The Fun Theory

Why is it that most of the things in our lives that we should do feel like chores?  Eating healthy, exercising, recycling, keeping an organized household, doing yard work, maintaining the car . . . the list goes on and on, but I think you get the picture.  As children, simple tasks like unloading the dishwasher were exciting endeavors because we hadn’t done them 8 million times before and they were filled with interesting colors, shapes, textures, and ideas.  The simple act of stacking plastic cups as high as they would go and then watching them tumble before putting them away provided endless entertainment.  Perhaps this is exactly the point.  We as “grown-ups” are too sophisticated to do such silly things as make cup towers before putting them away.  We are much to busy to waste our time on such frivolities.  We have crammed our lives so full we no longer have time to make simple tasks FUN.  And because we don’t take the time to add the ridiculous to the mundane, we find ourselves should-ing our way through life rather than enjoying it.  I was pondering this idea while watching my son pretend to be a ghost as he put away his blanket, when I remembered an ad campaign by Volkswagen that I had seen some time ago which centered around this very concept.  It was called “The Fun Theory”  and its goal was to coax people out of their boxes by taking everyday tasks, injecting them with a healthy dose of fun and seeing how dramatically it improved people’s participation in those activities as well as the quality of their work while doing them.  The results were often remarkable.  Demonstrating that it’s not that people don’t want to do the things they should, it’s just that most of us are bored and under-stimulated.  If we could expand on this idea and start seeking out ways to make ordinary tasks enjoyable, I believe we would all lead much more productive and fulfilling lives.  So lets stop should-ing all over ourselves and start looking for ways to make life more interesting and everyday things more FUN!

Piano Stairs - 66% more people than normal chose the stairs over the escalator!

 

Bottle Bank Arcade - in one evening, this was used by over 100 people, as opposed to the normal 2 or 3

 

Speed Camera Lottery - caused a reduction of speed of 22% in three days!

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Digital Retail Therapy

When I was young, or perhaps I should say when I was childless, one of my most significant forms of stress management was SHOPPING!  I love to shop.  I believe some people call this retail therapy.  However, since Aiden came along and basically ruined shopping for me, turning it from stress management into stress manufacturing, I have pretty much given up shopping altogether.  While this is good for the pocketbook, which has also suffered since the arrival of our not so little bundle of joy, it is not so good for my moral. 

Enter online shopping!  Don’t get me wrong, the internet will never replace the sights, sounds, smells, and excitement of hitting the shops with some girlfriends and scoring incredible bargains, but it’s something.  It’s an outlet.  And there is SO much out there that you would never find in an ordinary store in your local strip mall.  One of my all-time favorite sites is ModCloth.com.  Their retro style is amazing and I feel inspired almost every time I visit their site.  They also have a blog called “Life in Style” that I have linked in my interests if you’d like to check it out.  I think, if I could just perfect my money tree project, I would redesign my entire wardrobe based on items, or at least inspiration from their site.  Here are a few of my recent favorites, just to peak your interest.

A collection of ModCloth Dresses that are to die for!

 

A variety - I actually purchases this retro inspired swimsuit last year and LOVE it. It's so modest that I feel comfortable in it while still feeling sexy and pin-up-ish.

 

ModCloth Hats and Shoes - Just lovely!

Re-defining Design

For the last several months, we have been hunting for the perfect place to call home.  Having had our current home for sale for some time now, we do not want to be caught with no place to go if/when it sells.  The process of trying to sell and buy a home at the same time is one filled with discordant emotions:  The constant hope that it will sell, mixed with the anxiety of, “What if it sells?!?”  Looking for a new house with eager expectation, while the devil on your shoulder keeps telling you, “This is a waste of time . . . It could take another year before you sell your house and this house that you love will be LONG gone by then!”  But despite my doubts, reservations, and anxieties about packing up and starting over some place new, and despite the constant stress of having to keep our house immaculate on the off-hand chance that someone might want to come look at it . . . at times I allow myself to dream about starting fresh.  My home is very important to me and I strive to make it a beautiful, quiet, comfortable space that feels lived in.  I imagine myself to have a flair for design and am consistently inspired by beautiful spaces but, up until now, my design style can most accurately be described as traditional.  Safe.

 I am ready for something new.  Granted, I will not have a signficant redecorating budget after the expense of moving, but I know there are so many simple things that can be done on a dime.  Photos can be taken and digitally manipulated and then hung in spray-painted frames found for $0.50 at the Salvation Army.  Pillows can be made or recovered from scrap fabric found in a bin at most fabric stores.  Curtains can be bought for half the price when you look in the shower curtain section and have a working sewing machine.  I know that I have the capability to make a change and I am ready for it.  Afterall, acceptance is the first step toward recovery.

I also have the distinct privilege of having wonderfully artistic and design oriented friends who have recently moved and been able to re-define their style.  I look at the pictures they post and glean ideas and inspiration that I file away until it is my turn to re-draw my living space.  Here are some of their photos.  Hopefully they will inspire you as they have me.

Katie's New Home in NC - You can see more pictures on her blog, ChaiThoughts.com

Morgan's New Home in Downtown Jackson