25th November 2022

We recently came across a TED Talk by Catherine Price that had us thinking about fun with a whole new perspective.

Catherine believes that one of the ways we can feel truly alive, is to simply have fun. She does, however, challenge the way in which fun is defined.

As the dictionary describes fun as ‘amusement, enjoyment, or lighthearted pleasure’, Catherine has come to realise that it can be all too easy for us to see fun as frivolous or optional. However, after collecting countless stories from people the world over, through which they shared the moments they’d experienced the most fun, she came to see there was something far deeper going on.

The stories recounted some of the most joyful and treasured memories of people’s lives, and it was from here that Catherine came to realise just how intrinsically linked fun and feeling alive were.

Catherine became aware that fun was felt rather than experienced.

She came to see that the serendipitous nature of fun is easily recognisable because those who experience it look as if they’re being illuminated from within as it produces a visceral lightness and joy within them.

When people told Catherine their stories of fun, though the details between them were different, there were three factors that were consistently present that she believes constitute a new definition of fun – playfulness, connection and flow.

By playfulness, Catherine was referring to doing something just for the sake of it, letting go of perfectionism and not caring too much about the outcome. Connection came when an experience was shared, whether that be with another person, the surroundings in which it was done, or simply with the activity itself. Flow is the state we find ourselves in when we are so engaged and focused on what’s before us that we lose track of time.

Upon hearing these, we couldn’t help but think of our time with needle and thread, as whilst many of us relish the connection and flow we experience, playfulness is rarely a term we’d used to describe our time spent stitching. 

However, as Catherine came to appreciate that ‘when we experience all three at once, something magical happens’ that doesn’t just feel good, but it is good for us, and that ‘fun is not just the result of human thriving, it’s a cause’, we started to wonder how we could experience a greater sense of playfulness in our time with needle and thread.

For now, we think we might embark on a project simply for the joy of stitching. No predetermined outcome, no deadline, no pressure and simply see what comes of it.

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