Finding Joy by Losing Track of Time

Talk about a long-term project. I’ve been working through 21 steps to happiness for over a year now, and I’m only on Step 8! But this step’s a good one: Losing Track of Time.

It’s not as easy you think; it comes with three caveats:

  1. you must do something voluntarily (so zoning out at the DMV doesn’t count)
  2. it must be enjoyable (again, the DMV doesn’t count)
  3. it needs to require some skill and be challenging (sorry, Netflix binge).

What I found was that I don’t often (read: NEVER EVER) spend time doing something enjoyable and challenging. So to accomplish this step towards happiness, I had to make a conscious decision to carve out time for myself. This resulted in a series of activities that yielded surprising results:

  • Reading – I love reading; I majored in literature, so you’d think I’d set aside more time to do this once-beloved activity. The result? Not only did I get to enjoy several great books, but I got to broaden my mind and think about things from different perspectives, which is always a good thing. And a really surprising result was that my son, who normally can’t abide the sight of my smart phone in my hand, let me read while he entertained himself. WIN.
  • Crocheting – I used to love crocheting; it’s very meditative and relaxing. But I haven’t made anything since my son was born almost two years ago, so I found myself getting frustrated rather than relaxed. Once I remembered how to do the basic stitches, however, I felt that good old meditative feeling come back. And before I knew it, an hour had passed.
  • Crafting – Halloween’s in less than a week, and I’ve decided to make costumes for the whole family. Problem: I don’t know how to make costumes. My son, my husband and I are going to a costume party next weekend dressed as cats. I could’ve bought costumes for cheap, but they all seem to come with a sequined bow tie. Now, being a cat owner myself, I can tell you that I’ve never seen my 25-pounder sway out of the bedroom dressed for a formal event. So I decided to challenge myself by making something a little more cat-like. So far, I have a single pair of ears ready to go, and you know what? They’re awesome! It’s been fun to make something from scratch and see it come together. When it’s all finished, I’ll post pictures, I promise. But talk about losing track of time–this is definitely a time-consuming, albeit joyful, project.

Everybody has something they enjoy doing; it’s just a matter of making time for those things in your life. What do you do to lose track of time?

Next up: Engaging in Deep Conversations


photo credit: knit three together


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