am one, and it’s easier to reference. I do know however that this challenge is faced by both sexes. If you want to validate this for yourself I’d suggest a simple question to any man or woman you know falling in the 30+ bracket.
So, what do you do for fun?
In the main you will get a hesitation, head scratch and ponderous silence. By this stage most have hung up their football boots, dancing shoes, pulling jocks, knee high boots and other such items of youthful exuberance. There is usually one in every group who refuses to go quietly into the wilderness and is still trawling nightclubs. I could write a whole article on this , so I’ll not digress any further from the point I’m getting to.
Most men are essentially boys with mortgages and real jobs. For a 10 to 15 year period we had hobbies, drank pints and treated life and our bodies with little regard. As kids, mortgages, sheds with ride on lawnmowers and responsible jobs come along we often get bogged down by the pressures of life. Most weeks, months and sometimes years can roll by with little changing. People get comfortable and settle into a state of inertia. If this makes you happy, then by all means fill your boots.
Life is about so much more than merely survival. It’s about having fun and feeling alive inside. This takes a different form for every person. Whether it be playing a banjo, painting a picture, climbing a mountain, swimming in the sea, or holding your loved ones in your arms. Getting older doesn’t have to mean that life becomes dull. Unfortunately for many they lose their sense of fun and childish divilment. The twinkle in their eye gets replaced with black bags under them. I know this has been a struggle for me personally as I got immersed in study, reading and figuring out the human psyche. I forgot to add some time in every week for things that are just purely for fun. As I moved into my 30’s I stopped doing a lot of the things I would have classed as fun in my 20’s. The problem was I never replaced them with anything new, so grappled with this void for a few years.
I’m lucky now in that many parts of my work are fun. I still need to take time out when things are getting heavy and force myself to step back and do something, just because. If you’re not doing this, you should. A really simple life philosophy is; If you want life to be more fun, do more things that make you smile and laugh every week. Simples!
Stop reading and grab a pen and paper. Write down 20 things you do that are fun. If you can’t think of 20 then think back to things you used to do that made you happy when you were younger. No matter how silly they may seem start doing a few of these every week. I know yeah, what could be more fun than organizing a time in your week for fun activities. Find ways to make mundane tasks more enjoyable. Get creative on this. You’ll be surprised with what you can come up with.
For me it can be running workshops with teenagers, chatting to randomers, doing silly shit to make Sha snort, pretending I can do magic for my nieces and nephews, running in the sunshine, watching old comedians on Youtube, drinking a few pints or driving around the city late at night with no clothes on (I’ve stopped doing this I swear) The transition from young and carefree to responsible adult can be daunting but it shouldn’t come at the expense of happiness and fun. If you view life as fun and treat it accordingly you just might surprise yourself.
If you are feeling stuck in a rut and lacking fulfilment then drop me a mail and we can start the process of changing things for you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ciao for now!