After I wrote the other day about trying to cram in exercise, reading, and three different types of writing each morning (journaling, deliberate practice, and blogging), I started turning something that’s supposed to be fun into a Big Deal. My mornings started to feel like the stress of packing a house into boxes to move: what to pack together, how many boxes do I need, omg I have so much shit, where do I begin.
I hate moving. I hate packing boxes.
During my workout this morning, as I watched the clock and calculated how much time I would have for all the various things I wanted to do before logging into work, The calculations stressed me out. After my workout, I was tempted to skip my meditation to gain back some time, which I am tempted to do every morning. I didn’t skip it, though, and after I sat down and closed my eyes, I was able to clear my brain in a way I’m not normally able to do. I think I was able to today because I needed a break from my thoughts, and it was such a relief to just say, you know what? I’m not going to think about anything right now.
A feeling-thought popped into that open space, and that feeling-thought was this: do what you want with your hobby time. It’s your free time, use it to feel good, quit stressing yourself out.
This shouldn’t be epiphanal. But as I sat, I realized that my mornings had become work before my actual workday even began. What I really want to do this morning is read a chapter in The Right to Write, and then write whatever I want.
So that’s what I did. And what do you know, the chapter I read addressed exactly what I was feeling. I mean, sort of. The chapter was actually about not needing to be in the mood to write, that if you want to write and you just start writing, you’ll likely get in the mood, which is usually true for me.
What struck me in the chapter is that once you make a Big Deal out of something, it makes it harder to do that thing. In this case, when I was making a Big Deal out of writing, it became a stressor instead of a joy. I don’t need to make a Big Deal out of writing (or photography, or whatever my hobby of the day is). I just need to write, whatever I want. It’s much more soul-feeding that way.