When I have a free evening, I feel a lot of pressure. Don’t get me wrong, I also feel, well, free — but getting a couple consecutive hours with which I can do whatever I want starts to feel like a puzzle where I analyze all of the many things on my “want to do but don’t have time” list along with those on the “need to do but don’t have time” list and try to see which things fit into the space available. And then the feeling sets in that if I do all of that and choose a “thing” to do with my free time then it is no longer free. And so I don’t decide. And I usually choose to watch TV (on the Internet since the Major talked me out of subscribing to cable…) or episodes of something I care nothing about on Netflix. (There is a notable exception here – I recently watched seasons 1-4 of Mad Men on Netflix, and I really enjoyed the entire thing. But now that is over and since I don’t have cable, my Don Draper fantasies will have to be put on a back burner for at least two more years I guess, until Netflix gets season 5. By which time I won’t care. But that’s kind of a digression, huh?)
I want to write. Something real. I often think about how this wouldn’t be so hard. I have lots of ideas, and I know how to type. I’m not cocky enough to think that I would be successful if I ever chose to actually try to, like, really write something real… but I’m smart enough to know that I’ll never be successful at writing if I don’t, uh, write. (See, really SUPER smart, huh?)
I want to learn how to quilt. I know. I’m like ninety.
I want to finish the appliqued felt stocking I’m making for Lunchbox before Christmas, since I finished Turbo’s (in just under 1 year, thank you very much. Hoping for a bit quicker completion on this next one.)
I want to finish making curtains for my kitchen. (You had no idea I was so darned crafty, did you?)
I want to edit the book that I’ve been asked to edit. Since I will actually get paid for this, it seems like I’d be more motivated.
I want to finish unpacking the boxes that are STILL HERE…
But I don’t do these things. Or any of the many many other things I really do genuinely want to do.
Because when I have a couple hours unscheduled and uninterrupted, what I want most is to do nothing at all. Or at least to not HAVE to do anything at all. And so I accomplish little. I wonder if this will change when my kids are a little bigger and I’m able to accomplish more stuff during their waking hours, freeing me up to do more stuff when they’re asleep?