How quickly can you give me a list of 5 things that you really, really enjoy and would spend most of your time doing it if you could?
Did you time yourself? If you couldn't think of 5 things, could you think of 3?
Next question: How many of the items in your list do you make time to do?
If you answered less than 2, I would highly recommend that it's time to take a look at what you ARE spending your time on.
After all, if the poet Mary Oliver thought it was important enough to ask, "what will you do with your one wild and precious life",
woudn't it benefit us to ask ourselves this question, too?
Now, I love to have those "deep-dive" conversations where we wonder, and our minds settle, and we discover something valuable that hadn't occurred to us before.
Or if it had, it was buried long ago when we got "busy".
I also love to paint, and to bake, and to ride my bike and be out in nature. And more and more of the time, I do my best to make time for them.
Not all at once, of course, but as a balance weight against the everyday tasks and responsibilities I live with.
But there is something (a little secret I haven't yet divulged) that I've been meaning to do but just haven't made the time to do - yet. I've been buying and stashing away fabric since last year (oh, well, actually it's been a couple of years now) for a few sewing projects I have in mind.
Have I started any of them yet? Nope.
So I can relate on both sides of the fence on this topic.
But what I find with the people I talk with who don't make the time to play or sing or make music or dance or whatever it is they really enjoy but don't make a significant part of their lives,
is that they carry a certain sadness, or wistfulness. They WISH they could do these things, but they don't think they have the time.
Time is a precious commodity, yes. But if we don't make time for the things that feed our souls, make us feel alive and engaged with life, what are we really doing?
Those activities that beckon to us, that give us a sense of delight and accomplishment are not to be dismissed so lightly.
They are the doorway to the light that shines within us.
They want to show us what we can create or express.
They want to show us what wants to be brought into the world, if only for our own pleasure.
Is this self care? Self expression?
Maybe we don't need to give these activities a category.
I do know it's certainly NOT selfishness or being irresponsible.
In my experience, if I don't answer the call, I'm left feeling a little less than I could be, a little less satisfied with the life I'm living, and a little less connected to the life force coursing through me.
And I suspect that might be true of you also.
It doesn't matter if we're 18 or 80, we always have the option to choose to do what will light us up and make us smile or giggle or feel a deep sense of gratitude.
Even if we only dip our toes into that water infrequently.
We are so, so much more than we often allow ourselves to be.
But what if we allow ourselves to find happiness in the small (or big) things that bring us pleasure?
How would that change your life?
Well, you'll have to give it a try and find out! And let me know what you discover.