by Sarah Flores
We live in a busy world, and too often we get lost in external obligations: the job, the commute, the chores. They become our priorities. Life might be different if we took a step back into the activities that once made us feel truly satisfied. Sometimes, we can find amazing fulfillment in our childhood pastimes.
Do you remember the excitement you felt over simple things when you were a child? Remember how fearless you were to try something new? As adults, we often fear putting ourselves out there, as if we’ll somehow lose our adult status if we regress to so-called immaturity. What we really lose is the chance to discover new interests, and the possibility of basking in the kind of serenity that comes from enjoyable pastimes.
The things that made me happy when I was alone as a child still make me happy, and I try to entertain those hobbies as often as I can. Jigsaw puzzles, for example. I love letting Paul Simon serenade me for hours while I sit, completely lost in a world of hundreds of tiny pieces of colored cardboard. It brings me peace like almost nothing else in this world can. Sometimes, for me, sanity is only a linked puzzle piece away.
From Nicholas Spark’s Dear John comes this quote:
“It can be coins or sports or politics or horses or music or faith…the saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand.”
Isn’t that true? I’m sure you know someone who wakes up in the morning, spends all day at a job they dislike, comes home and watches television in an attempt to erase the day they didn’t enjoy. If they spent just one hour in the evening doing something that excites them, something that centers them, they might wake up each morning with an entirely new outlook and a sense of anticipation.
It’s a remarkable feeling when you lose yourself in a project that’s in harmony with your personal level of absolute joy. No one to judge. No expectations. Just you in your own world, wearing your cloak of personalized truth.
You might think you don’t have an interest in doing anything different, or that you’re no good at anything, but have you spent time experimenting? What was your favorite thing to do when you were ten, fifteen, even twenty years old? Think back to those moments when you were alone. How were you filling up your free time?
Think hard. You had those moments, I promise.
Were you strumming the guitar or playing “Heart and Soul” on the piano? Were you painting your version of a Picasso? Were you thumbing through encyclopedias, studying the pictures? Were you playing in the garden, digging up worms? Were you listening to music and staring at the ceiling? Were you roller-skating up and down your street trying to impress your crush?
Start there. Start with what you know once fully satisfied you, and make time for it. Deep down, no matter what you’ve been through in your adult life, you’re still that same kid who loves building Lego castles, running in the sprinkler on a summer day, or rehearsing your best stand-up material in front of your loyal audience of teddy bears and G.I. Joe action figures.
What activity allows you to lose yourself in absolute fulfillment?