Pursuing a Pastime
The Oxford Dictionary defines “pastime” as “an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work; a hobby.” I think for most of us, it’s safe to say that our pastime once was dancing! We showed up to classes each week, eager and excited, feeling the pure joy that dance brought into our lives.
But do you have a favorite pastime now?
Maybe you are laughing as you read this. Maybe you can’t believe that I even dared to ask. If all you can think of for an answer is WORK, then 1) you aren’t alone and 2) it’s time to do some soul-searching!
Business owners are often so intertwined with work that there’s no room for a hobby. Work and family get juggled in seemingly infinite loops without much room for anything else. But here’s the thing: It’s also really GOOD for you to develop interests outside of work. Having a pastime supports your emotional health, relieves stress, adds to your purpose, and brings you joy—no strings attached.
More and more I have come to realize how much of a positive impact I feel from devoting time to a hobby. Recently I decided to spend time writing a children’s book and finally I’m seeing that dream come true! The book became a pastime rather than work; it was more of a passion project than anything else. It became something that relaxed my mind and that I looked forward to spending time on.
Now Stellarina: Stella’s First Dance Class is an actual, bona fide book, complete with illustrations by my niece, Olivia. (It’s a story based on my family’s Golden Retriever, Stella, going to dancing school.) Perhaps the best part is that through the book’s proceeds, we’ll be able to donate to local animal shelters. One day I think my pastime will be running a dog rescue—but until that day comes, my contribution will be through Stellarina books. <3
So here’s what I want you to do—right now—if you don’t have a favorite pastime (yet). Grab a pen and some scratch paper and write down the answer to these three questions. Don’t think too hard; just write anything that comes to mind:
- What have you always wanted to try?
- What do you love to do for fun?
- What activities or games or toys did you love as a child?
OK, now I want you to look for similarities and connections in your answers. What did you write down that excites you? What makes you smile?
Maybe you want to take up a new activity, like painting or martial arts, or you want to go big with something you already do, like running a marathon. Maybe you want to get involved in volunteering with a local organization or a group like the Rotary Club. Maybe you want to write a book!
The idea is to discover (or re-discover) something that brings you joy and that you feel MOTIVATED to go after. Then once you have the idea, you must make the time. That’s right: MAKE. Even if it’s minimal at first, go carve out some actual time on your calendar to nourish this interest. It’s one thing to dream, but it’s another thing to act on that dream!
It’s easy to downplay pastimes and hobbies as unimportant. Work and family naturally take up much of our focus. But remember that you are a WHOLE person; someone who is worthy of whole health: mind, body, and soul. I believe that if you feed your interests, you feed your soul too. There is so much in you that deserves to be poured into! I hope you’ll allow the ideas to flow and then go for it. Make a pastime one of your priorities.
Tell me: What will you be pursuing next? I want to know!