My non obligated time is very limited currently. I work, go to the gym, do things to run my household, and most of all, spend time with my kiddo. That leaves precious few minutes for other pursuits. For the most part, I’m ok with that because I’m not very good at relaxing.
I’m very much a type A personality. I’m constantly multitasking. I’m listening to music or podcasts (this one is a current favorite) all the time. I don’t watch tv, I don’t have cable, and if I do watch, it’s Netflix or YouTube. I’ve got multiple writing, art and photography projects going on all the time. I’m usually reading multiple books too, plus my nightly palate cleanser. Even when I try to meditate, my mind is going a million miles a minute.
There are a few things that do relax me: naps and shopping. Both of which have gotten me in trouble over the years with others who don’t quite get that. I like my 20 minute siestas and I love searching for buried treasures.
It’s the thrill of the hunt. It’s ok to shoot innocent wildlife, but it’s not ok to rescue books, records and clothes? Most of the time, I go in not looking for anything in particular. This means sometimes I’m successful but most of the time, not so much. Not that long ago, I found an early edition of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn as well as Sylvia Plath’s Collected Poems. That was a bonus.
Maybe I have ADHD and that’s why I bounce around so much. I’ve always been like this, and it hasn’t gotten better as I’ve aged. It could be some sort of manic high, when I shop, because there is a definite endorphin rush. There’s the thrill of anticipation. What will be found today? Then when you do find something (I just found Bowie’s Aladdin Sane and Hunky Dory at a local record shop. They cried out to me) there’s another shot of endorphins. Finally, when you bring home your goodies and add them to your collection, there’s that happiness rush. You’re content.
Unfortunately, a lot of this cycle is intertwined with shame and guilt. When people surrounding you don’t understand your love of literature and music, they don’t understand why you’re so jubilant over these purchases. Or the fact you’re shopping at all. Why are you spending all this money on a record? Having to justify every penny spent is exhausting, especially when the things that give you the most pleasure wind up causing you the most pain. Maybe it’s rebellion, maybe it’s compulsion but either way, this behavior probably won’t ever stop.
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t gamble. Heck I don’t even play the lottery. I have always been a good girl, worked very hard all along, so I feel I deserve some sort of reward. I’m not taking food out of anyone’s mouth and there’s always electricity and wifi. I don’t understand why people take issue with my particular passions. I’m actually teaching the Jedi a thing or two with my hobbies. He’s learning to appreciate all different types of music and literature, whether he realizes it or not. Also, that when it all falls apart, there’s a mix tape for that.
It could be worse. I could start traveling again.