I’m convinced that everybody has a thing. You know, someone will talk about a hobby or something that they like to do, and we say, “Oh I’d never have time for that.” You think they are so great or so crazy depending on what it is and who you are, and you think you are so lame or so sane for not sharing the same hobby. We have a certain amount of free time in a day. Some people go to the gym, some bike, some read, some go running, some draw, some binge watch Netflix, some like to socialize. People generally have several things that they place of high importance. We tend to think the other person is weird for using up their free time doing the activity that we can in no way relate to.
I was talking with some people about exercise a few years ago. We were remarking about how crazy it seemed that all these new moms had all this free time to exercise. One person commented, “I could do that, but honestly, I would rather do other things during my kids nap time.” We all offered our judgmental remark about why we didn’t spend all that time working out. We all wanted to feel better about ourselves, because we didn’t exercise.
We may not have wanted to exercise, but there were other things that we were willing to do in our kids nap time- Read, nap, exercise, whatever.
Everybody has select activities/hobbies that they place above other things, that we are able to compromise things in our life, in order to make said activity work into our day.
My thing is cleaning. I LOVE to clean and organize. I love it so much, that sometimes I hate it because it consumes me. I get obsessive about it. I feel like my house is as never as clean as I want it to be, and there is always something that could be cleaner or organized better. When I am stressed, I clean to relax. When I have guests over for dinner and they offer to help me clean up, I decline always, because I like to do it myself.
I was thinking the other day that I needed to get a gym membership so that I could work out after my kids went to bed. Or maybe even during the day-I could get a babysitter or drop them off at gym day care. In order to do though, I realized, something would have to give. Something else that I really enjoyed doing would have to be taken off my schedule. Even if it were just a few times a week.
My days are packed. I take care of my kids. I clean my house. I garden. I go swimming with my kids. Before bed, I take an hour or two to read. I was and am not prepared to take one of these things off my schedule. I decided that if I do want to exercise, I need to find a better option. Something that I could better incorporate with the things that I already do.
In the past, I may have felt bad about my inability to make the gym work. Now, I realize, why do something that is not going to work for me? Why set myself up to fail with an activity that I do not enjoy enough to make it worth my time. There are other forms of exercise that I enjoy more that I can do from home.
I think it’s human nature to focus on the things that you don’t do well, instead of the things that you do do well. I read a book that talked about how the American Dream can be a bit self-defeatist. Movies, like Rudy, encourage you to work harder and harder at something that you don’t have a natural talent for, while ignoring the many talents that you are blessed with. Similarly we should not ignore the actives that we enjoy doing because we feel like we should be doing something else.
The last two years, I’ve been working on myself quite a lot. I have been focusing on the things that I really like to do. I have been not comparing myself to others. I have been working on the best version of myself that I can possibly be. I have spent too many past years trying to be a cheaper version of someone else. It’s a losing hand.
I love to clean. I love to read. I love to sew. I love to swim. I love the hot. I love to garden. I love my family. These are things that make me happy, and these are the things that I will continue to do.