health & wellness

What hobbies are you making responsibilties?

Where my type-A girls at?! Ummm…hello! Right here. Yep, that’s me. Type-A, work-a-holic, overachiever, nothing’s ever good enough… My boyfriend and I joke that we’re going to open up an Over-Achiever’s Anonymous (OAA) group and never be satisfied with how it turns out. Haa haa! Real talk.

Of course, you can’t live life this way, and as I get older I get better at accepting this truth and relaxing a little. However, for this salutatorian (damn you, Patrick Song, and your straight As) it is still a struggle.

Today’s blog post is an extension of this Instagram post from last night where I wrote:

“I decided just minutes ago that I wasn’t going to make it to dance practice tonight, and I feel SOOOO liberated having let that go. I’m tired today. I could’ve pushed through and danced, and I probably would have been happy I did, but I’m also SOOO happy right now that I decided to release the urge to ‘push through.’ Somehow I even make hobbies become responsibilities…”

It got a decent amount of engaged comments from women who identified with that overachieving sense of responsibility to…I guess…get everything done. Be the woman who “does it all” and that was me last night. I had, like, 15 minutes to get ready and leave for Salsa class, but I still had to meal prep for tomorrow and clean up the kitchen, and then I suddenly stopped and as clear as day thought to myself, “Amanda, you can’t do it all tonight. If you want to feel in control of the few tasks you have left to do at home, you need to let go of going to dance class tonight.”

Elise Joy’s recent Instagram post was spot on when she said in so many words shrink your definition of ‘all’ and you can get it all done.

So last night, that’s what I did. ‘ALL’ meant doing the dishes, cleaning the cat box, finishing meal prep, baking a batch of brussel sprouts, taking a shower, resting on the couch, and winding down. That was it, and I got it all done. I shrunk the requirement on myself of what I needed to get done, and then magically got it done. But then it led me to ask myself this question:

What hobbies are you making responsibilities?

I want to become a better dancer – so I push myself to go – every week, 2 to 3 times a week, and at one point I was going 5 times a week. But, we already established at the beginning of this post that I want to become a better everything. I’m type-A so my knee jerk reaction is that nothing is ever good enough. It can always be better.

Last night, I realized that while this mentality makes me ambitious and hard-working – if I’m not careful – it can spill into activities I’ve taken up for the purpose of relaxation and release and turn them into stress-inducing ToDo lists items I’m requiring myself to accomplish. I don’t know ’bout you all, but I don’t need ANY MORE of those.

So, here’s to treating hobbies like hobbies, and getting better at letting go of false requirements we place on ourselves. We’re all doing our best, you know, and let’s let that be perfect enough.

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