Earlier this year, I came across a post that made me stop and think (I cannot tell you how much I love posts like that). Stacy Morrison posted on BlogHer that her 2012 resolution was to stop relaxing. Wait, did I read that right? The title definitely intrigued me so I looked into it further. Here is the main idea:
I bought myself a little spiral notebook and started writing down all the activities I like to do but don't ever seem to have time for: jigsaw puzzles, making photo albums, learning about photography, board games, coloring books (yes, coloring books!), researching a new cooking challenge, teaching my son bits of French. Yes, I also wish I were more in touch with friends, wrote more letters, had organized tax receipts and no dust bunnies under my bed, but I vowed to make this list free of anything that gave me that twinge of "ugh." Even just writing the list was an interesting experiment; it revealed how wired I am to assign myself tasks, as if that is how I earn my place on this earth.
Then, after I finished the list, I started focusing on replacing my evening downtime with these activities. And by doing this, I found a natural eddy of calm that existed within me, that was already there, waiting to be engaged—when I thought all that time the inner calm was waiting for me to come to a stop.
What an awesome idea. Starting last summer, I rediscovered my love of yarn and began knitting and doing crochet projects again. My favorite time of the day became 9 - 11 pm when the kids were all in bed and I had sports or a movie on television and I could pull out my needles. The stress of the day would inevitable wash away from me and I would feel that inner peace again. But what about other things that I love to do? I started to make my list and while most of it was perfectly expected, there were a few things that surprised me. (Note: when I did this exercise I approached it with a stream of consciousness mentality and just wrote down what came to me.) Exercise? Really, I wrote exercise? Sure enough, I did.
The key to this, of course, is actually following through and DOING those things that you love. From the time I started the list until today, I have taken 1 or 2 nights a week where I don't work with needles and I do something else on my list. It's early yet but the best thing I can say is that I'm enjoying the experience.
Make your list and take a look at what you wrote. Did anything surprise you? What are some things that you would love to get back into?