I was talking to my friends about a strange feeling that comes over me. It happens when I’m alone and have free time on my hands, nothing scheduled, nothing pressing to do. A vague sense of unease washes over me. I struggle to decide how I want to spend my time. I get the vague worry that whatever I choose, I will be disappointed at the end of it, I worry I will feel I chose the wrong way to spend that time, somehow. I imagine, if I choose to watch tv, I’ll then wish I’d played a video game or vice versa. So I get stuck. My friends and I decided to call this “hobby paralysis.”
It’s such a stupid thing, really, right? It’s just a choice of what to do with your free time for an hour, or two or thirty minutes or whatever. What a stupid and luxurious problem to have. #firstworldproblems, amiright?
It’s foolish, but decision-making has never been my strong suite. I always have a strong feeling towards making others happy. I don’t want to step on others toes. Others being happy tends to bring me happiness so I often defer to what others want to do. I am laid back, flexible and can pretty much enjoy any leisure activity which is great. But it also leaves me lost when there is nobody else around to decide what to do. When I’m left alone with my thoughts, endless opportunities for activities to achieve fun and happiness….but I sit. I distract myself by surfing the internet so then I don’t have to make a decision. Then 30 minutes go by and I’ve done nothing. Then I disparage myself for achieving shit-all.
We are lucky. We have so much free time and unlimited possibilities to fill that time. But this also makes it difficult to choose. You don’t want to make the wrong choice. Which again, is stupid. I decide whether is a wrong choice or not. But I can’t help it. The feeling is there. The guilt.
Part of it comes from the vague sense that whatever I’m doing, I could be writing instead. I could be writing a blog post or working on my novel or something else. I’m sure lots of creators get similar feelings, if they don’t spend every moment on their creative endeavor. Guilt doesn’t help though.
The feeling persists but I do not let it stop me from doing things anymore. I make a choice and move on. Enjoy whatever activity I pursue. It’s my life, my choices. I guess that’s part of where the feeling comes from. These choices are mine and there is nobody else to blame. Pursue your hobbies. Pursue your own enjoyment.