Minutes before logging on to my January team meeting, I still hadn’t thought of a new year’s resolution to share. I wasted 2 of my 3 remaining minutes cursing icebreakers. Over the holidays I binged happiness podcasts. I thought about how the happiest people have hobbies and live in Denmark. Thinking fast, I shared my resolution to move to Denmark. This elicited a single polite chuckle that might have been a cough. Recovering, I clarified that as a tired, uncool, mother of two, I wanted to have more fun this year.
I was asleep by 9:30.
I’m jealous of kids. They are encouraged to nap, for starters. Kids go out into the world and try new activities and learn new skills. They have fun. While mine play ice hockey or take singing lessons, I sit in my parked car, mindlessly sipping stale remnants from the morning’s coffee and compiling my grocery list.
I’ve been feeling stuck. And when I’m stuck, everyone around me suffers.
I become overbearing while I search for purpose and somewhere to focus my anxious energy; my husband doesn’t pack the kids’ lunches right; we aren’t creating enough family experiences; we need to drop everything and reposition the furniture.
In my pursuit of fun, I enrolled in a Digital Communications course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. I know what you’re thinking, but as I said, I’m uncool and I love school. The deadlines, the feedback, the dedicated time away from the monotony. I was attracted to this course because it involved setting up a website, blog and podcast. I have always wanted to record a podcast, and writing a blog seemed like an achievable writing goal given my track record of abandoning book drafts. More on this here.
Recently, my husband noted that I seem happier. And I am.
And because I’m happier I have more energy. Turns out, fun begets fun. With my new energy, I’m planning activities like evening family tennis, free night at the ROM and a girls’ trip to NYC.
I didn’t anticipate the ripple effect my hobby would have on my family. Now on Saturday mornings, my husband makes grocery lists in the arena parking lot while my tween and I write at our favourite neighbourhood cafe. My 8-year-old is writing a musical. My husband patiently reads my drafts and shares audio editing tips.
I’m unstuck. In the evenings I’m writing instead of doom-scrolling my phone and half-watching Succession. Sure, sometimes it’s difficult to find the energy, but I do it anyway because I know I’ll reach that sweet flow state soon enough. And no, I won’t quit my day job (thanks Dad), or move to Denmark (insert laughter here). But my course finished weeks ago and here I am still writing, still recording, and filling my cup.