I subscribe to a daily newsletter regarding happiness written by the woman who created The Happiness Project – if you haven’t heard of it, check it out! Today she asked readers the following question: What did you do for fun when you were 10 years old? Since I want to explore happiness and past journeys in my blog, I thought I would share my thoughts on this question. I also want to know: How can I translate that into my current life? In other words, how can I use what made me happy when I was 10 to help make me happy now?

This question required some mental digging. I don’t have the best memory and a lot of my childhood is a little fuzzy in recollection. My parents divorced when I had just turned 9, which means I would have been just starting 5th grade when I turned 10. This was my last year in Rosemount – my mom moved to southern Minnesota for a few months at the end of 5th grade and then we moved up to Lakeville, where I would remain for the rest of my adolescence. During this time, I didn’t have a ton of friends, but I really enjoyed spending time with the friends I had. I would ride my bike over to a friend’s house and stay all afternoon. With one friend, we would play “school” where someone would be the teacher and the other would be the student. With another friend, we’d talk for hours about various things. When I wasn’t hanging out with one of my friends, I would read, watch TV, going on walks, playing with toys – the typical things that kids do.

After much consideration, here are the things I enjoyed then that I could bring into my life now:

  • Biking – Every time I go to Winona (when it’s not abhorrently cold and snowy), I go biking with my boyfriend. I didn’t expect it to bring me as much joy as it does. I’m excited to invest in a really decent hybrid bike for California.
  • Teaching – I brought up that point about playing “school” for a reason – I really enjoy teaching, whether it’s through coaching speech or leading a work project. I love leading a group. I love helping another person learn something new.
  • Reading – When I started feeling depressed on a low level, I stopped reading. I just didn’t find it appealing anymore. I’m now making an attempt to read a few times every week – which is a good thing since I have a stack of books from the library just waiting to be read!
  • Watching TV and movies (on DVD) – I know this is supposedly a bad thing because it’s inactive, but I’m so busy that I really value the time that I get to spend relaxing. Beyond that, I enjoy watching TV shows and movies because I get to experience an entirely new world. Perhaps it’s because I’m a fantasizer, but I absolutely love getting into another world. I wanted to be an actor for that reason – it was a chance to live someone else’s life for a while. I miss that.
  • Playing – This is where I need to find some ways to add these into my life. How do you play when you’re an adult? What constitutes play? I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I know that some of the ways I try to play are through board games, word puzzles (English major), and going to playgrounds with my boyfriend.

What did you do for fun when you were 10? What can we incorporate into our lives to make them more playful and fun?

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