I woke up recently and realized… I wasn’t having very much fun in my life. And worse than that… I wasn’t even sure HOW to have fun. I am now on a mission to put more fun back into my days and to have things on my calendar that I look forward to!

Come listen to this episode to find out what I think is fun and how I think we can, as moms, get more fun into our lives! 

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Hi, and welcome to episode 13 of the Made For Greatness podcast. I’m Serling Jay and today we’re going to talk about having a little fun. So my husband turned 40 recently and he did a few small events. Like he went ice fishing with some friends and he had a board game night with some friends. And then on a different night, he set up our canvas tent. We have a very large canvas tent that he uses in the fall and the winter to do camping when it’s cold out, has a wood stove in it. And so he set it up in our backyard, which was kind of fun and sensational. And he invited some friends over to play poker. And so they were outside in our backyard and I was in our bedroom reading and I could hear these guys just laughing. I mean, I was in the house, they were in the backyard, but through the walls, I could hear them just busting up and laughing and having a good time.

And the next day I asked him how it went and he said, Oh, it was great. It was so relaxing. And I said, Oh, I could hear you laughing. And we kinda laughed about that. And I said, well, what were you guys talking about? And he didn’t really tell me everything that they were talking about, but he said, Oh, we also talked about a lot of serious things that are going on right now. And I thought that was so interesting because I was so drawn to their laughter and I was thinking, goodness, what is it that all a group of men could be talking about that would take them to this place of just enjoying themselves and laughing so much. And he said, I said, Oh, I’m a little jealous. And he said, Oh, you should have your friends over and do something. And I told him, I said, you know what?

To be honest, I don’t laugh a lot with my friends. Like when we get together, it feels pretty heavy or serious. And I said, Oh, why do you think that is? And so we talked about this for a while and a couple things. And he had been telling me probably for the last year that he feels like there isn’t enough fun in my life, or I’m not silly enough or lighthearted enough. And I totally copped to that. But I also totally copped to the fact that it’s my fault. Like I really even know how to have fun. And then I started thinking about my friends and women and wondering like, well, do we know how to have fun? Or why is it that it was so easy for me to have fun before becoming a mom? But now that I’m a mom, I feel like I’m so serious all the time.

Even though I long for this laughter and this, this joy that the men had in that tent. And so I started being really honest with him about why I thought I couldn’t have an event like that. I said, well, first of all, they wouldn’t come. They wouldn’t want to come. After seven 30, his event was rather late and the guys came very late and they stayed late. I said, I don’t think my friends would do that. I don’t think that they like to leave the house at night. And you know, a lot of us go to bed early and wake up early. And you know, I like that about myself. I like that. I go to bed at nine. And so I said, well, first of all, I don’t think that they would even come. I said, second of all, I don’t think that they would drink alcohol.

Really, most of my friends for health reasons now don’t drink alcohol. And, you know, I could tell that that was a component. My husband and his friends don’t drink a lot, but they probably each had two drinks. And I think it just added to this kind of festive fun atmosphere. And I know some of my friends drink, but I’m one of the ones that doesn’t right. Even me, I, I w if I had a glass of wine at night, it would probably make me feel pretty sick and I wouldn’t get a good night of sleep. And then I thought about the food and I thought, yeah, you know, to be honest, when I think of my friends, most of them don’t eat a lot of food at night either. And so I was feeling a little disheartened as I, as I’m imagining my non-party, that I can’t get anyone to come to.

And all of us, if they did come, just sitting around and staring at each other. And and I said, you know, and then the other thing is, every time we get together, we kind of talk about serious things. You know, I feel like recently, it’s just, everyone’s like, Oh, the state of the country and the COVID situation. And, you know, there’s so much to talk about the feels heavy, and it’s enjoyable on some level to talk about it, especially with your people. It’s nice to sit with your people and be like, okay, at least a whole bunch of us are kind of worried about this. And, you know, and then sometimes we’ll talk about the difficulty of, you know, having little kids or teens or whatever it is. And I like this again, I like this. I like sharing that time with moms and having that fellowship, but it feels heavy.

And so I had been praying about this this week and thinking about it, and I knew I wanted to do a podcast on fun. I’ll tell you what I have discovered in my prayers and in my thinking, but what was amazing to me was this weekend, Larissa called me. And she was like, you know what? I think we should do a challenge for the women about having fun. And she had no idea that I had been going through this and thinking about this. And it was just such a Holy spirit moment where I felt like we came together and wanted to give them this gift to women to inspire them to have more fun. So before I get into the super fund challenge that we’re doing I just wanted to kind of share some of the things that came up for me when I wondered like, Oh, why is it that I don’t have as much fun?

And so first I realized that I’m really good at making excuses. Okay. All those things I just said about my friends, I don’t think I’ve ever asked them. I don’t think I’ve emailed or texted, or even in person said, do you want to come over at seven 30 and have a drink with me or eat a piece of chocolate cake? And I’ve literally created a platform around not drinking and eating food for fun, but as I’ve cut off all of those things, I think, well, it’s not evil. First of all, it’s not bad. And what if I did it once a month? Right? Or even once a quarter, we’re not getting together, having fun once a quarter, even once a quarter, I thought, you know what? I would, I would stay up late. I would try to have a drink or maybe some chocolate or something that felt fun that I could look forward to.

Like, I’m getting together with these ladies, we’re going to do something. And then I thought, well, why don’t we ever do it on Saturday mornings? I know like a brunchy thing. And I just realized that as I found all these reasons for us not getting together and not having fun, but they all existed in my mind. And then later when I shared some of them with Larissa and Kara, they said the same things. They said that they also wished that they had more fun, but that they were making excuses to both for themselves and for their friends, like, Ugh, I don’t want to get dressed up because then I have to shave my legs, you know? And I don’t want to, you know, have to blow dry my hair and put on my makeup and go out. Like we’re already so busy. And so that just feels like one more thing.

And of course, as soon as we said that we laughed because we’re mindset coaches. And we’re like, yeah, I guess that’s just a thought, I mean, being busy, it’s just a thought. And we are literally making our own excuses about not having fun because, you know, I think the three of us acknowledged we had the time, the money, the space, the willingness of our husbands to have fun, and we were just not choosing it. So that’s the first thing I wanted to share with everybody is I think that we are doing this to ourselves and we’re doing it to each other by not talking about it.

We don’t,

I don’t talk to my friends about, Hey, let’s put something on the calendar that feels kind of sparkly and fun that we can look forward to.

Okay.

The second thing that I realized is I think there’s this pervasive idea

That we are not worth it.

We are here to serve and to toil. And we spent so long telling ourselves that we’re messing it up, messing up the kids, messing up our marriages, messing up the house, and we’re doing such a poor job

Of what we feel is our job. And I think deep down, we feel like we don’t deserve to go have fun. Like,

Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that because I’m screwing up this other stuff. Or I’m so tired doing this other stuff that I couldn’t possibly do it. But every time I got to the tired excuse, I realized if I knew it was going to be really fun, I would be willing to be tired over it. But right now the way that I’ve set it up or the way that my friends and I have events, they’re not often that fun. And so then I’m kind of like, well, no, I think I would rather just like, not wear a bra and sit in my bed and read a spiritual book, you know, and do the things that I like to do that feel kind of calming and restoring, because that sounds better honestly, than going and sitting at somebody’s house, you know, for an hour and talking about serious, heavy things,

Things. And I recognize fully

The impossibility of this situation where I’m like, Oh, I’m longing to have deep connections with people and to talk about serious things. Oh. But when we talk about serious things all the time, it’s kind of heavy and not fun. And I don’t always want to do it. I’m literally doing this to myself. No one is doing this to me. Okay.

And so

I really think at the heart of it, there’s this,

This

Things that women are mom, and I would love to hear from you about this either, you know, email me or go to Catholic mom’s social. Like I really want to hear if you guys all agree or in what ways you do, like, why is it so easy for the husbands to just like get together and have a good time? Because I know the husbands that came to my husband’s party and a lot of them have serious, hard things going on in their lives.

They are not all happy go lucky, carefree,

Right? They have the same crosses that their wives do, but they were able to somehow set them down and come over and have fun and play poker and laugh a lot for two hours. And yes, my husband was tired the next day and it was a little bit harder to take care of our circus of six children and all the things that we do, but he wasn’t complaining about it because he had such a good time. And I found myself really longing for that.

Do we think that we’re worth it? Why are we not making time for this? It sounds so simple having fun. And yet I don’t have a lot of it in my life and I really want to change that. So the next thing I thought of was, well, I’m just not good at having fun. I kind of went to this judgment place on myself, almost a panicky place. Like what if you don’t even know how to have fun anymore? You’re such a fuddy duddy, you know? And I thought, yeah, that feels kind of true. And so then I tried to make a list of the things that I thought were fun. I put walk with a friend. Sometimes that’s fun. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s heavy. So I wanted to put that one down because I acknowledged it. Sometimes it does feel fun. And I do look forward to it, like when it’s on my calendar and I know I’m going to go walk with someone, even when we talk about serious things, I do look forward to

It. And then I

Really challenged myself on having a drink or coffee or something small, you know, like what if I met up with someone and had a mimosa and immediately my brain was like, I don’t know. Sometimes it gives you a headache or there’s a lot of sugar in the orange juice. And I was like, I know, I know that brain. Okay. But we’re trying to have a little fun. And like, what if I did that literally once every three months, like, it’s okay, it’s okay to do that.

The other thing that stopped me as I was like, drinks are like $9. I was having drama about how much it is to get a drink, like at a restaurant, as opposed to just making it at home. And I was like, but this is the problem, right? You guys, this is the problem that I keep talking myself out of everything and then not doing anything. And I know that it would actually be fun if I put on a cute dress, even a casual one. And I went to a restaurant and had one drink with a friend, no matter how much money it was like, I have $9 to do this one time and it would be fun. And we would sit there and we would laugh. And we, I think would talk about different things. Then we do when we’re drinking tea and being more serious.

And I thought it doesn’t even have to be alcohol. I think if we went and got a cup of coffee and sat there and chatted, it would feel fun. But I think in this instance, leaving the house and being somewhere else is important and, and dressing up a little bit. I think that makes a difference because I think that goes back to loving ourselves and feeling like we’re worth it. And listen, I am, I rolly about it. I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want, I’d have to find something that looks okay and blow dry my hair. Okay. Don’t want to do it. But I long for fun. And I have to be honest, that to have fun, you have to compromise some other things. So what is it that we’re going to compromise? Not in a moral way, but what is it that we are going to compromise in order to have a little bit of fun?

I thought I do really like talking about books or things that we’ve learned. I don’t. And I think I, I don’t drive that with my friends. I don’t say, what are you reading? Or what’s something you’ve learned lately. That was really great. And it doesn’t even have to be in a book. I know my friends are, you know, Googling things about homeschooling or learning tips to wrangle feisty three-year-olds or how to batch cook, you know, rice. I don’t know that was a silly example. Well, but I know that we’re all Googling things and learning things, and I’d love to hear about them. And I think I’m embarrassed to ask because I didn’t want a mom who didn’t have something to say to feel bad about herself, but again, I keep making excuses for the women in my life without even giving them a chance. What if we’re all sitting in our living room, sad that we’re not having more fun.

What if that’s happening? I do like board games. I have it in my mind that none of my friends like board games, but I’m for sure going to email them after this episode. I don’t even know if any of my friends listened to this show, but I’m going to email them and say, do any of you actually play games? Because I like games. I realized for me, I really love puppies and dogs. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but they make me very happy, just like deep down, genuinely happy. And I thought, okay, you know, I could just pick a friend that has a dog that I really like and say, like, I’m going to come over and hang out with you. I want to play with your dog on the floor while we’re hanging out. Cause that would be really fun to me. And not in a way where I wasn’t paying attention to her connected to her. Right. But I just do. I like to sit on the ground and play with someone’s cute golden retriever while she tells me about whatever the things we were talking about anyway, but feels fun to me.

And then I thought about group coaching, a group cooking. I do group coaching all the time. That’s what happened just there, but group cooking. So this one time, my friend, I don’t even remember why we did it. She had something was going on. She was struggling. And so a whole bunch of us went to her house. Somebody owned or had was part of the subscription to a company where you can pick a bunch of meals and say, how many of the meals you want to make? It’s like a freezer meal thing. And so you put it all in and then it spits out all the ingredients that you need and how you would need to cook it. And the timing of all of it. And it was super fun. And so everybody brought their like bulls and measuring spoons and spices and meats and vegetables.

And I don’t know, there was like, at least five of us, maybe like eight of us in this kitchen. And we were cutting up things and we were making freezer meals. And in the end we had bags and bags of freezer meals, and we were doing it for our friend, but I thought it was so much fun. And I was exhausted. I was on my feet for hours, cutting and chopping and doing all of these things, but it was so much fun. And I thought, I think I would really enjoy doing that. And then we would all just take our own freezer meals home, but it sounded like so much fun. So I think I’m gonna, I think I’m gonna add that to my calendar.

Okay.

So I think there’s something there for making things. Maybe women want to feel useful. So maybe we can gather all of this stuff together and say, come over to my house. We’re going to make something. And I wrote down that I love paint nights. I love paint nights. I’ve done them several times. They fill me with so much joy. And so I thought, I wonder if I could grab all this stuff for that and have 10 women over and we could make something really simple, like a sacred heart. Right. I don’t think we’re going to be painting a beautiful scene of the Holy family. We’re all not there, but I feel like we could do like a sacred heart and figure that out. And I could watch YouTube videos and practice once. And then, you know, bulk order, canvas and paint. Like, it just doesn’t seem that hard, especially if I want to have fun, I’m willing to do some hard things for this goal of having fun. So the last thing I wanted to mention was this idea, like, what if you don’t want to have fun and that’s totally

Fine. Like,

What if you’re totally happy and content with your life right now and everything I’ve said sounds annoying and not interesting to you. What does that say about you? And I just want you to sit with that a moment and just know

That is totally fine, right? Like it’s totally fine to say I enjoy being

Quiet and peaceful.

I like being at home.

I like reading books and drinking tea

And journaling. I like my quiet life in no way. Is this episode

About making someone feel bad about something that they’re not doing? My goal for this episode was to reach women who want to have more fun in their lives and are feeling stuck.

I want to say,

I see you. I feel you. And I kind of think that most of our friends feel the same way. You know, what if we really purposed to create more fun in our lives and in the world,

But it’s totally fine. If you don’t want to do that, there is no right way to enjoy your life. And actually I Googled Bible verses about fun and normally there’s always a ton. And I just pick my favorite ones. And there were not, there were not a ton of Bible verses about having fun. There were a lot of Bible verses about having peace and joy. Joy was very important. Like the Bible says many, many times that we ought to have joy. It is a good thing. It is a fruit of the spirit. When we walk with the spirit, we have joy. So it is saying, you know, we shouldn’t be grouchy pans moms, okay. We should take joy, but there’s a real quietness. Even there can be to the word joy, like you can joyfully be moving throughout your day and doing kind of regular normal domestic things. And just walking with the Lord and having joy in your heart.

There are a lot of Bible versus about like eating food and drinking wine, like in a good way in a positive spin. But I think that’s just because people for so long get together and they, you know, eat things and drink things. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I just, in my particular world, so many of us have like locked down. Some of those options that I think we just need to be a little bit more creative About how we eat and drink together.

I want us to think about having more fun or at the very least more joy in our lives. So this was the one Bible verse that I did find that I really, it was from Ecclesiastes chapter five, verse 18 through 20.

This is what I have seen to be good. It is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun and the few days of the life. God, God gives us for this as our lot. Likewise, all to whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he enables to enjoy them and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil. This is the gift of God for they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts.

This is the Catholic Bible that everyone recommends. Some of the other versions sound a little bit more fun and full of joy. Our Catholic version is often very serious and that’s okay. I’m choosing it because that’s what the church tells us to do. But it still says find enjoyment in all the toil. Our days are few enjoy the things that God has given you find enjoyment

Because God keeps us occupied with the joy of our hearts. God wants to enjoy this life that he has given us. Imagine that you have your children and you created your home and you bought them toys. And you thought about ways to make them happy and to have them enjoy their lives. And they woke up every morning and they just were like zombies doing their chores and going throughout the day. And when you would talk to them, they’d be like, I’m fine, mom. I’m going to take care of my school now. And then I’m going to do the laundry. And I’m going to sit outside for a little bit, like imagine how sad we would be if our children were not living with joy. If they were not having fun,

We would work hard to help them figure it out. And I imagine that God is looking at us in the very same way, lighten up kid, not everything is so serious. Enjoy the things that I gave you. I gave you so many things that you can delight in and have joy around. And dare I say a little bit of fun.
How can we have more fun in our lives? I really want to encourage you to take out a piece of paper and write down the things that you think are fun. Not self-care. When I was talking with Louis and Kara, I think self care things were the first things that came to our mind, right? Like taking a walk by ourselves or taking a bath. And then we were kind of stuck on getting your hair cut, because I think there’s a way that you could do that. That feels really fun. And I think there’s a way that you can do that to feel like it’s a chore and you don’t want to spend the money and you’re not enjoying yourself. So I think there’s a framing to the activities that we do.

We were trying to think of free things that were fun. And we thought like, maybe going to a bookstore and just looking at books for awhile, like two hours though. And I know for some of you that may not be possible in a COVID world, but what else could you do? Where could you go? Where could you just delight in the world that God has created? I want something on your calendar that you feel excited about. That you’re like, Oh, that is coming up on Thursday. And I am really looking forward to it. But I wanted to create like a sparkly feeling for you. What could you arrange? And if you don’t want to ask yourself, why that’s it because you don’t think you’re worth it. Why do our husbands have so much fun so easily? Is it difficult for us to do that?

I want to hear from all of you about how you have fun or don’t have fun. Give me more ideas. Maybe you and your friends get together and you laugh and have a great time. Tell me how you do that because I want more of that in my life. All right, ladies, the last thing I wanted to share with you is this super fun challenge that we’re doing in masters. So we’re calling it the love, your life challenge. And it starts on February 1st and we are putting moms in groups of four and they are going to set one personal goal and one fun goal. So the personal goal will be something that you just really want to cross off your to-do list. Like maybe cleaning out your car, maybe answering a bunch of emails that have been in there for three years. We don’t even know what’s in that thing.

Maybe having sex with your husband. We put that one on there. We thought that was hilarious. Maybe losing two pounds or four pounds, if you’re feeling aggressive. So you’re going to set a personal goal. It can be whatever you want. Then you have to set a fun goal though. And it can also be whatever you want, but it has to be fun. And so each team and you guys can communicate, however you want, like via text or email or zoom, you could do a lot or a little, but at a minimum you have to email us your goals and then you have 14 days to complete them. So it’s just like a quick burst, just a mini challenge. And if all four of you achieve your two goals, then you get put in a drawing. We’re going to pick two teams and we’re going to give each person on the two teams, a $25 Amazon gift card.

So that’ll be fun. And then any individual moms. So even if your team doesn’t want, but any individual mom who meets her two goals is going to be invited to a virtual happy hour where we’re going to get dressed up. We’re gonna have a drink together and alcoholic drink could begin non alcoholic drink, but it’s going to be fun. I want you to be cocktail party on the top, even if your jammies on the bottom. Okay. And come hang out with me. We’re going to laugh. I think I’m going to find some like fun questions that we could answer or just have a good time. And so we’re doing this in masters. And so I really want to invite you to sign up for that. If you want to be part of this challenge, it’s going to be a lot of fun. But even if you don’t, even if you’re not part of masters, I want to encourage you to reach out to someone or many someones plan, something fun, something that makes you feel excited, something you can really look forward to. And again, we don’t have to live like this all the time. One thing a quarter would be a pretty good start for a lot of us. All right, ladies, I love you. I’m praying for you. We are doing so much better at this whole mom thing than we think we are and they think we’ll enjoy it a lot more. If we can set down all the heaviness of our lives and have a little fun. All right, mommy, you can do this because you were made for greatness.