Much of time starts to seem the same after a while. We get up, eat breakfast, work, finish work, do our evening routines, go to bed. Days blend into each other. This is especially true during pandemic times when many normal sources of novelty are less available.
But “less available” doesn’t mean “completely unavailable.” I’ve been emphasizing the idea of continuing to plan one big adventure and one little adventure into every week. Another way to make time more memorable? Add an element of whimsy — which might be doable, whatever else is.
Whimsy is defined as “playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.” I think the playful part is key.
So on Valentine’s Day, we had pink, heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast. Continuing with this theme, we got tickets for the Franklin Institute in the afternoon and walked through the giant heart. During normal times, the route through this two-story model is claustrophobic, but with strict museum attendance limits and a traffic-light system, it was a far more enjoyable experience. And now we remember, “oh yes, on Valentine’s Day, we walked through a giant heart…”
I’ve been pondering future ideas for adding whimsy to the calendar. Funny breakfasts are always good — as is having breakfast for dinner if that’s not something you do frequently. We ate at a buffet once where bananas had been shaped into dolphins with blueberry eyes. Online, I saw the suggestion of painting your nails a fun color. I’d start with toenails, but with so many people working from home, maybe fingernails could go green for Saint Patrick’s Day or some such. Coffee might be more fun in a purposefully silly mug. I like the idea of Zoom scavenger hunts where people go and find “something that makes you smile” or “something older than you are.” A walk in the woods can become a scavenger hunt too (find something yellow…pretty hard in winter!). Put a garden gnome outside the window you see while working from home. Then move it around or assign others to move it. Matching family pajamas or matching silly slippers (easier to wear all day) can qualify as whimsical. A MadLib or two gets at the same silliness. Sometimes acrostic poems can too (bonus: really easy to write). Blow bubbles in winter. One study investigating the effects of whimsy had participants eat popcorn with chopsticks. Turns out they enjoyed it more!
In any case, the point is to think up something a little different than the norm, or something a little silly. Whimsy doesn’t change much, but it doesn’t need to. Anything out of the ordinary stands out.
What elements of whimsy have you added to your life?