The Necessity of Fun
Carve out time and space for what you love.
One of the big ways I take care of myself mentally is by making time for my passions—the things that fulfill me. Passions are as diverse as the people in the world. While my big passions are reading, writing and crafting, you might prefer running, sewing and cooking. I've found that the what doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you create the time and space to do the things you love.
I once heard a former Google employee at a conference share that Google places high value on sandbox projects. Sandbox projects are side-hobbies that employees pursue for the sake of creative expression. His project was blogging.
A fun hobby is crucial to a healthy, balanced life. I have always been a crafter. Before I had kids, I crafted constantly in my free time. But as my career and family grew, I found myself having less and less time to craft.
During a particularly busy season, I had gone so many months without crafting that when I walked into my craft room, I started to weep. I missed it so much. Something had to change. Now I do a better job of making time for those creative hobbies because they are vital to my emotional wellness.
A few weeks before Halloween this year, I posted an Instagram story of a Halloween costume in progress. Someone replied, “How do you have time to make costumes? For me, a good day is when I am home to make dinner.” I explained, “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'm soul-happy, I'm 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 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 13. The woman went on to explain 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.
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, November 12, 2018, Used by permission.