Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sucking The Fun Out Of Fun

Has anyone else had a time in their life where they forgot how to have fun? I feel like that has been me lately. Since the last week of April, I've been staying disciplined by working on getting The Comic up and running. Every day I edit at least two pages and after I get a pile edited, I (digitally) cut them up and Connor posts them. The thing is, I had gotten so efficient that even when I left room for myself to do something fun, like knit, it wasn't fun anymore. My efficiency spilled over into my hobbies. I'd tell myself, "The faster you finish this knit, the sooner you can finish the next one." I made myself into a machine. This isn't any way to live. 

After making myself miserable for the last two plus months, I heard a sermon that snapped me out of it. The sermon itself was about envy, but in it the preacher talked about the movie Chariots of Fire. (A quick aside, I've never seen all of Chariots of Fire. I watched about 10 minutes at which point I realized there weren't going to be any chariots, so I stopped watching.) The plot follows two runners. One is always worried about who is catching up to him and who might beat him while the other throws his head back and enjoys the act of running. I realized I was the worried runner when really I'd rather be the happy one, so I've been practicing mindfulness. When I catch myself strategizing what I need to do next, I write it on the list, then promptly think about what I am enjoying about my current activity... even the ones that aren't really that fun on paper. I'm happy to report that it has been working. I feel like I'm having fun again. An added bonus has been that I've found myself more productive while I've been having fun.

What are those things, you might wonder? Wonder no more! First off, I am happy to say that I have finally finished editing Book 1. Connor and I need to still put the latter half of book 1 on the website, but we have made that a more pleasant experience by listing to the Judge John Hodgman podcast. (We have especially enjoyed episodes 303, 305, and 310.)

I've continued to make great progress on my father's second Peeta Sock and Connor's Dude Sweater. In typing this, I realized that there is nothing on the needles for me. Gasp! Actually, I'm having a great time knitting both projects and I look forward to giving them away when they are done.

I also started work on the next lavender sachet. I have embroidered several now, but had put them aside to stay true to the comic. I pulled it out again while Connor and I were playing Scrabble. We both can take a long time to come up with a word, so I've been able to make good progress on the new one.

And last, but certainly not least, I've been putting time aside at night to work on my Tour de Fleece project. I entirely forgot Tour de Fleece was coming up until a day or so before it started. In an effort to stay in the moment and not suck the fun out of it with too many goals, I only have the modest goal of spinning a three ply sock yarn out of my braid of Greenwood Fiberworks 80/20 Merino/Nylon in the Cider House color way. It's been on my mind for a while, but like the embroidery, I wasn't going to work on it until I had "earned" it by doing enough of the comic.

It seems so silly now that I was punishing myself by not working what I really wanted to. Connor reminded me that everything will eventually get done, and I suppose that is true. And if it doesn't get done, maybe it never really needed to anyways.

Has anyone else had the problem of sucking the fun out of their hobbies?


José said...

Unfortunately I do recognize the problem... when it tends to be more about the product than the process... So I guess I should try some mindfullness too. I am glad you found your way back to having fun ! Life is so much better that way... :)

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