Friday, June 18, 2010

No Time! There's Never Any Time!

If you were an avid Saved by the Bell watcher growing up, then you know exactly what my title refers to.  LOL.  What hobbies or pursuits do you wish you had more time for?  No one ever has time to do EVERYTHING that they want to in life.  There's always some trade-offs.  School, work, kids, etc, always manage to take priority over something you'd rather be doing.  The two main interests that I wish I had more time for are painting and learning another language. 

I didn't realize my love for painting until I reached high school.  It was nice to have a regular class that made me spend time on doing something I enjoyed, while also giving me credit towards graduation.  I entered one of my paintings into a school contest, and won, and it really surprised me.  I didn't think I had any talent whatsoever.  Before Jer and I got married, I decided to take a photograph of us, enlarge it and change it to black and white, and then attempt to paint it.  I finished it in time and displayed it at our wedding.  I'm incredibly proud of that painting, and I have it hanging in our house today.  I've started a couple more since then, but they've never left the work in progress stage.  Every now and then I start to grab my easel and paint supplies, and then think of something else I need to be doing.  I think I worry that my next attempt won't be as good as my last one.   

After we hosted an exchange student from Germany, I realized how lacking many Americans are in the language department (myself included).  She informed us about how prevalent it is to be multi-lingual in Europe.  As global as our workplaces, markets, social networks, etc, are, it's sad that we, on this side of the globe, are content with only learning one language our entire life.  I made a decision earlier this year that I would try and learn Dutch.  Since my Dad was born in Holland, and we're visiting there next month, I thought it would be a beneficial pursuit.  I was really gung-ho in the beginning, but I've faded since then.  I've discovered that it's a pretty difficult endeavor at this time in my life, and I'm afraid of failure, and I think that's caused me to shy away from it.  I convince myself that I don't have time to keep it up, much quicker than I would for a different activity.  I'm bummed at myself for acting this way, and I hope that acknowledging it will help me shift my priorities.

While lack of time is a major factor, I think there is usually something else that comes into play when we make a decision about whether we will pursue an activity.  If every single obligation of mine is taken away tomorrow, I know that I'll still be hesitant about painting something for fear of it looking like crap, or continuing Dutch lessons for fear I won't grasp it.  I think I just need to decide that I don't have time for self-doubt!                     

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