Last Friday some coworkers and I were talking about the fun things we had planned for the long weekend and they laughed when I started listing things I was excited about accomplishing with the extra day off work. The one that particularly got them was that I was excited to finally have time to draft some waivers for upcoming LIM359 events.
Understandably worried about my concept of “fun,” one of them pressed me on the issue and asked more generally what it was I did that made me extremely happy – essentially, what gave me joy in life. At the time, my response was swimming, but as I was doing laps in the pool later that evening I really thought more intently about this question and came to a realization about myself that perhaps I knew, but hadn’t quite conceptualized in a concrete manner before. It’s not one physical activity that gives me true joy in life, but rather the ability to impact the lives of other people in a positive way.
While some people may look at my life of working a full-time job, chairing the boards of two nonprofits, and training for triathlons (in addition to being the best wife and cat mom I can be) as boring or lacking in fun, it’s truly the life I enjoy because I know in my heart that it’s the life I love. Of course drafting waivers is not “fun” in the conventional sense, but having a positive impact on the lives of other people energizes me and gives me true joy in life, and drafting waivers is just part of the deal.
I feel very fortunate to think that I’ve found my purpose in life, and even though others may think I’m a little strange based on my idea of “fun” on a long weekend, I can live with it because I know in my heart that this is what makes me happy. Whatever makes you happy – be it hiking, dancing, reading, or some more nebulous concept like me – do whatever it is with pride and remember that you have sole discretion to decide what “fun” looks like for you.
P.S. I love my coworkers who I had this conversation with and don’t blame them for laughing at me given my response at the time. 🙂