I'm an overthinker. I'm definitely a worrier, and I tend to dwell on things. All traits that I'm constantly in the process of working on, but all traits that are stuck pretty close to the core of my being. Thus, I often find much of my daily energy allotment is spent on calming myself down or hyping myself up for the various situations I face throughout my day-to-day life.
As human beings, we run the gamut on just about every spectrum out there. We all have different goals, different opinions; different lives. Universally common, however, among the king of the mammals, is the fear of the unknown.
Speaking of goals and dreams - most days I feel I'm living mine. I'm blessed with a warm home and a loving family, a business that allows me to connect deeply with my community and to employ a wonderful team of people, and I have the freedom to explore or expand my possibilities that many do not have. Still, that fear of what's around the corner is, well, right around the corner.
Before COVID-19 warped our reality into something only reminiscent of its previous state, I would have told you I didn't worry too much about the future. Maybe that was true; maybe I just wasn't testing the system with any weight on the pulleys. Either way, nearly half a year into a global pandemic, and the pulleys were starting to look pretty threadbare.
Wanting to find a new and healthier outlet for my pent-up worries, I had a discussion with someone recently about hobbies. She caught me off guard when she asked me what my two favourite things to spend time doing when I was a child were. I caught myself off guard when the answer came easily: colouring books and hours of music. She suggested I try and spend some of my energy on both.
Skeptical but open-minded, I purchased myself an adult colouring book and a large set of double-ended markers (many in shades whose existence I had been previously unaware of). As Michael settled in to watch a Raptors game (go Raps!), I settled in with my vibrant new supplies and got to it. Two hours and one coloured picture later, I raised my head and realized I had no idea what I'd been thinking about the entire time. I knew one thing though - I hadn't been worrying about a damn thing.
Next, I spent a few hours cleaning up and adding to my music playlists. I realized that I hadn't heard any new music in what felt like forever, and also had no idea what some of my favourite artists were currently up to. As someone who considers myself a music lover, I wondered to myself when that had changed, and how I hadn't noticed. Then, I listened. For hours. Lo and behold, just like with the colouring (and my favourite summer hobby - gardening), the hours passed quickly, and more importantly, without a worry or fear.
I'm not suggesting that hobbies will totally eliminate fear from our lives. But balance in our lives - taking the time to do, and in my case (and likely more than one or two of you), to remember, what we love, can give us the strength and energy to fight off fear and doubt. The unknown is always there, this is an undeniable fact. Taking time to reconnect with yourself is key.
Tomorrow's unknown may do its worst and turn into yesterday's valuable lesson. But, most likely, that menacing unknown of tomorrow will become yesterday's treasured memories. Do what you love.