Dust off an old hobby
by Martine Jeanne Craughley
You're busy. Stressed. Overbooked and often overlooked - even by yourself. How often do you do something for the pleasure of it? Growing up, you may have enjoyed painting, swimming, chess, or playing the piano.What happened to all those aspects of you? These are often only distant, sunny memories. Yet, you might be walking by your guitar, art supplies or running shoes a couple of times a day. It takes a shift to realize that these things won't spontaneously become part of your life again. If you're already tired, it seems counterintuitive, or actively repellent, to pull out sheet music and sit down on the piano bench, or to set up a canvas and brushes, or to pull on those sneakers.
Those who exercise regularly, know the indescribable lift that a short walk or run gives, especially on days when they didn't feel like it. For the rest of us, you'll have to test this out by trying it.
7 setps to the real you
Try these steps to get back into something about you that has been loved and lost. You'll be a much happier person for it...
1. Pick your favorite, long missed activity.
2. What do you need to get started? Perhaps sign up for lessons or get a piano tuner, or new paint and brushes, or new sneakers.
3. Make a schedule. How much time can you reasonably commit to this? You'll be amazed at how much difference a daily half hour makes over time. Then make a firm commitment to do this activity. You wouldn't cancel an appointment with your boss or a client, so why not treat yourself with the same respect?
4. Let a friend know what you're going to be doing, and ask them to follow up with you.
5. Keep a brief journal of how it felt the first seven times you did it. Keeping brief notes is important, so when you get busy again, the activity doesn't as easily fall to the wayside. We sometimes don't really acknowledge the effects of an activity on our mood. This step allows you to have a concrete record in your diary about these effects and then remain committed to giving this to yourself.
6. Once you've established a rhythm and a level of comfort, considering sharing this activity with others. Would a monthly painting group, swim team or running session make it more fun and help you maintain your motivation over the long haul?
7. Buy a biography of someone who was a master in the field - Michael Phelps, Frida Kahlo, Tiger Woods, Hillary Clinton. Reading about their commitment and struggles may put you in touch with the passion you both share.
Many times the people who live the most fully are those who've suffered the most loss, or even nearly lost their own lives. It's very easy for the rest of us to get caught up in meaningless rushing through life.
Remind yourself that life isn't endless. Choose to let yours be filled with activities and passion that give your life meaning. Now you can savor every possible moment.
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