Be Serious About Play (Pt 2)

wdch

Booking under: Nicole

Are you wondering what this is? How does it relate to my chapter learning?

The title,”Be serious about play,” reminded me of the fun period I had in Los Angeles after graduating. When I was still in college, I was busy with coursework so I didn’t get time to visit all the top-rated places in town. So one day, my friend and I decided to go on a spontaneous tour around DTLA. One of the places we visited was the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a cultural icon that brings all forms of music perfection to The City of Angels. It was a treat for the eyes (and the ears) and we certainly had a blast simply walking around and taking snaps of this architectural masterpiece by Frank Gehry.

In this chapter, Gretchen’s sharing has inspired me to make my life more fun and entertaining in three dimensions. Let’s unfold them all at once.

1. Find more fun

soup

No one is born a great cook. One learns by doing.

When I think of the word “fun,” a number of activities come to my mind. Running, driving, listening to music, playing board games, hanging out with friends and travelling all sound very fun to me. While one of Gretchen’s readers shared that she enjoys having “solitary and quiet” fun, I like fun activities that can be both done by myself quietly and with a group of people to share the communal joy.

Cooking is one of them. I enjoy cooking on my own/ having potluck with friends since it helps me calm and relax pretty effectively. From getting the raw ingredients in the supermarket to nicely presenting the final product onto the plate, cooking develops my patience well and brings me a sense of satisfaction after keeping myself busy in the kitchen for hours. It is also a process that allows me to unleash my creativity with the ingredients and experiment with taste, flavor, and texture.

What makes cooking more enjoyable is that I can actually see (taste) the progress I made through visual and sensational evidence, while also allowing me to brush up my cooking skills. My housemate and I used to photograph every dish we made so that we could keep track of our progress and enhance the presentation and taste next time. In order to master more culinary arts and expand my cooking repertoire, I commit to make a new dish every two weeks and find more fun in cooking. 

2. Go off the beaten path

skydiving

If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

As Gretchen puts it, going off the path means pushing one “to encounter the unexpected thoughts, unfamiliar scenes, new people, and unconventional juxtapositions that are key sources of creative energy—and happiness.” Spot on indeed. Sometimes, people just need to step out of their comfort zone and go try new things. I know it’s easier said than done. Yet, it need not to be extraordinary and can really be something as little as visiting a new restaurant for lunch or commuting to work in another form of transportation (I would not risk it myself but you get the idea 😉 ).

I am a big fan of adventurous reality competition shows such as The Amazing Race and always respect the courage of those fearless participants who completed various Mission: Impossible-like tasks. A couple of years ago, I zip-lined in the States. I can’t recall where I got the guts but will never ever forget the feeling of falling insanely fast. Though it was a crazy experience that took my breath away, I was pleased that I overcame the challenge and can now tell the story here.

Before I start my family, I want to take it to the next level – go skydiving once (and only once). I am very sure I will be terrified by the heights (approx.13,000 feet) but this is one which I really want to push my own boundaries, make the leap, and check off my bucket list in a few years’ time. While it’s very unlikely for me to go skydiving before my next blog post, my commitment here is to seek after new and fun experience that makes me feel happy and energized. What is it exactly? I don’t know yet and will let novelty do its magic!

3. Start a collection 

chelsea

Fifty shades of blue, and a little bit of white, orange, and yellow too.

Like Gretchen, I like keeping little objects for sentimental reasons. Yet, I wouldn’t really call it my “collection” based on her definition on the word per se. She has wisely distinguished collectors into two kinds: one that seeks to maintain the completeness of a collection and another one that collects by feel and desire. As mentioned in the last chapterI am a magnet collector which looks more like the second type by nature. I buy it when I see it but it’s not compulsory at all.

Speaking of collector type 1, my Chelsea jersey collection should qualify me as one. Influenced by my “virgo mentality,” I like things to be organized and complete. Ever since my parents got me my first Chelsea jersey roughly ten years ago, I would buy a new home blue jersey every year and keep them in my wardrobe in an orderly way. Unless it’s a special occasion, I usually don’t wear them (especially those autographed ones) and prefer keeping them in brand new condition.

Collecting jerseys of my favorite team gives me great joy and boosts my level of happiness. From time to time, I would take all my jerseys out and display them in chronological order just for my own enjoyment. This fun activity reminds me of the ups and downs the team faced in that particular season. They are all great memories when I look back. I also like to think of the personal growth and development I’ve experienced as my collection aged. It may sound bizarre but you will get me if you are also a dedicated collector. Going forward, I will commit to manage and continue my jersey collection and work around a better way to display them in the future.

Summing Up

summing up

My commitments in May are comprised of challenging fun, accommodating fun and relaxing fun, categorized by Gretchen before she closed the chapter. Quickly summarizing it below:

1. Find more fun – prepare a new dish every two weeks

2. Go off the path – look for new experience to enrich my daily life

3. Start a collection – manage and continue my jersey collection

How did Keith do with his commitments this month? Is he reserving more time for leisure outside of work? I am eager to find out as much as you are. Come back next week for his action review! In the meanwhile, if you have any similar experiences in cooking, going on an adventure, or collecting something you like, you’re welcome to share your thoughts with us either by leaving a comment below or writing to aloha.abf2@gmail.com. Have a playful weekend!

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