Sunday, July 13, 2008

21 Days of Gratitude: Day 16

I was challenged to list ten activities I do for fun but which may or may not be considered fun by anyone else. This was actually harder than I thought. There were the standard answers: reading & writing, but going beyond that and listing activities categorized as "for fun" as opposed to just daily things I squeeze in was actually very difficult. I would come up with something and think, "Well, I only do that during my breaks or when I'm waiting for something" or "but that's a fun thing I HAVE to's not really just for fun." I realized there were some activities that would be just for fun for me, but I don't make time for. Hmmm...gonna have to do something 'bout that.

1. Writing
I haven't had a chance to blog much lately, but I keep a journal in my purse and jot down things as they come to me. I have my 21 Days of Gratitude complete, actually, but I just haven't typed them up and posted them to my blog. I plan to transcribe and post them over the nest few days. I've decided to continue beyond the 21 days as it's become a habit to review my day and appreciate the lessons, experiences and the blessings it brought. Of course my blog titles will change after Day 21, but I think most of my posts from now on will be an off-shoot of this experience.

2. Reading
I am a voracious reader. I can be picky though, and some books I find a challenge to read unless I'm in a certain mood. I'll go through periods where I can only handle the light escape of steamy romances, then there are days I'll toss those aside for substantive tomes of classic literature. However, I don't limit myself to books. The internet has become another library of sorts for me. I've spent hours on the web reading personal blogs, articles and websites learning about all kinds of things. If I'm curious about something I heard or just thought up one day, it's amazing how quickly I can immerse myself in the subject as soon as I log on to the word wide web.

3. Gardening
I'm getting my green thumb back. But this is also a for fun thing I don't make enough time for. I love flowers and herbs and watching them grow. Our flowerbeds and yard are always going to be a work in progress, I've decided. Of all my personal hobbies and favorite things to do, this is one thing I wish Gareth would appreciate and work on with me. But he did buy a gazebo that we'll eventually set up in the back yard. And when I'm studying patio and deck plans, he can see what I admire about them. this regard, he is like our flowerbeds and yard. A work in progress.

4. Playing Webkinz
It's silly, but it's addictive. This exercise has taught me my "for fun" activities have to take me away for the moment and help me forget the various demands on my time. I have 11 Webkinz now...a pink dragon, a pink poodle, a cheeky monkey, a furry elephant, a google (platypus), a cow, a pig, a black bear, a Clydesdale, a raccoon and a koala. Don't know what I'm talking about? Look it up on the web. :)

5. Screening movies with Gareth
I don't get to do this as often as I used to when I worked closer to home. Screeners are usually on a weekday evening, and continuing up another half hour to Seattle when it takes me an hour just to get home isn't inviting. It almost becomes more work. But it's time with Gareth alone that can become the date night all married couples need at least once a week.

6. Traveling with Gareth
For the most part, a lot of our traveling is work for Gareth whether it's a speaking engagement at a convention or a review of a hotel or attraction. But it's a mini-vacay for me and when it gives me time and/or reason to indulge in my "for fun" activities, it's quite a bonus.

7. Studying & practicing calligraphy
Gareth, Trista and Mum indulged me one Christmas and bought me calligraphy sets and books. I keep my books at work and on my breaks I study and practice and think up designs I'd like to create. Maybe I'll put the practice to good use one day and actually create the designs I've thought up.

8. Loading up on music
Life without music is just not right. I enjoy exploring new artists and overdosing on my faves. Again, I need to make time to do this more, but with my Zune, my Myspace Playlist, my new cell phone, it's been getting easier.

9. Playing photographer
This is a sore subject with Gareth right now as I was clumsy with my birthday gift from last year. He bought me a Nikon that I accidently dropped last Christmas and I haven't made any effort to get it fixed or replaced. On our way to Oregon one time to review a hotel, he gave me a hard time about not taking care of the expensive things he gives me and said he didn't know if he could trust me with another camera. Of course, I was royally pissed and gave him the silent treatment. But when we got to the hotel room and I opened the honor bar, I saw a disposable digital camera and picked it up with, "Oooh...look what they stocked the bar wi--" and proceeded to drop it. Gareth could only shake his head as I cracked up and picked up the camera and carefully put it back where I found it.

10. Conceptualizing digital scrapbooks/videos
I do a lot of studying and conceptualizing, I realize. It's the daydreamer and organizer in me. The whole executing of plans is not my strongest suit. Hell, I don't know that I wear it that often. Something I'm gonna have to work on. This particular activity combines my love of photography, storytelling and music. Again, this is one activity for which I don't make enough time. Instead, what little time I have, I spend getting inspired. I've found great inspiration online and I admire the work my brothers and cousins have created.

I'm grateful for this exercise as it's shown me that I need to inject more "for fun" things into my schedule and work on a few things. It's not that I don't have time, I just have to manage my time better and change up priorities. I challenge you to make a list of your own and maybe you'll find inspiratin to inject more "for fun" stuff in your life.

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