I’m surprised by the roll I’ve been on with blogging lately! The only bad thing is I’m slowly running out of craft ideas and free time, so I’ve been pondering what I should use for content. It got me thinking about the main purposes of my blog, and I thought it was about time I get back to one of the cornerstones.
Since The Happiness Project sparked my large part of my blog theme, I decided to visit the site to see if any inspiration hit. I immediately signed up for the 2012 Happiness Challenge and then perused the site a bit more to see if any inspiration hit. Within a few minutes this Q&A caught my eye. It was this quote in particular that stood out to me:
Research shows that during our teenage years, we spend nearly one-third of our time with friends. For the rest of our lives, the average time spent with friends is less than 10%. That’s a pretty big jump, and can make us feel lonely or unfulfilled. If you are married with kids and you have a job and an endless list of errands to run, it’s likely that time with pals slips off the to-do list. It can feel more like a luxury than a necessity.
As my sisters can attest, I spent a lot of time on the phone as a teenager. A lot. (Which is weird, considering that I hate talking on the phone now). But that may only further highlight what a big jump it is for socializing. I’d say that most of my free time now is primarily spent being productive. After work I hit the gym, make dinner, run errands, try to craft or update my home decor, etc. If it weren’t for the fact that my colleague became one of my closest friends and I go to zumba with my old roommate, I wouldn’t have much socialization during the week.
Perhaps because of that, I do view time with friends as a luxury and not as a necessity. What’s even worse is that I view it as a trade-off, particularly during the week when my free time is 6-9:30 p.m. Grabbing dinner or drinks or watching a movie means I likely won’t be able to go to the gym. What’s more important? How do you find a balance?
What’s hard, I think, is that I love my alone time. I like being able to clear my mind and having a chance to be productive and creative. Since I tend to be an introvert, a lot of time with people leaves me feeling wiped out, whereas time spent organizing and cleaning can leave me feeling rejuvenated.
That being said, though, I do notice that when I spend too much time checking off things on my to-do list and hiding from the world, I start to get into a funk. I can’t even really explain why or how it happens. Maybe it’s because while I feel fulfilled in one area of my life, my social life suffers. And it’s hard to find that fine line to prevent myself from getting into a funk.
Perhaps I’ll experiment this year to see how I can stop viewing time with friends as a luxury or tradeoff and instead find a balance that enhances my happiness.