When we get our heads around this idea of taking leisure, what consternation to discover we don’t know how to take it! Work is so much easier. We show up, fulfill or figure out the job, do it and move on to the next thing! Because leisure is more about “want to” than “have to” it can be a bit harder to figure out sometimes. We must reach inside ourselves to discover what we like, what “rests” us, and what brings joy. And that’s what stops us. It’s a bit frustrating not to know and sometimes we feel embarrassed that we don’t know and aren’t sure how to know.
Unfortunately, this is one of those areas where you must “try things on” to see what you like and don’t like. And here again is another of those feelings that get in our way. “What if I don’t like it? I will have spent money and time on something I don’t like!” Yes, that’s true. But I wonder if it isn’t more the issue that we didn’t get it right. Oh, how humorous I find it when I’m trying to do something fun only to be upset because I didn’t do it right! So much for freedom!
Moving forward might just need some good old practicality!
- Write down what kind of person you are. Are you outdoorsy? A bookworm? Shopper? Traveler? Sports enthusiast? Like shows? Movies? Arts & Crafts? Don’t limit yourself to just one. Write down all the things you can think of that might apply to you!
- Do some research. Talk to people like you. What do they do? Use the internet. If you’re not good at searching for things on the internet, ask for some pointers from those who are. What’s out there related to your interests?
- Think outside the box! David and I were thinking into a time of sabbatical that we want to take. As we were dreaming into it, we realized all the plans formulating were ones we had already done and loved but didn’t hold that element of discovery. It was just repetitive in a lovely way. One thing that “floats our boat” is going to new places. My box of “known and familiar” got the best of me. When I realized it, I had to set it aside and look again!
- Take money out of the equation…for now. It’s kind of a given that if you start with the price tag you might not make it out your front door. Dream without dollars dictating reality for a while. What might it look like if…?
- After you have some ideas and dreams on the table, have a little talk with Jesus. Ask him what of these he might want you to engage – either by saving, walking away, or making it part of a new life rhythm.
- Enjoy the process!
My guess is that as you take leisure, you’ll feel a bit awkward at first, but as you practice it – as a spiritual discipline of rest and renewal, you’ll find a surprising amount of freedom and joy.
ACTION: Start the above process and see what emerges!