When do we start doing what makes us happy and fulfilled, that will make us less one-dimensional?
For those who are not married – after you get married so you can embark on them with the one you love?
For those who are married with kids – after the kids’ graduation? After they get married? After your grandkids are more independent?
For working folks – after that big project? After that bigger and more important project? After the big promotion? After marking scripts? After marking more scripts? After retirement?
There will always be something else. Another “legitimate” barrier. I say don’t postpone doing what will make us happy. Fulfilled. Apportion and pepper, throughout our lives, activities that are fun and meaningful. Don’t wait. Life is too unpredictable.
Is work worth the while for us to postpone doing what makes us happy? I remind myself that if I keeled over at my desk never to raise my head (on my own effort) anymore, what would I get? Flowers, monetary contribution at best. At worst, they just replace you. Life goes on. A friend’s colleague so looking forward to retirement and embarking on all the things she’d always wanted to do, died soon after.
Don’t let work hold you back; don’t let the kids or anything else be your excuse for not pursuing those “things-you-have-always-wanted-to-do-but-never-had-the-time” too. Plan to. It may sound too prescriptive but everything requires planning. Even seemingly simple things. Getting around to starting the exercise routine, meeting with old friends, going on that much deferred trip with a loved one, bringing your parents and family out for a meal or to a new mall or new place of interest, even time to be quiet. If not, one day will pass to the next and nothing different would have happened.
Frankly, sometimes, we just find some excuse not to pursue anything different from our normal routine. We are, after all, creatures of habit. It is easier to vegetate in front of the TV or grab that console for mind-numbing computer games, after a long, exhaustive day at work or school.
We start now. First, we think of what would make us happy. Then we can start checking off the list.
Here’s the start of a “happy” list for me:
- Cut out some noise. Be quiet with my own thoughts. To be still
- Take periodic breaks – one long holiday or two short holidays a year! 🙂 There’s a mental list of the places I want to go to at least once in my life
- Go for another extended family holiday
- Take up inline skating then roller blade for exercise (hopefully this accident prone person, will survive with life and limb intact)
- Learn to play the piano
- Start getting published and paid by some online greeting card company. If that works, it goes towards retirement plans to fund those little luxuries 😉 and to keep the grey matter going
- Start the process of blogging and how long the momentum can be sustained. If so, plan for blog targeting my peers as we move into our golden years, also gearing towards retirement.
Can’t think of anything else at the moment. Maybe I have been quite good at timeout stuff, busy or not :p Keeping in touch with friends. Chilling over a meal or coffee, spa treatments, mani/pedicure and holidays. Had tennis lessons until my hand started hurting :p Mentoring younger girls. Embarked on some mission-type/socially conscious activities (could do with more though). Singing with an acapella group (didn’t quite make a full-fledged recording but sang back up for a friend on his debut album)….hmmm… could I also add “buy my own place” to my happy list? :p
What about you? What’s your happy to-do list, even if it’s just a mental list? Where are you at with them?