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.