Pursuing Your Passions
One of the big ways I take care of myself mentally is by making time for my passions—the things I do because they are fulfilling to me alone. Passions are as diverse as the people in the world. Reading, writing, and crafting are three big passions of mine. You might like running, sewing, and cooking. I have found that the what doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you create space to do the things you love.
I once heard a former Google employee at a conference share that Google places a great deal of value on sandbox projects. He was talking about something on the side that people do purely for creative expression. For him, it was blogging.
Having something you do for fun is important in creating a healthy, balanced life. I have always been a crafter. Before I had kids, I crafted constantly in my free time. As my career and family have grown, I have had less time to craft. During a particularly busy season, I went so many months without crafting that walking into my craft room caused me to weep. I missed it so much. Something had to change. Now I am doing a better job of making time for those creative hobbies because they are so important to my wellness.
A few weeks before Halloween this year, someone replied to an Instagram story I posted that featured a Halloween costume in progress, saying, “How do you have time to make costumes? For me, a good day is when I am home to make dinner.” I replied, “You make time for what’s important to you. I skipped chores and worked on costumes.” Now, for some, skipping chores is simply not acceptable, but for me, as I have previously admitted, I don’t mind. Doing something creative is good for my soul, and when I am soul happy, I am able to do other things with ease and a positive attitude. Truth be told, the week I was making that costume, my workload was brutal and consuming. I was exhausted and fighting to keep my head above water. For that very reason I took time to stop and create, knowing that if I did, I would have enough energy to push through.
When was the last time you lost track of time doing something you love? I asked this question at a conference I spoke at a few years ago, and a woman in the audience raised her hand to answer. She said that the last time she had lost track of time pursuing a passion had been prior to her being a mother. Her oldest was now thirteen. The woman went on to say that it had been so long since she’d taken time to pursue her own passions that she wasn’t even sure what she would do if given the time. If this story resonates with you and you don’t know what your passions are or what you would do if you had time to do something you love, think back to your childhood. What did you enjoy doing as a child? Chances are that same thing will still be true for you today. Ever since I learned to read, I’ve been happy with my nose in a book. This year I made reading a priority and averaged four to five books a month. The activity was so fulfilling!
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, November 12, 2018, Used by permission.