Thoughts out of the gutter, please, my post title refers to totally safe-for-work activities! This post is a little more light-hearted after my last post. And, whilst I appreciate the support and concern, I am truly ok – just felt it was the right time to address the issue with the recent start of the new rugby season.
Anyway, after the break-down of a relationship nearly a year ago, I realised that my life had become a boring routine of go to work – go to the gym – go home. My friendship group had grown smaller over the years, something which I don’t see negatively as I hold much more value in having just a handful of truly out of this world friends, but we often have conflicting work schedules allowing planned catch ups only when diaries finally align maybe once or twice a month. I realised that, as a child, I always had a string of extra-curricular activities on the go. But, as a 30 year old, this had seemingly stopped being a concept I pursued in my life.
I made a list at the start of this year of things I love to do. Things that I enjoy but for some reason just weren’t part of my life, or as much part of my life as I’d like them to be, or that I’d stopped doing during my now-ended relationship. I’m happy to share this list with you (excuse my doodles. I love list-making but I also love doodling!).
The list reads:
- cook new cuisines
- stop watching so much TV and read more!
- be more active
- start writing again – blog? private?
- join a club/society/team
First up, I started going to Moseley Book Club – a lovely gathering of people once a month to discuss various books selected in previous months and based around a theme. With access to so much technology, it’s become too easy for me (and no doubt, many others) to sit and watch endless TV and even when I go to bed I still pick up on the next episode of a series on my iPad rather than pick up a book to read a few pages. I love to read though and always have. My parents encouraged us to read from such an early age that we always took such pleasure from it. I’d sadly become so lazy with regards to focusing more on moving between Macbook, iPad, phone and TV that picking up a book had become a forgotten action. Having the push through Book Club to not only read but to read books which I wouldn’t necessarily pick myself has been a refreshing step away from my unhealthy tech habits. I haven’t necessarily enjoyed every book we’ve read this year but I have thoroughly enjoyed finding my passion for reading again.
Those who know me will know that I’ve always loved to learn different languages. At school, I took GCSEs in French, German and Italian and then A-levels in French and German. I’ve completed a 2-year Diploma in French through the Open University and I’ve taught myself enough Spanish to get by when I go to my family apartment in Spain. When I lived in Manchester, I used to regularly go to conversational classes at the Alliance Francaise. So where then has this interest disappeared to? It hasn’t. Again, it just got neglected. This year I have already completed one term of French classes at the Brasshouse Language Centre and I started term 2 this week (in the fabulous new Brasshouse Centre at the very cool Library of Birmingham). Although two hours of French on a Monday evening after a hectic working day isn’t always something I look forward to, as soon as I sit in that class I am in my absolute element.
I love sport but haven’t played any since finishing uni last year. Friends of mine get together every Tuesday over the summer months to play rounders in a local, public park. This year, I joined them and have loved every crazy minute of it. Having not played rounders since pre-GCSE age (and most participants are in the same boat), it’s been so much fun getting together every week and just trying our best (and truly some weeks we are rubbish!). The group is referred to as Rebel Rounders but the most rebellious we get is sometimes bringing beers with us – it is on Tuesdays after all! Some weeks we’ve had 20 people and others we’ve had just 8. It really hasn’t mattered though as we just have a good laugh and it’s been a nice way to meet new people.
I suppose rounders alone ticks a few of the points on my list but I have also been more active by going to the gym more regularly and by playing more golf this year. I would also like to start playing netball again before the end of the year but just need to find an evening which would fit! With regards to the other things on my list, ‘travel’ will always feature on any list I make about things I want to do more of. I’m grateful in that I’ve always been able to travel a lot but it’ll still never be enough to satisfy my intense wanderlust. I have obviously started writing again and went with blog rather than private – I love writing here at AMII @ THIRTY and I’ve also started guest writing over at My Trending Stories. I have also been cooking and baking more and, without a fussy eater in the flat, I’ve found my love for lots of different flavours and cuisines again.
It’s sad to think that, during my relationship, I had in so many ways given up on or neglected things which bring so much enjoyment to my life. I don’t think it’s just me that finds themselves in that situation and a break up always gives you a good chance to reflect on life as a whole so I definitely don’t put the blame solely on my relationship as I had already stopped some of these things earlier in my 20s. I think as an adult it is so easy to fall into a trap of work-eat-sleep-repeat and I’m definitely going to continue to put more effort into the ‘extra-curricular’ side of my life. Please be assured though, that it is still totally ok to stay in your pjs for a whole weekend binge watching a Netflix series….just maybe not so healthy (physically or mentally) to do every weekend!
Leave me a comment or tweet me @amiilau and let me know what hobbies and interests you have which bring joy, fun and value to your life.