33 % More Fun

Life is supposed to be fun

Stop and Smell the Wisteria

Wisteria is by far my favorite flower. (Lilac is a close second, maybe I just like purple flowers). Anyhow, the place I rent has 2 bushes out in front and they are starting to bloom. I didn’t notice them until I walked by on the way to the coffee shop the other day and they were just so fragrant. I just love the way they smell (I can’t believe a candle sent hasn’t been made out of it yet).

I know it sounds so cliche, right? “Stop and smell the roses.” But having fun isn’t just about the baseball games, vacations, hanging with friends, birthday parties, or going to the ballet. I have plenty of those things in my life and if I really want to have more fun, I have to learn how to enjoy the moment more. Take more time to bask in the little things.

Often times we think to have more fun we need to do big things. But realistically we can’t do that all the time, nor would we really want to always be on the go. If I really want to increase the joy in my life it has to be in the cracks, the little things, that we so often forget about. So I’m going to stop and smell the wisteria more often.

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To the Races! Ostrich and Camels?

I believe it’s important to try new things. So when I heard about the ostrich and camel racing I couldn’t pass it up. I know you can ride a camel, but people actual ride ostriches? On top of that people actually try to race them? The only thing I can envision is the Disney classic, “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960), where they are racing all these different animals and one of the kids is trying to ride the ostrich, very unsuccessfully I might add. (Sidenote: Why on earth did this island have all these exotic animals? Where they naturally there or where they from the ship reck? They seemed so tame, it would be ridiculous if they were naturally there. I haven’t watched it since I was a kid and the plot seems to be unraveling as I try to remember the movie. Maybe more importantly is, why do I remember that scene?)

Anyhow, I decided that a few other friends might also enjoy this event and I was able to successfully herd 4 more to the races with me. I had intended on dressing up in race track attire that matched the only special hat I have and speak in a bad british accent all night. Unfortunately it was mildly cold and drizzling. So I wore the hat with some warmer clothes and forgot about the accent.

The ostrich and camel races were between the horse races. The ostriches were first. Their was Big Bird, Bird Brain, Crazy Legs, and another I can’t remember. We couldn’t bet on them formally but we did amongst ourselves. It was funny watching them get the birds into the gates and the jockeys tried to stabilize themselves on the unwilling birds. The birds didn’t want to go into the gates and they kept dumping off the jockeys. They were finally ready to race. It was a short distance, but jockeys managed to fall off and one of the birds escaped the corralling attempt, and decided to go around the track after dumping his jockey. It was short lived, but entertaining. It looked very similar to this Ostrich Racing Gone Wild.

For the Camels there was Camela Anderson, Humpty Dumpty, Sir spits alot, and Humphrey. The camel ridding looked rather awkward (not that riding an ostrich isn’t). They rode one hump camels and sat on the back of the hump and reached over the hump to hold on. The Camel racing was as short lived as the ostriches and a little less entertain, but watching  my friend gloat over winning the 2nd bet amongst ourselves was priceless.

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Make a list I can check off

In an attempt to increase my 33% of fun, I’ve decided to take baby steps at work. I may not be able to make it all great right this moment, but I can do a few things to make it better. I’ve come up with a bunch of ideas and I’m going to try them out one at a time.

The past few months I’ve felt overwhelmed at work. Too much to do and not enough time. People are always asking me to do things that sidetrack me from my main focus. I have a to do list that’s 100 ft long and I feel like I just keep adding to it and never actually get to check anything off. The to do list is usually those big ticket items that often require lots of little things to get done first.

I’ve decided it’s time to acknowledge the little things I actually get done. Maybe I can’t finish the entire proposal today but maybe I can make the map for the proposal. Yay! Now I get a check, gold star for me! Also, when people come to me for little things, I plan on writing them down and checking them off immediately. That way, at the end of the day, I can see what I’ve done and feel better about the fact that I am indeed getting things done, even if I don’t get to check off a big item.

I hope my little list will help me check off my big list and then someday my list will be like this…

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33% more fun

Here’s the conversation I had with my friend over a beer the other night.

Friend: My new years resolution is to have 33% more fun this year.
Me: 33%?
Friend: I was pretty drunk on new years and thought it sounded like a good number. You know, everything now has 33% more!
Me: That makes since? But how are you going to do that? What percentage of fun do you have now? How are you going to quantify this?

The conversation devolved into great depth about how to quantify this 33%. This is what we came up with.

Let me explain. We decided to do a weekly sum. 168 hrs/week, roughly 49 of those hrs are spent sleeping (avg 7 hrs a night) = 119 (rounded to 120) waking hours in which you could be having fun. 50 of those hrs are spent at work (roughly 40% of my time) 70 hours not at work (60%).

Because he had a particularly crappy year (only 2% of his time being fun) we decided that his goal was 33% overall. We agreed that this was a very reachable goal for him.

My calculations got a little more complicated. I decided that I have fun about 80% of the time I’m not at work (56 hrs) and maybe 10% of my time at work (5 hrs, That’s a dismal number). 33% of 61 is 20 totaling 80 hrs a week, which would increase my total happiness to roughly 70% of the time. I think that’s a pretty good number.

My new years resolution was to complain less about work. As my friend so wonderfully pointed out, my real goal was to have more fun at work (meaning there is less to complain about). Hmmm, maybe their will be a spreadsheet involved. Quantifying happiness is a little difficult, but overall a fun idea.

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