I am one of those people who has a lot of interests, and when I like something....I really like it. Home design, photography, furniture painting/refinishing, reading, television, bargain hunting, Instagram-ing, writing, and let's not forget Target-shopping, which is definitely a thing. Of course nothing is inherently wrong with having many hobbies, but it can be detrimental if I don't manage how my interests pull from my limited free time. I'm learning how to simplify the things I devote my free time to, so I can get the most out of both my hobbies and my time.
Once I became a mom, I used to say I never had time for reading. Now I know that I was lying when I said that, even if it was unintentionally, and even if it was just to myself. Oh I had the time, but instead the Real Housewives of Wherever would suck me into their episode about everything and nothing, or I would browse through Instagram for an embarrassing amount of time. The bottom line is that we have time for what we make time for.
My inspection of my free time started when I read The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner over the summer. I began noticing how much time I was throwing away each day that could instead be spent doing something I really enjoy, rather than something to just fill the time gap.
For me, learning to simplify how I spend my free time was as easy as defining which of my interests are hobbies, versus which are my passions in life. Huge difference. Social media and decorating my home might be fun, but they aren't life-giving for me. However, reading and writing? Those two are my soul-stirrers. They matter. They feel less like an interest, and more like a calling. That is where I drew my line in the sand.
Now that I've narrowed my scope down to my two non-negotiable passions of reading and writing, I feel more fulfilled because I'm steadily focusing on improving myself in those two areas rather than letting thirteen different things steal away snippets of my time.
I would challenge you to really investigate your minutes and see where you can intentionally grab 10 or 15 of them to devote to something you actually love, rather than just another time waster. Ahem, social media, I'm looking at you. Then decide which interests you are most passionate about, and which ones can just be an occasional hobby. Do you have two interests that would work well together? Maybe even one that you can make extra money from? Start investing in those by giving them the time and energy they deserve. If you need help with figuring this out, Jessica's new journaling and planning version of The Fringe Hours is available for pre-order here.
Please hear me when I say it's about intentionality and balance. So while many times you will find me reading or writing, please know that sometimes I also need to intentionally do nothing and use zero brain cells while I watch some Teen Mom. Plus, I can only take so much of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse before the television scale needs some leveling. Yes?