In the continued development of making sure I make time for me and my family & friends, I ran into a bit of a snafu. The problem isn’t *how* to make time – I working on that pretty well – the problem has been answering that question “what to do with my spare time?” which of course led to the “what do I like to do?” question. Oddly, this question has caused me some grief – turns out it’s difficult for me to figure out how to do this “spend more time on me and my friends/family” thing and that I really do not know the answer that question.
As has been mentioned before, change is constant for me – I get bored quickly – with hair, clothes, furniture arrangement, etc. (and let me stop for a moment to be thankful that my constant desire for change doesn’t cross over to foundation things like jobs, people, and virtues). But I do really believe that I’m constantly searching for what I truly, truly love to do – what hobbies, past-times, etc., do I want to do? This is important to me to figure out so I can accomplish this goal of spending more time in the “spare time” category and less time in the “working time” category. But figuring this out has been hard. For those of you who spend lots of time around me, you probably have seen this manifest lately with the many questions about what books you think I should read or other similar requests.
I suppose you will not be surprised when I tell you that I still do not have an answer to this question. This post does not end with “Melia Erin’s 10 things she loves!” or anything of the like. But, I do have one idea on how to figure it out and it came to me Friday evening. In my attempt to avoid the TV and internet (because my emotions were on overload and needed a break from the news), I started reading an Oprah magazine. Laugh all you want, it’s okay – I fully admit that the fact that I read Oprah and Real Simple magazines might surprise you. But anyway, there was an article in there about taking a leaps of faith and discerning between a fear-based and love-based decision. Included in this article was this excerpt:
“You can gain more clarity by getting into the habit of imagining the choices you’d make if you had no fear — of failing, of losing, of being alone, of disapproval. Take a minute now to practice: What clothes would you wear tomorrow if everyone were sure to approve? What music would you listen to today if nobody else was around – not even your mind? What books, movies, or food would you enjoy if no one ever judged you?”
So, that’s kind of where I’m starting. I don’t normally fear what people think of my choices or anything like that, but this little task of “what would you do if no one was around?” seems to be a good starting point for me. I know for some people, this would be a fairly easy task but for me, it’s not. I’ve spent so many years working and studying that I just really don’t know. For example, with the exception of my recent requests of what to read lately, almost every book I’ve read in years has been non-fiction or scholarly. There were a few in there that were not – last winter break I read the entire Harry Potter series; when I was recovering from an appendectomy two years ago, I read some mystery novels; and most recently I read The Passage by Justin Cronin (good, but way freaky – do not read it straight through until 2am like I did – you won’t get to sleep – trust me on this). But mostly, it’s just been articles and scholarly stuff.
This will definitely be a “to be continued…” journey for me. Don’t be surprised if I seem to randomly ask you questions about what fun hobbies you have or what YOU really love doing. I’m curious now how many other people know what they’re passionate about and if they find ways to incorporate them into their days. Sounds like a good winter break project to me. 🙂