When Hobbies Turn into an Obligation

hobbies as obligations

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I just read an essay by Steve Edwards titled On the Experience of Entering a Bookstore in Your Forties (vs. Your Twenties). It’s about how our meaning of books change as we get older. While I didn’t ponder the question “Who do I want to be?” when going to the bookstore, now that I’m thirty and realizing that my life will change, my question when going to the bookstore is “Do I have time to read all of these books?” I always find more than one book while browsing the shelves at Barnes & Noble, and I know there are probably more waiting to be opened and read that I haven’t found yet.

Then I go home, find the list of books that I’ve been meaning to buy off Amazon, and that same question enters my head.

Do I have time to read all of these books?

Then I get scared that I won’t reach my goal of reading 15 books a year (making that up) and go do something else. I don’t want to fail.

Sigh.

Maybe I need a new approach to my hobby of reading–one that doesn’t make me scared about how old I am, and all of the books I’ll be missing out on. And perhaps not look at it as a task I have to do, but WANT to do.

Do you treat your hobbies as obligations? Something that HAS to get done rather than doing it for fun?

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2018

End of Year Reflection Photo

2018 was the year of emotions, the bulk it defined by my first breakup, which, as you all know, is a sad, lonely, confusing, angry, frustrating ordeal. All of those negative emotions stay with you for a while. Some move on faster than others, but for others it takes a while for the pain to go away and to let the positive in. I’m in the latter category.

Sometimes I forced myself to not think so much about my situation, relegating it to the background and trying to be present in whatever happy moment was occuring right in front of me. It was tough. I realized that I wasn’t dealing with any of it, just hiding them.

And at night, the emotions came out. All that pent up negativity.

I was focused too much on him–what he was or wasn’t doing, how his life was going.

Not good.

But now I’ve learned to be selfish and focus on myself. I’ve also come to realize that the breakup needed to happen. I’m not happy about it, but one day soon I’ll be at peace with it.

What else has happened…I found a lot of books that I wanted to read. I’m currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, and it’s a heavy book–literally–but so well written that it’s difficult to put down. I encourage all of you to read it. I’m more than halfway through and I feel empowered to do something meaningful with my life.

Looking ahead, 2019 will be the year of travel, to California in March, and the East Coast in October. (There might be an Elton John concert in Vegas in September…)

Happy New Year to all of you and see you in 2019!!!

Career Wednesday: The Freelancer’s Bible

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I dabbled in freelance writing for a month or so. I know, not very long, but I learned that it’s not easy (obviously!). Volunteer writing was easier to get than a paid gig because it’s easier on the client: They don’t have to deal with paychecks (I did a lot of that too).

However, the gig I did land was paid, and paid better than when I was a writer for my college newspaper. I was pretty happy to see my first paycheck! And it was fun, but then it became a chore. Since then, I’ve been reaching out to local publications and am settling for writing for free, again. In a way it’s fine since I’ll be building my portfolio, but it’d be nice to get paid again.

My goal was to become a full-time entertainment writer, and to some extent it still is, but since it’s such a difficult field to break into I decided to have a full-time job and freelance on the side. The freelance doesn’t have to be entertainment because as long as I’m able to write something, I’ll be happy.

And so comes this book that my boyfriend found for me, The Freelancer’s Bible. It’s a beginner’s guide to how to freelance and covers everything from how to file taxes, to finding clients, to marketing yourself online. I haven’t read much (I marked the chapters that were most relevant to me to read later) but what I have read has been helpful. It’s putting this job called freelancing in perspective for me.

Do any of you freelance on the side? Or anybody out there a full-time freelancer? If you’re the latter, how did you make the transition from full-time office worker to being your own boss? Let me know in the comments!

Random Sunday: The Little Things

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For a while I’ve been practicing being happy about the little things, like eating my favorite meal or a sunny day. As luck would have it, I came across a cute journal called Bright Spots Journal, to help me begin seeing the big and (mainly) little positive things everyday. Ever since I started writing in that journal I’ve found it easier to spot these things and be happy about them.

Here’s my (not complete) list on the little things that makes me happy:

-Sunny days
-When someone waves “thank you” when I let them cut in front of me while driving
-Laughing
-Nailing a tough part in a song
-Green lights on my commute
-Eating a good meal

What little things make you happy? Let me know in the comments!