This is the time of day that I would usually be sitting in front of Facebook, staring at my laptop screen, maybe with my mouth hanging open a little. And then I would blink and three or four hours would have gone by. So now that I have logged off of Facebook and deleted the app off my devices, I find myself with an active brain and nothing to dull that with. I do a lot of things that kind of seem like leisurely activities but are actually ways to kind of check out for a while. The internet is a big one. Eating is another one. Online shopping is a third. All of those things are not, in and of themselves, bad. You can practice self-care and do all three of those things. But that is not what I do. Instead, I numb out and escape from my feelings and whatever hard things are going on, and all of those activities have little zaps of high points (winning a game on Facebook, eating something yummy, having a package show up on my front porch), followed by either a return to blah or a dive into shame. Someone who purports to care about herself would not do these things, right?
The problem I am facing right now is this…what else is there that I would like to do? In The Runaway Bride, Julia Roberts’ character has gone through her life changing the kind of eggs she likes depending on what type is preferred by the man she is dating. I have done some things that I have really enjoyed in the past that were introduced to me by someone I was dating (or married to). And those things were fun, and I am glad that I engaged in them, but I also don’t feel like they are of interest to me anymore. I no longer follow baseball or football. I don’t spend a lot of time with large groups of people. I don’t go to anyone’s house for a Sunday dinner. And I don’t have a partner in my life right now, so I don’t have a need to change my interests to better suit someone else. It’s me, myself, and I. But what do I enjoy?
I have long been a hobby jumper. I have tried out knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, jewelry making, sewing, yoga, working out at the gym, running, walking, biking, blogging, journaling, art journaling, reading, watching TV…that is just a partial list. I usually get really excited about my new hobby and buy All The Things related to it, and then I realize that I don’t really enjoy crocheting or I don’t really have anyone to make jewelry for or there are only so many scrapbook pages you can do for the best dog ever. But I don’t know what I actually DO enjoy. I like watching TV…that one can stay, but in a more deliberate manner. When I spend the day streaming episodes of Air Emergency from YouTube, that is not deliberate. That is six to eight hours of traumatic events on my TV screen, with me sitting there and watching. When I decide to watch the two latest episodes of Grey’s Anatomy before I go to bed one night, that is some deliberate TV-watching.
I love reading. I am reading a great book right now. I have a couple of books in my queue that I am excited about. I especially love lying in my hammock and reading. I feel better after writing out a good journal entry (or sometimes sharing something on this here blog, but not all my writing is meant for public eyes). I enjoy knitting sometimes. I made my first little stuffed animal last month and enjoyed the process. I don’t think I am ever going to become a master knitter. Yoga is something that always makes me feel better after I have done it. My schedule does not always allow for regular attendance in my usual class, but I can get there once in a while. I run hot and cold with some of the other things…I sometimes feel like I want to be a runner, but I don’t really like running. I have enjoyed working out at the gym in the past, but my usual gym is closer to my old apartment than to my new house, and I can’t imagine going that far out of my way just to spend an hour on a treadmill. I have been walking the dog in our new neighborhood, and the entire area is pretty pedestrian-friendly (except for the fact that a walk that starts out comfortable downhill eventually has to turn around and head back up the hill to go home). But what do I really LOVE? What ignites a fire of passion in me?
I have been on my own for five years now. And I have been getting by. But I don’t want just to get by. I want to live. I want to remember who I was before the world told me I should be something else. And I guess giving up Facebook to make room for those pursuits is my good start.