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Monday Moment: When passions have gone

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It would be great to be able to indulge my passions, but who has time for that?”

We hear it a lot and the answer is—the people who make time for it—have time for it.

For the last five years, every Wednesday night for two or three months per year, I sat in front of the television and watched Offspring. Nothing and nobody got between me and the Proudman family.

That’s 66 episodes over five years. Sixty six hours of my time. In fact, last year I was given the boxed set for my birthday and I’ve watched that right through too. So there’s 132 hours of time (or five and a half days of of my life) that I’ve devoted to one TV show. And that’s before we start on Downton Abbey,Outlander and Say Yes To the Dress Atlanta.

Before 2007, none of us really had Facebook. Social media has become so entrenched in our lives it’s hard to remember what it was like when there wasn’t a temptation to socialise online. The other night a group of friends and I spent 45 minutes talking on Facebook about how much we have to do, and lack of time. Forty-five minutes!

Time isn’t the problem. Interest is.

For many of us, it’s been so long since we’ve made time for hobbies or other interests that we’ve fallen out of love with them. We can’t remember what it feels like to do them. Or even what they are…

Remember a time when you first fell in love? You’d move mountains to see that person. You’d meet up, even if if was only for five minutes. You’d say ‘no’ to other things. You’d power through your schoolwork or your ‘work’ work in order to be able to leave on time. You were suddenly completely motivated to be as efficient as humanly possible.

It was easy, then, to prioritise effortlessly. It’s only when we have a burning reason to find an extra hour a day for something we love, that the time will magically present itself. It’s only then that we’ll start to control our use of time, instead of the other way around.

It’s then that we’ll turn off the TV or computer. It’s then that we’ll say ‘no’ to other things. It’s then that we’ll squeeze our passion in around other commitments.

The key is lighting that fire in the first place. It’s having a reason, other than productivity itself, to be more efficient.

Best-selling author and social work professor, Brene Brown, has something important to say about ‘play’ as adults:

“Researcher Stuart Brown, MD, describes play as time spent without purpose. To me this sounds like the definition of an anxiety attack. I feel behind if I’m not using every last moment to be productive, whether that means working, cleaning the house or taking my son to baseball practice. But I can’t ignore what the research (mine and others’) tells us: Play—doing things just because they’re fun and not because they’ll help achieve a goal—is vital to human development. Play is at the core of creativity and innovation. Play can mean snorkelling, scrapbooking or solving crossword puzzles; it’s anything that makes us lose track of time and self-consciousness, creating the clearing where ideas are born.”

The clearing where ideas are born…

Could we need a more perfect excuse to go out and start flirting with a new hobby?

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

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2 Responses to Monday Moment: When passions have gone

Alex Tolmie says: 16 March, 2015 at 9:14 am

This is so wonderful Emma! I just love your articles.

I’ve been trying to follow The Maker’s Collective’s directive to #makestuffeveryday and it’s been amazing, but has also shed light on things in my life that are not so awesome. I’ve realised it’s time I spent more of my precious time on stuff that actually makes me happy, and less of it on the ‘sands through the hourglass’ kind of stuff.

Fear is a big barrier and it underpins that ‘busyness’ mentality, I think. “Oh I’m too busy to too that” really means “I’d love to, but what if what I make is no good and I’ve wasted my time?” It’s really important to realise that it’s not the end product that matters but the process!

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