Fun: What do you find fun?—a question I find surprisingly difficult to answer; how about you?

I have a question for everyone – about FUN. One of the things that surprised me most about my happiness project was that when I resolved to “Find more fun,” it wasn’t easy for me to figure out what I found fun.

For example, it took me some real self-examination to acknowledge that one of my passions is children’s literature. Now my children’s literature reading group is one of the great joys of my life.

I’d love to hear about people’s experiences about fun. What do you find fun? Is it something a lot of people find fun, like golf, or something more unusual, like cultivating bonsai plants? Did you always know that this activity was fun for you, or did it take a while to figure it out? Am I the only one who has trouble staying in touch with the question: what is fun? Once you’ve identified your source of fun, how do you make time for it in your life?

Along the same lines, as another happiness-project experiment in the area of fun, I thought I’d try starting a collection. My mother has several collections, and they are a tremendous source of fun for her (also me, because a few times, she’s given me her collections – like her magnificent Halloween decorations). But it was hard for me to figure out what to collect. In the end, I chose blue birds, because I like them and because the blue bird is a symbol for happiness.

I sort of enjoy having a collection, but not as much as I thought I might. Do you have a collection that is a source of fun for you? What do you collect, and why?

My understanding of fun increased dramatically when I realized one of my most important Secrets of Adulthood: “What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you — and vice versa.” For example, activities that many people find fun that I don’t find fun: skiing, drinking wine, doing crossword puzzles, shopping, going to concerts, cooking…

Thanks for any insights, examples, or suggestions about fun.

I’d heard a lot about the blog EcoSalon, and when I checked it out, I fell in love with these items made out of recycled typewriter keys. Fabulous!

Interested in starting your own Happiness Project? If you’d like to take a look at my Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. No need to write anything more than “Resolutions Chart” in the subject line.

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • Thank you, Gretchen. I want to be happier. Reading your posts it occurred to me that I realy enjoy action-packed movies that help me escape.

  • Donna, Colorado

    I have found this question REALLY hard to answer for years. A few years ago i finally discovered that I have fun “mountain” biking. Nothing crazy, just off-road with some hills and easy curves. It is exhilarating because you have to think fast about where you want to go and really concentrate. I suspect that it is one of the very few things I do that I don’t multi-task on and maybe that’s a relief to my brain. Still looking for other things!

  • AliB

    Ha – just clicked on this post after yesterday’s post on the three types of fun – I mentioned ‘releasing’ fun – for me nightclubs and ocean swimming, and then saw the two comments below that would both fall in that category – things that allow you to escape and be exhilarated

  • priya

    hi gretchen, i have had a tough time so far trying to find out what truly makes me happy, who i am, what i want to be… and so on.
    i read a couple of posts on contradictory multiple selves also.
    do you think a “happiness” or “sadness” diary could help?
    why is it so tough to answer these questions? at times i feel that in not being able to take a stand, i’m just being an escapist….and that doesn’t help at all!