When I was a kid, I was the type of hyperactive human rocket of energy that was always planning some grand scheme and eagerly waiting for the next big thing (be it a holiday, vacation, school event, play date, whatever). One of Nietzsche’s basic ideas is that “to do is to be”, and I am in wholehearted agreement. As a youngster, I could never stand to be idle for too long and was always doing. Whether it was performing full concerts for my stuffed animals in my bedroom (to this day, I still have every song from No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom” album memorized), creating my very own version of Double Dare in the family room (my parents really loved that one) or acting out a skit about pirates (inspired by The Goonies, of course) in the treehouse, I was always up to something. I was always unapologetically me.
That said, I still don’t enjoy being idle for too long. One of my favorite quotes explains it best, in ways that I cannot:
“What I fear most, I think, is the death of the imagination. If I sit still and don’t do anything, the world goes on beating, like a slack drum without meaning. We must be moving, working, making dreams to run toward; the poverty of life without dreams is too horrible to imagine.”
Now that I’ve reached my blog limit on philosophical quotes, I’m happy to say that I’ve always lived my life by that sentiment. I’ve been keeping myself busy and my life full of richly satisfying things that challenge me, make me happy, make me think and, most of all, continually feed different aspects of my mind, body and soul. After all, I’ll be idle when I’m dead.
Some of what I’ve been up to lately includes:
–Kickboxing: It started with a Groupon. It progressed into a habit. Now, I’m into it and diggin’ every sweat-soaked, heart-pounding, breathless moment. I try to go twice a week, but sometimes am only able to make it once. After nearly 6 weeks of kickboxing, I’m noticing changes in my body. Jeans are fitting better, all 5 feet 6 inches of me is becoming more toned and my inclination to snack throughout the day is waning. There have been mental changes too; including increased energy, stamina and general clarity. I love being pushed and this does just that for me. Sure beats creating my own Double Dare obstacle courses in the living room! (But, let’s face it, who still WOULDN’T be on Double Dare given the chance?!)
–Writing: I can’t help it – I do it. All the time. For fun. I told myself that I would pause the writing until I finally had something in print, but that lasted maybe a couple of months. I keep a document titled “Idea Pool” on the desktop of my laptop, and that’s where I keep all of the plot and character ideas that I dream up at completely random intervals throughout the week. Coming up with the ideas, the characters and the plot lines is not hard – Difficult is finding the time to execute it all. I dream of the day when I can have a tiny bungalow or condo somewhere with a gorgeous, inspiring view and loads of time to type, type, type away (see above Sylvia Plath quote).
However, the reality is that I have a mortgage, car payment, insurance, monthly bills, several pets and even a shred of a social life. So, that said, working full-time is a necessity. Sometimes I’m tired after work and can’t bear to look at a computer for the rest of the night. Sometimes my girlfriend wants me to put away the laptop so we can go to dinner, watch a movie or just hang out together. Sometimes I’m distracted because it’s a beautiful, sunny afternoon or I have a few errands that will bother me until I get them done. I’ve always had this affliction where I can’t do anything halfway. I either do it, and pour my heart into it, or I don’t do it at all. When I write, I have one-way focus on the story for hours and hours and a circus parade through my living room would barely warrant a glance up from my laptop. So, it can be hard to find those chunks of time but I make a point to because, when it comes down to it, I just. Love. Writing.
–Meditation: I took a workshop earlier in the year on meditation and enjoyed every second of it. It’s a personal experience for everyone, but can be very profound and healing – Food for the soul. Like kickboxing, I’ve noticed general clarity throughout my day-to-day life, as well as regaining a more patient, compassionate outlook. By being aware of yourself, you begin to really own yourself and when you own yourself, you can love yourself. And, when it comes down to it, that is one of the most important things you can ever do.
–Family & Friends: Between a new nephew, an upcoming wedding celebration, Pride month and various summer festivals and going-ons, keeping busy with family and friends is an ultra-important cornerstone of my life. I love making new friends, I adore spending time with my family and I can’t think of anything better than enjoying life with those I truly, well…Enjoy! I’ve always agreed with the idea that life is as good as you make it, but I’ve also been adamant that it is also as good as the people you choose to let be involved in it. I have several friends that I know on a social level and then a very select handful of friends and family that are the very best people I know – And keeping busy by spending time with them is one of my favorite ways to live long days and cool nights.
–Cooking: Chef Quinn is in the house! Maybe I’m finally shifting from post-college twenty-something to full-fledged adult or perhaps my renewed love for healthy living is going hand-in-hand with kickboxing and meditation, but I have been inexplicably ALL. ABOUT. cooking at home. And I’m not just talkin’ frozen pizzas and Hamburger Helper, either (that was SO 23 years old!). I created an account on FoodOnTheTable.com (random shout-out, yay!) and have been using it to find recipes, generate grocery lists and print everything out into a neat little binder chock full of healthy food ideas. My girlfriend is loving the fact that I’m enjoying making home-cooked dinners and has (bless her kind heart) said that everything has been delicious (so far). I feel a sense of accomplishment at making something both tasty and health-centric, and dare I say it’s maybe, sort of, kind of a fun way to unwind after a long day at the office? Put on some music, make something yummy and then enjoy the fruits (and veggies and wheats and grains and meats, too) of your labor. BTW, I am always on the look-out for new recipes (nothing too extensive, gourmet or plain old complicated JUST yet, please) so do share.
Hope everyone is having as wonderful of a summer – After all, if 2012 is the year in which the world ceases to exist, we might as well go out with a bang and enjoy everything that life brings to us, always.