Sunday, August 7, 2011

When Did You Mysteriously Stop Doing…?

 I used to love reading mysteries.  At some point, I decided I didn’t have the time and it wasn’t really productive reading.  I just finished The Private Patient, by PD James and really enjoyed it. I even got some ideas from it (like this blog).

I’ve heard the same refrain, wistfully, from a number of people in the last week:

I used to [paint, write poetry, play music, etc], but…

Is there something you used to do?  I don’t mean something you’re happy not to do, like get drunk on Friday night, drive too fast or, well, you get the idea.  But is there something you used to enjoy doing that you’ve given up?  Was it something that renewed your energy and gave you a little more zest?

Reasons people give for giving up things they love include, but are not limited to:

*I don’t have time
*It makes my bf, gf, mother, spouse, etc., nervous, competitive, etc.
*I’m not that good at it
*It seems stupid
*I don’t make money doing it
*It’s not important

I see way too many people these days with no hobbies, interests or activities that they engage in just for fun.  They work, take care of kids or other family members and maintain households.   They do things like plant gardens that will look nice but they have no time to enjoy them.  They go out to lunch with people they don’t like that much because they ought to.  They paint rooms in their homes because they think they should.

Stop for a moment and consider if there are things you used to enjoy doing that have mysteriously slipped out of your life.  Consider whether you’d like to have them back.  I know it takes a little time, but does that spare room really need to be straightened out this week?  Can you leave work behind for the 30 minutes it would take to listen to a little music?  Go crazy and cook that fantastic dish that’s going to take an extra hour to make, just for the fun of it.  Or just pick up your favorite mystery writer’s latest.

Just for fun: Mysterious Ways, U2

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