Leisure Time but Not Leisure Suits

by Joy Monger

In one of the chapters of The Happiness Project, the author spends time really figuring out what she genuinely enjoys doing during her leisure time.  In an attempt to be more authentic, she stops doing the things she should like doing, and starts doing more of the things she truly enjoys, like reading children’s novels (weird). At first she found it a bit difficult because she had spent so many years doing what she thought she should like, that she didn’t really know what she, authentically, enjoyed anymore.  So as a starting exercise she made some lists to find out what she really loves.  Because time is precious, and no one should waste it pretending to like American Idol (or pretending not to like American Idol).

One of the things I really like doing, authentically, is making lists.  So I decided to do the same exercise and figure out what I really enjoy doing with my leisure time.

Things I Think I Should Like But I Don’t Really Enjoy:

  1. Jazz
  2. Gardening (sorry Mom)
  3. Sight seeing
  4. Going to bars to “hang out”
  5. Book clubs
  6. Reading The Economist
  7. Zombie movies
  8. Concerts at the Fillmore (I can never see anything)
  9. Going out to lunch
  10. Jogging
  11. Grocery shopping
  12. Trivia Night
  13. Politics (sad face, because I was a Political Science major, but politics these days are El Booooooring.)
  14. Shopping at the mall (Express gives me anxiety attacks.  But Express online makes me two clicks away from total pants joy!)
  15. **PS I also dislike Twilight, Harry Potter and the local evening news but never even pretended to enjoy them so not sure they count for this list…

Things I Really Like Doing That Might Be Weird But Is Authentic And Could Be My Hobby

  1. Jazzercise (Zumba?)
  2. Indoor gardening (My orchid plant is out of control!)
  3. Travelling (but mostly relaxing and not seeing much)
  4. Making mix CDs
  5. Writing, blogging, making lists
  6. Learning languages
  7. Going out to brunch
  8. Hosting people at home for dinner and dominoes
  9. Box wine
  10. Design (interior, architecture, pinterest…)
  11. Church
  12. Recipe planning
  13. Baths
  14. Reading (why does this one make me feel guilty if I spend time doing it when I should be doing other things?)
  15. Managing my finances (I love mint.com)
  16. ***Also, I’ll just put it out there; I like funny pictures of cats on the internet.  Yep, it makes me seem crazy, but “funny cat videos” is the #2 searched topic on youtube, so I’m not the only one.  I just don’t think I should make this one into a hobby.

Phew.  That feels better.  Glad I got it out there.  Sorry, I won’t be joining your book club, and we can’t meet over lunch during the work day.  But I’d love to have you over for some cheap wine and dominoes.  And I’ll make you a mix tape for the ride home.

What do you spend your leisure time doing that you really don’t enjoy?  And what do you wish you really could do more of, even if it’s a little embarrassing?