[21] 29 Lessons

Have a hobby.

Once you are done with school, you are instantly less exposed to variety unless you make a conscious decision to be. I attended a liberal arts university, and I didn't even realize at the time what a gift it was to study so many areas of interest. When I started working, I actually did get to use my degree; and it was about that time that I also started blogging and writing on my own, just for something to do. 

For a writer, it can be really hard to draw lines around "work" and "play," especially since I freelance now. More time obviously is dedicated to being a mother; but as much as it can be really hard work to be a mom, when I think of "work" I think of my writing. Yet when I have time to myself, even with no deadline looming, I eventually find myself in front of the computer, typing away or reading a blog or listing things I might want to write about. When I realized how much my work blurred into my play, I also noticed that I wasn't feeling relaxed. Just because you enjoy something honestly doesn't always mean that it's relaxing you. 

So, throughout the years, I've started cultivating other interests. I bought an old sewing machine, learned to use it a bit, made up some creations for my girls. I finally decided that I'd rather learn French over Italian and I started studying withDuoLingo. I forced myself, at least one nap time a week, to sit down and read rather than doing anything else. I started trying to make breads and even helped in the garden from time-to-time (though I have a grave fear of killing all green things). 

Some of that stuff I'm good at. Some of it is just a way to pass the time or a means for feeling more well-rounded. But that's really the point of a hobby, isn't it? You have to step away from work now and again, even if it's your passion. And when it comes down to it, I want to be a person of multiple interests. I want to feel interested and interesting. 

Our generation's culture is very focused on equal parts work and play. We thinks we've consciously chosen to avoid workaholism by selecting work that is fun and that fulfills us--by turning our interests into income. Though the method is a bit different, the mentality is quite the same in that we're actually working all the time, and I don't think that's healthy. I want to enjoy the art of resting and in doing something for the sole pleasure and purpose of doing it. And I'm trying to cultivate this skill now, not only to broaden myself, but so I'm more inclined to act this way as I grow older, teaching my kids to do the same. I don't want to resent my work because it's consumed me; and I don't want to resent myself for not learning things that "I always wanted to..." but never did.