Assuming that you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of the craze that went on earlier this year about the Konmari method of decluttering and organization.
Now, I am not a fan of this method. I think that the process has to be a lot more in depth than simply holding something and asking “does this bring me joy.” (I’m going to admit, I haven’t done more than a cursory reading of the whole thing, but what I have read, this seems to be the takeaway. I apologize if it’s more than this, but this is my impression.)
But, I seem to be doing a but of this myself, and thanks to pop culture this is the phrase that comes to my mind when I start going through this process.
So. I’ve been looking at my life, hobbies, interests, etc. and asking if it brings me joy.
Let’s face it, my brain and mood disorders/mental illnesses do not bring me joy. If it were possible, they would be the first things to go. (Now that my emotional trashcan is empty, maybe they can go in there?)
But there is a valid question in here – what really brings me joy?
I started asking myself these questions on a really down day, and I’ll admit, that really colored my answer to this question in a lot of respects. At that moment, on that day, I could think of very little in my life that brought me joy. I admit, I sat on the back porch and cried while I had this conversation with Mike.
That actually helped me identify that I was on the brink of a depressive episode. I called my shrink the next day, and we adjusted my meds, and I’m already feeling much better.
Anyway, back to my point.
I enjoy reading. I enjoy stories. I enjoy the places a good book can take me. It’s the same reason why I love period dramas (Downton Abbey, The Tudors, The Borgias, I’m looking at you) and fantasy so much. I’ve never been a huge fan of sitcoms for this reason. The story is resolved quickly and usually predictably. I enjoy books that make me think, that build fantastic worlds – real or imaginary.
If you asked me a week ago I would have told you that I hated baking. It did not bring me joy. But here we are, a week later, and for a party we’re having this weekend I’ve made meringues, two different types of French macarons, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, Amish sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookie dough bites, chocolate cupcakes, and two pies. I had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. I enjoy making things that people enjoy.
That segues into two other hobbies – crochet and cross-stitch. I started both because my shrink told me that hobbies like this might calm my frazzled nerves, give my hands something to do while I’m watching TV, give me something to focus on other than the negativity my brain produces. Again, a week ago I told my husband I didn’t like to do either. And again, here we are a week later and I’ve made progress on a blanket I’m making for my father-in-law for Christmas, and a cross-stitch I started working on for a friend of mine that’s having a baby.
But I do do a lot of things just because they’re expected of me. I love the MCU and Game of Thrones and Doctor Who and even hockey, but I think the obessive fan-ness of it all was because that’s what people expected of me, rather than how I really feel. When I’m hypomanic or mixed, I can get really obsessive about things. And while I really do enjoy these things, I think the super-fan that people expect of me really isn’t reality. In some respects, I think that’s also a product of maturing. Don’t get me wrong, I still totally nerd out over new Doctor Who episodes and merch, but I don’t spend hours a week pouring over theories and spoilers and any little piece of news that comes along.
I’ve found myself in downtime focusing on the news, organization, reading, crafting, finding new recipes or workouts, and having meaningful conversations with friends and family. I’ve cut Facebook out completely, while keeping the account so I can use Messenger to keep in touch with people.
I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder what my personality really is. I think I need to branch out my interests, try new things.
Also, had a phone interview today. It went really well. They want to schedule and interview with the Regional Vice President next week. So there’s that. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I’m hoping that this doesn’t turn into another debacle like the last interview series I had. Some day I’ll post about that, but I’m still pretty annoyed about what happened, and I don’t want to post something purely out of anger.