How to Enjoy Life, Not Just Endure It

Was It Fun?

Recently, I went out to dinner with friends. It was a group of girlfriends so you know, we had panini's and soup and maybe someone ate quiche. It might have been me.

When I returned home to my little family of men (3 sons and 1 husband) they asked, "Was it fun? Did you have fun?"

Without much thought or enthusiasm I replied, "It was alright."

Not long after this, my husband returned home from a church social function and when I asked, "How was it?" His response was, "It was fun."

This is the moment when I realize we may have differing definitions of the word FUN.

I ask, "Fun? Seriously?" He nods, shrugs and says, "Yeah."

I have been to similar events as the one he attended and I just can't reconcile using the word fun to describe it. After a line-up of clarifying questions, he asked me what my definition of "fun" is.

I take a moment and really consider, because this is an important distinction. I finally pronounce, "If something is fun, it makes you say 'woo-hoo!' " My husband processes this and says, "Well I guess I would say tonight was just enjoyable then."

This, I can believe. Big difference.

Keeping this in mind, what do you do in your life that is fun? What makes you say "woo hoo!" Doing more of these things is the secret to enjoying life.

As children we seek out this experiences. Digging a massive hole in the garden, filling it up with water and jumping in? Fun! Roller Dancing (roller skating with arm choreography...duh) in the driveway to your favorite song? Fun! Riding on the handle bars of your best friends bike while she zooms down the steepest hill in the neighborhood? So, so fun!

Why do we get so boring as we age? Why do we stop seeking fun?

I know. So much responsibility, so little time.

The same things don't thrill us. When I think about it though, any of those three activities I just listed would probably still put a smile on my face...would still get my heart pumping.

I saw a quote in a book recently that you may be familiar with.

"Do more of what you love."

I say yes to this. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.

So, what does it for you? For me, it's riding my

Can I share a recent favorite experience? It was autumn. I woke early to ride up Emigration Canyon. At first, my skin prickled at the cold, but as I pedaled, I warmed up and, soon, the chill in the air was a gift. The canyon isn't terribly steep, but it's steady work getting to the top. It feels good to work hard. Feels good to breathe deep and to be aware of my heart in my chest. As I ride, I notice that someone has spray painted the words, riding is a great idea today on the roadside. I smile in agreement.

Once I'm at the top, I take in the view. It is glorious, but the view is not my true reward. My reward is still to come. I guzzle the last of my water and turn my bike around. Making sure the right song is cued up on my iPod, I start the descent. The hill isn't so steep that I don't need to pedal, so I continue to crank it out and with gravity's help, I'm flying down the canyon. As I ride through fallen leaves, I create flurries behind me. The sun flashes in my eyes as it peeks through branches. All my senses are engaged and I feel free and happy. Like a child.

And I swear to you, as I flew down that hill, I yelled, "woooooo-hoooooooo!"

So, yeah, it was fun.

This article originally appeared on my blog to help people find happiness and meaning in life.