I decided to make Fun and Adventure my value to focus on for June because sometimes I let the serious things and the heavy things of life take the front stage. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing it’s just that sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to have fun and be adventurous. When I came up with my list of values to work on I had no ideal that this month the world would start to return to what it was like prior to the pandemic. So many of us were unable to do so many of the things that were part of our everyday life. But now, we are able to attend social events and travel and explore like we did before (well, kind-of).
I think that my pandemic year made me yearn for more interactions, more social gatherings, more fun, and more adventure. I believe that we are not meant to be isolated or alone. A lot of focus was given during the pandemic on the effects of social isolation and well-being. In one such research by Clair, Gordon, Kroon and Reilly (source of article below) they state that social isolation is related to a reduction in life satisfaction. This article reinforced the importance of social engagement to me. My adventures usually occur with family or friends. Sometimes my adventures or activities that I enjoy I do alone. But I can tell you that I have the most fun when my adventures are with someone else. Someone who can share in my sense of awe, someone I can share my joy with, someone who gets what I am talking about because they experienced it as well. Maybe not the same way but they experienced it as well.
I love the animated show Up. It tells about a boy who goes on an adventure with an old man. But the story is really about the adventure that the old man had when he was with his wife. Every day we are going on adventures when we are engaged in social interaction. In a little over a week from now I will be going on an adventure with my girls, and I know that there will be many wonderful memories made. I know that it is going to be so much fun, even before I get there. As I am learning with this Happiness Project, the happiness is a feeling that occurs before the events occur. The events are just icing on the cake. I am happy that I am going with my girls. My gratitude of having people I love, and that love me, is the best adventure that I could ever experience.
My youngest daughter used to watch a cartoon when she was younger called Adventure Time. In the show a 12-year-old boy and his best friend, a 28-year-old dog with magical powers, go on adventures together in the remote future. All I really remember about the show was that the characters looked kind of strange and that my daughter really liked the show. She would laugh and sing along with the songs. The other thing I remember is the catch phrase they used; “Adventure is out there”. I have to agree, if you look you will find adventure, you just have to get out there and find it. It might be right in your backyard, your family, your friends, your co-worker, or your neighbor next door.
So go out and find your Adventure. Adventure is out there. Adventure awaits!
Clair, R., Gordon, M., Kroon, M. et al. The effects of social isolation on well-being and life satisfaction during pandemic. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 8, 28 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-00710-3