I don’t read much pop psychology, however, years ago I picked up a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and I would go so far as to say that it was life-changing. So much of what Rubin said resonated and many of the things she suggested I put into practice (and still do, years later).
One of the chapters in the book focuses on being ‘serious about play’ and how to find things that, as an adult, are fun. As we grow older, we often fill our leisure time with things that are expected of us as opposed to what we find truly ‘fun’.
But what happens if you’ve lost touch with what’s fun? Rubin (drawing on ideas from Carl Jung) suggests considering what you liked doing as a child. At around ten-years-old, you’re independent enough to undertake most hobbies or activities independently and you’re also sure about what interests you. Furthermore, at this age you’re essentially unconstrained by the pressures of homework and peer expectation. It’s a golden time.
Is this true? A straw poll among friends suggests that yes, it is. My past-times when I was that age were swimming, reading, writing stories and roller-skating. When I decided to make a conscious effort to have more fun, I squeezed in more swimming (and gave away aerobics classes) and bought myself some new skates. I also started writing book reviews. My leisure time was a million times more ‘fun’.
Years 3 and 4 students are about to embark on their ‘passion projects’. As the name suggests, it’s a project that focuses on something that they’re really enthusiastic about. I’ll be keen to see what topics the students pick and I’m wondering if, in thirty years time, will these things still be their passion? I asked my daughter what she was thinking about for her passion project and without hesitation she answered, “Basketball.” I hope that as an adult she is still enjoying her time on the court.
Will the passion projects provide a glimpse of future fun? Time will tell (and I’ll be sure to include a post on the projects when they are finished).