Earlier this year, I read the Happiness Project. Its juicy nuggets of wisdom and delicious truths inspired and calmed me, reminded me what’s important, and motivated me to try new things. Unfortunately, my commitment to this new-found guidance fell apart around week 2. Are you that way too? I guess it’s a bit like New Years Resolutions (which I’ll be revisiting in an effort to not let them fall by the wayside!) – despite our good intentions, they’re so easily forgotten in our day-to-day chaos.
However, I have found that bits and pieces from the book have stayed with me in strange ways. Every so often, I’ll be reminded to take care of myself before I get cranky, to leave something unsaid, to do a task immediately, to smile more. Today, as I was feeling a bit embarrassed by my choice of pastime, I was reminded of one of my very favourite Gretchen Rubin Secrets of Adulthood:
You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do.
The woman speaks a truth that I think so many of us may need to hear, me most definitely included! I find that I sometimes become a bit pink-cheeked if someone brings up my love for the game TinyChef on iPhone, finds a notebook full of my magazine collages and crayon drawings, or learns that I would still play Nancy Drew computer games if I had any! It’s not that I’m ashamed of these activities, it’s just that they’re perhaps things I haven’t quite accepted about myself.
I do love myself, and I would never want to be someone else. I’m very proud of my talents and skills, and for the most part I do what makes me happy – I don’t hold myself back. But everyone has an image of the person they want to be more like – maybe someone they idolize, or maybe just a collection of traits and hobbies that they think are ideal. Maybe this identity goal is something left over from childhood, or the result of too many commercials and sitcoms, but I think it affects all of us. Part of me sometimes wishes that I enjoyed going to nightclubs wearing high heels, that I could hold my own on a water tubing ride, or that I was a social butterfly. But the fact of the matter is I don’t, I can’t and I’m not.
Everyone is different, and we’re all free to decide how to spend our time. That’s the beauty of it all – we all love different things! Variety is what makes the world go around, people. So, as I grow up I have to learn to stop fighting against who I truly am – something you’d think would be easy but which totally isn’t.
Maybe you observe this in yourself too? Maybe you’ve caught yourself thinking that an activity is silly, even if you’re having a wicked time? Or maybe you’ve thought: “I’m too old for this” or “this is a waste of time!”. Perhaps my older readers will have come a lot further than I, but I still catch myself saying things like that all the time. How about you?
I think it’s time to celebrate what we truly love to do.
- Play TinyChef (I bought a brand new restaurant today!)/Nancy Drew/Rush Hour/Scrabble
- Cook elaborate meals/bake delicious desserts
- Stay in and read a book/watch a movie/write my blog
- Watch The Biggest Loser (I LOVE it)/America’s Next Great Restaurant/Fringe/America’s Next Top Model
- Colour with crayons
- Visit kitchen stores
- Take pictures of my food
- Lip-synch to songs when walking down the sidewalk (I look like a complete idiot, but whatever)
- Eat. Pizza.
- Dance in front of my mirror
- Write and receive letters
- Go grocery shopping – one of my very favourite activities
- Gossip with friends
- Go out for dinners
- Drink wine..or grapefruit juice
- Make paper snowflakes
- Look for kitties on the SPCA website
- Read blogs religiously
- Have movie marathons
- Listen to pop music
- Make sandwiches
I’m well on my way to accepting every single little idiosyncrasy about myself – this list isn’t even the tip of the iceberg! I’m sick and tired of us trying to be “cool” instead of being ourselves! Going forward, it’s my goal/promise/wish/desire to admit, embrace and honour the things that make me me, no matter how “lame” they might be.
What about you? Are you a closet opera singer? A fly-by-night laser tag vigilante? Since most of my readers are wise beyond their years and uber-mature, I’m sure you’re all mucho advanced and already past the step of acceptance. If so, share some of the unique things you love to do! I’d absolutely positively love to hear. So comment, email, or tweet me, okay?
Unashamed of her “lame”,