Toil, worry or boredom

photo credit: Cannon Eye via photopin (license)

photo credit: Cannon Eye via photopin (license)

“Broadly speaking,” Churchill said, “human beings can be divided into three classes: those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death, and those who are bored to death.”

 

Winston Churchill, a very busy man, was a big fan of hobbies. “To be really happy,” he said, “one ought to have at least two or three hobbies.” (Early to Rise)

 

Until I read that second quote from Churchill, I wondered if I had too many hobbies. As soon as I had that thought, I realized how great of a problem this was! It wasn’t that many years ago where I was searching for hobbies. I wanted to have something to do with my time, a way to meet new people, and to feel like I was using my down time in a way that was productive.

I had gone through this period in my life where I worked too much and obsessed about it and I had no outlet except TV. I was too tired to read and demotivated. I needed something to do that wasn’t work. I lived with an intensity that never ended and it was hard work!

I needed to learn how to play.

Now… I probably need to learn how to work again! I read, I write (or I used to),  I crochet, colour, sew (sort of), I bake, I play piano…

I’m really proud of myself for the progress I’ve made with crochet. It was something I had wanted to for ages and finally decided to get down to it. Now that more people in my life are having babies, and with these incoming refugees to Canada, I have all kinds of people to make things for! Of course you’ve seen me post about colouring as well. It’s been nice to have a few different creative outlets to choose from because I can go all out with one until I’m sick of it and then switch to the other!

If you don’t have a hobby, you really need to find something that works for you. You don’t need to take up colouring or writing for it to “count.” Hikes, runs, woodworking, gardening, baking, cooking, the list is endless. Think about it. What would you like to do more of that isn’t work or housekeeping related?

Five simple reasons you need a hobby

  1. It helps you avoid burnout.
  2. It gives your brain a break and reduces your likelihood of depression and dementia! 
  3. It’s fun!
  4. It’s stress relief.
  5. You can meet new people.

“But I’m so busy, you don’t understand!” I maybe don’t understand but I also think you’re probably not totally right. You still need a hobby! Your seven kids can terrorize your husband instead for an hour while you go bird watching. Work 78 hours this week instead of 80 so you can finally start learning to breakdance. Just do something!

Let’s look at first Churchill quote again: “Broadly speaking, human beings can be divided into three classes: those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death, and those who are bored to death.”

Which are you? Let’s be toilers of good things: faith, family, work, and meaningful leisure that fills our tank for more.

Being Crafty

It's still in its home on the back of my dad's couch.

It’s still in its home on the back of my dad’s couch.

Growing up, we had this afghan that lived on the back of our couch. No matter how many times we moved (and they were many), this blanket came with us. It was there through all of our childhood illnesses, through every movie we watched, every cold Canadian winter. My Dutch grandmother had crocheted it years ago. One day, I resolved as a teenager, I would learn to crochet and make a blanket like this for my family.

Since graduating from University, I’ve been on a quest of sorts for hobbies. I know that hobbies are a very important part of a balanced and full life, especially if you’re someone like me who can be a little too into her work. But I just couldn’t find something that I clicked with and loved to do (except blog, right?).

“Start being Crafty” has been on my Personal Development Plan for years. I’ve taken steps towards these things. I sewed a bit one year, I tried to cross stitch another year… but there’s always this threshold of difficulty that I have a hard time surmounting. My mom finds this hilarious and bewildering, because these things are like breathing to her. Whereas I get annoyed when she can’t remember her AppleID or work her iPad.

But alas, here I am, finally crocheting. I asked for crochet gear at Christmas and this is my big goal for the year. For a few reasons:

  • I want to be able to do it
  • I’ve put it off long enough that it’s becoming shameful.

So despite the fact that I’m not running right now, I did go swimming this week. Despite the fact that I haven’t been writing every day, I’m blogging a little bit more regularly. And three weeks ago, I couldn’t crochet at all. I’m not stagnating anymore!

crochet

I’m back in the saddle, it seems. A friend recently asked me why I’m blogging more again and what had changed? The answer: who can know? I don’t really know what has changed, other than I actually feel like I have something to say again. Why do I have something to say suddenly? Again: who knows?

Maybe it’s that I got restless after sitting around for so long in the fall. Maybe it’s that I got a crochet hook, some wool, and a how-to book and enough motivation to start. It’s probably a little of both. This brings me to the point of my post.

I haven’t really been working on my bucket list goals very much recently, but I obviously have been moving forward on other ‘lesser’ goals. In some ways, they’re just as important as these other things, just less audacious. They’re also things that I had always wanted to do, but never made it onto my official list that I had created.

Even though a Personal Development Plan is different than a Bucket List, it’s still totally relevant to this blog. I’ll explain why the next time I write (see? I’m back in the saddle, people!).

One-eighty

A year ago I was scrambling to find resources to help me manage my full-time work with people. I was a team leader that meant I managed a staff team (people work) and talked to other people all day. I was struggling to have any desire to have friendships at the end of the day. I talked to my friends basically only by text. This blog was the place I worked out some of the things I learning about how to streamline my life to manage everything all while trying to achieve in the long-term the things I wanted to.

This year I don’t manage that team. Nor do I work primarily with people. I mostly work to create capacity so others can do a good job talking to people all day. The biggest shift I’ve seen in my life now is that I have relational energy at the end of the day.

I noticed this shift in a roundabout way. I was doing a random survey someone had tweeted to help their friend write a book. The survey asked questions about free time to do hobbies. Did I have enough? What were my hobbies? As I was listing the things I enjoyed doing I realized they were all solitary activities: writing, blogging, cooking, baking, reading. I imagine I developed the enjoyment of these in response to a largely extraverted life, full of people.

Now that I’m mostly engaging with people online through video chats, email, writing, and phone calls I’m wondering if I’ll still enjoy these primarily solitary activities? Is this why I’ve barely looked at twitter and my blog the last two weeks?

I keep finding myself planning to have people over. Every night! People! More people, please! I’m shocked at the one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn that I’ve done socially since April. I’m also looking forward to being an extrovert again.

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