Annie F. Downs is a best-selling author, nationally known speaker and podcast host based in Nashville. After listening to her at speaking events and reading her books for years, she can be described as “the girl everyone wants to be best friends with.” Downs recently released her latest book, That Sounds Fun with an invitation to readers to understand the meaning of fun, to embrace it and chase it, to figure out what, exactly sounds like fun to you!
After spending the last year facing many unknowns and uncertainties, That Sounds Fun comes at a perfect time as we still face remote school, social distancing and may restrictions. After a year of lots of time at home, we can all use some new ideas while we are still spending most of our days at home. Downs shares in That Sounds Fun that she didn’t necessarily love her home when she purchased it. Many of us are feeling the same way, wanting to renovate or update our spaces. A friend’s mother mentioned to Annie that everything feels differently after making memories, having experiences, laughing, and having people over. She offers that after making memories, your house will feel more like home.
Finding “fun” isn’t always jovial or light-hearted, finding true joy is often deeper and requires some self-reflection. Downs takes the reader on a journey of discovering the fun we need in our lives. From playing soccer with Nashville Soccer Club, in-depth counseling, Dollywood and sharing about her family home, Downs covers a wide array of ways to truly find fun in life.
Five Ways to Find Fun at Home
1. Through a Child’s Eyes: Downs encourages us to think backwards to what was fun to use as kids and start there! Children are the best examples of always being able to live carefree days. They prioritize fun and can find simple ways of finding joy.
2. Kitchen Competitions: “Lots of people say food is medicine, but I would say cooking is medicine.” Annie references Chef Cory from Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship in That Sounds Fun. She suggests bringing the fun to the kitchen by trying new recipes, using new
ingredients, learning another culture’s favorite meals. Another idea she encourages is to bring the family together is by hosting family cooking competitions. Downs recommends checking out cookbooks from the library or browsing the unlimited ideas on Pinterest.
3. All in the Neighborhood: Annie and her neighbors created a “Swap Spreadsheet” where they set up an exchange system of puzzles, board games, sports equipment, movies and other household items. This is a great way to share ideas and fun amongst neighbors without having
to spend money.
4. Make It: Annie believes that “something really good for us happens when we make things.” Get back to simplicity of things we used to know like creating art, learning a new skill like knitting, cross-stitching, gardening or pursuing an interest you’ve always wanted to try.
5. Get Outside: Move your body, enjoy fresh air even if only for a few minutes. It really matters to our body and is so good for our overall wellbeing. Middle Tennessee is full of hiking spots, nature trails and green space. One of Annie’s favorites is Radnor Lake.
While Annie has found rhythms of fun at home, she is also looking forward to visiting local establishments like seeing a live show at The Ryman, strolling through Downtown Franklin’s busy sidewalks, eating lunch at Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork and enjoying our bustling town. Williamson County is full of so many “fun” experiences. You can find Annie’s new book, That Sounds Fun, everywhere books are sold.