By: Annie F. Downs
Have we forgotten what fun means? With the busyness of this world and all the distractions (social media, jobs, adulting, etc) do we still have fun? Fun that fills up your soul, where you feel overwhelmed with joy and carefreeness. “How often do we call escapism fun?” (Pg. 18). Annie F. Downs in her new books write about how we can find the fun in our lives. We all know that we need food, water, shelter and safety to survive but would you believe that fun is actually among those needs as well?
That Sounds Fun is split into three different categories, the joys of being an amateur, the power of falling in love, and why you need a hobby. Out of the three sections of the book, the joys of being an amateur stuck out the most to me. Amateur nowadays has a negative connotation, we take its meaning as someone who is new at something and makes a ton of mistakes or they handle things incorrectly. Honestly, this is how I have always thought of the word and have used it, BUT if you look up the actual definition it means something different entirely. The actual definition is “a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons.” Amateur isn’t supposed to have a negative connotation at all! It just means someone who does an activity for fun! Doesn’t that mean we are all amateurs then? “Every day is the first day we’ve ever done today, so maybe there just needs to be a little more acknowledgement of the amateur who lives and actually thrives in each of us” (Pg. 49). After reading this I felt so free. I am always the hardest on myself and am constantly judging how good I am or not at something (just read my other blog posts). But when I learned that everyone is new to everyday and new at something, I didn’t feel so alone anymore. This blog for example, I am VERY new at it, I’m using Youtube to learn different techniques or looking at Pinterest for some inspiration. Or even today I could not, for the life of me get the quotes block to work, I was starting to get really frustrated with myself, but then I took a deep breath and thought, I’m an amateur and thats wonderful!
Now the second section was a little less moving for me. Annie is a single woman and trying to not find love in a man but in her surroundings, hobbies, family and friendships. This section would be good for my single friends, and people who are struggling with feeling lonely and unloved. I am married, and so this section fell a little flat for me. But I can certainly see how important it would be to other people.
The last section was about why you need a hobby, and how important it is to do something for yourself. This section also hit me very hard because I tend to do what other people want me to do. Its always fine to seek the advise of other people, but I have taken it a step too far in my life where I can’t make my own decisions… I need to ask my husband or my friends what I should do and I make a decision off of that. But at times they will ask me what I want to do, and since I have become so dependent on doing what other people want me to do I have forgotten how to think for myself… “When you stop picking your hobbies or making decisions based on what others tell you is worth your time and effort, and you start listening to your own heart and your own wants, life gets so much richer” (Pg. 198). I realized that I was living my life by other people and not myself, even my opinion of myself was determined by how other people saw or felt about me. I’m not sure if anyone else struggles with this, but its definitely a hard rut to dig yourself out of. But if you take small steps everyday that is where the big victories come from, thats why I started diamond painting, and this blog. None of my friends even know that I do this, its just something for me to enjoy! And I’m not hiding it, but I am making it special for who I am. Annie Downs brings everything back to the garden of Eden. That we are constantly searching for the paradise we lost, BUT in hobbies we can find out who God made us to be and the joy and home we lost all those years ago. I encourage you to try and find a hobby that you love doing just for yourself, what makes your heart sing, something that you can look forward to, or something you used to do as a kid? Find that and never let it go!
Lastly my review, I’ll make this kind of short since I wrote so much above. I really enjoyed this book I learned a lot. The author does focus a lot on her own stories which for me personally I would have liked a little less of and more application guidance. BUT her stories are inspiring and did make me cry once or twice. I read through this pretty quickly and at then end of it found some hobbies for myself. I would recommend giving it a try!