I suck at playing. I do. I really, really, really do! I know that, because I have a husband who is really, really, really good at it. At the end of the day, when he asks me which fun things I did for myself that day, he usually gets a blank look. Recently, he started asking me to list five fun things I will do for myself during that day, and usually I come up with only one, if I do. It made me realize I don’t even know which fun, yet often seemingly useless things give me lasting pleasure. But I do know that when I don’t engage in such activities during the day, I will feel depleted at the end of the day, even if that day was filled with things I love and value. So finally, after years of intending to feel good, I am asking myself which trivial things actually make me feel good. I nailed the big things, I know what it means to feel fulfilled, to live a life that reflects my love and my values, but I found that I am rather clueless when it comes to the small stuff. I’m no psychologist but I guess it comes from years and years of shying away from things that weren’t useful. Not to mention the guilt I would feel when doing something that could be considered frivolous.
Nowadays, I don’t feel guilt anymore, or maybe a little, but doing something fun, just for me, still feels uncomfortable, and extremely so. It is also infused with the absurd fear that I will get stuck in doing frivolous things forever. Rationally, I know that is not true, that when I am reading a good book, I get more done than when I am not, but still this fear prevents me from getting immersed in a good book. I guess I’m not alone in this and I’m figuring it is just another muscle I have to exercise. So that is exactly what I am going to do. I’m going to make a list of things I find attractive, but that up to this moment I deemed unworthy of my energy, and I am going to do them, religiously, until I get what works for me and what doesn’t, until I crack the code and understand how doing these seemingly useless things are useful in keeping my energy soar. I know that my husband is slapping his knees when reading this, but I can live with that. I am so going to prove that I can do this too. I don’t know if it is possible to beat him at his own game, but I am sure going to try.
picture by Nico van Diem