There are items that I have on a wish list of things to do. It’s a bunch of things that I want to get to one day — like learning a language or gettin better at playing blues guitar. The thing that makes me sad, however, is that I’ve been carrying those things on that list for years and I haven’t made any progress on any of the items. Is there really any reason for me to continue to keep that list?
It appears that I won’t ever get to them. I mean, I’ve had down time here and there and I didn’t chose to dedicate that down time to pursuing those things. I’m just starting to come to the realization that I’m not going to get to do those things. And that’s painful.
I feel defeated. I’m upset with myself for not pursing those things. But I take solace in the fact that the reason I haven’t pursued those goals is because I’ve been dedicating my time to achieving other long term goals. And I’ve made significant progress in those other areas. For instance, I’m pleased with my career, and I get out to see fun shows and interesting art, But it appears that I won’t ever learn that other language nor achieve some other wish list items.
I should move on. I should take them off my list.
But I won’t.
There are a variety of different sources of my anxiety. I’m hoping that if I write about them, I’ll be able to get some advice from all of you and maybe eventually work some of them out of my life. Today’s issue: down time.
Every day I struggle with what I should be doing with my down time. I am absolutely thrilled when I get some— the idea of finishing a boatload of items on my to do list actually speeds up my pulse. ME TIME? I actually get some time to myself? Woo hoo! But…what do I do with that time?
I don’t really have any hobbies. I play some guitar, but I’d call myself a novice blues guitarist at best (emphasis on the novice). I like auto racing, but I’m not the kind of guy who would watch a replay of a NASCAR or an F1 race. I’m not that committed. I thought about taking up a hobby and building an amateur race car, but do you know how much that costs? It ain’t a little. Besides, my downtime usually consists of an hour or two (or three) in the middle of a weekday, or when I’m between work events in a hotel. Plus, many of those hobby ideas feel so…superficial.
I feel like I shouldn’t be wasting my time, rather I should be making productive use of my down time. When I’m finished with whatever endeavor I pursue I should feel as though I’ve had fun, but I’ve also had a growth experience. Maybe I should be reading that book about Thomas Jefferson that’s been sitting on my dresser for the past 6 months, or learn that language I’ve always wanted to be able to speak. But those things seem like such an…effort. Of course, isn’t effort required if I’m gong to have a growth experience?
What usually ends up happening is that I spend so much time wondering about what would be the most productive use of my down time that I completely squander that very down time. Inevitably, I end up checking Facebook for 15 minutes and spend the rest of my time feeling anxious.