I’ll start this with a very specific question. How the heck can I make some free time? I feel like every time I try to make space to relax or try a hobby, everything conspires to steal away precious minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I like feeling like I’m needed – but man o man is it tiring to only have time for work, shores, and family. I get anxious when I don’t have a ‘break’ and it’s not because I can’t take it – I just forget. I don’t mind the stress when its work related, I get paid for that – it’s mostly the home-work that gets me. I do it regardless since I love my daughter and wife immensely, and enjoy time with them even more. However, sometimes I forget to take a break and end up in this loop of a mental state where I just think “I just need a couple of minutes” but never take them.
This month I’ve been trying to catch up with a lot of my hobbies. Part of the reason this blog is even a thing is because I just paused for a day to take a breather. I told my wife “Sorry, this day I’ll try to take it slower” she seemed a bit annoyed at the fact I just declined to take out the trash (bad timing to choose a pause) – but in my defense, I’ve done that non-stop for the last 6 years on a set schedule; I still took the trash out, but didn’t do anything else for the day except being at my desk with my stuff. She understood I wanted to relax for a minute, and I had a free day to ‘waste’ with anything I wanted (lucky for her, I also relaxed at one point by playing with the baby so she still got help).
First thing I did was think back at what things I just stopped doing because I didn’t have time, what hobbies, what food I hadn’t tried because it would take to long to make (i’m the cook of the house) and what investments I was just setting aside for “when the time is right”. Surprisingly my list was pretty huge – I noticed that while I was leaving behind some things I enjoyed I was still bringing in more stuff to do indirectly. So, I was pilling up things and not finishing anything. I had ideas of websites and tools, business plans, games, classes, piano and sax stuff (I hadn’t even touched the piano in almost a year!) – but I wasn’t commiting time into those things, they were pilling up.
I guess as I pilled up more responsibilities I became a hobby hoarder. I decided to organize my ‘free time’ like I do with my tasks at work. This week I played the piano like I was paying myself to do it, I played the sax like I wanted to earn a raise, I cooked and baked cakes as if my wife was going to review them, I started blogging again and even started looking into some classes. I’m into VR, and my VIVE has been sitting in a corner since the hurricane Maria because I hadn’t set up the things yet – I always said ‘i’ll do it later’ but never really got the time.
Organizing everything actually helped so much, that I could finally see which hobbies I could practice and make time for. Piano, Sax, VR, Blogging and video recording all blend into this ball of enjoyment.
This week I’ve been having a lot of fun after work, something I hadn’t done in a while. All started with just a day off, and a list of things to ‘work’ on. Sometimes we just forget, that taking care of ourselves is part of the job – and enjoyment of life is something we really need to invest some time in. Once the baby becomes a bit bigger, I think we’re off to take some sailing classes – I’ve always wanted to sail… think we’ll enjoy it?