Want an easy fix for finding joy? Try to remember what it was you loved to do when you were ages 6 or 7 and why you loved it. Or think about what you most enjoyed in early elementary school. If you can remember the things you enjoyed doing solely for pure pleasure as a kid, those things are clues to the activities you like to do for pure enjoyment.
A ticket to joy and gratitude can sometimes be getting back to doing those things you once loved: those hobbies, those talents, the hours spent practicing what once made your heart sing.
Rediscovering Joy via Childhood Hobbies & Passions
As we go through our school years and get into marking off life and family milestones, accomplishments and goals, we often get too busy for these cherished pastimes that brought us hours of bliss as children. When we get older and have a little more time, we can look back and try to call on these activities and draw on them to bring out some of our deep feelings of inner happiness.
For me, it’s singing, it’s writing in my journal for fun, it’s creative hand lettering and drawing artsy words (doodles or lettering projects,) it’s gabbing with friends, it’s crafting projects, it’s writing cards and letters to others and it’s swimming in warm water. Stickers! On pretty paper. Gorgeous markers and neat projects to make with them.
There are many reasons why I, and we, enjoy hearkening back to those pursuits that called to us most as children, not the least of which could be that we didn’t have the weight of expectation and responsibility with these things we just did for enjoyment Note that I didn’t state my hours of practicing piano on the list above. It was not something I found pleasure in, though I did practice and it’s still pleasurable for me to hear others play.
I’ve been delighted to get back into doing more art and craft work and swimming as I’ve gotten older. There was a reason I took all those art and writing classes as a kid at the local art institute and why I would hang out with my more artistic and crafty relatives as a kid! Similarly, as a kid, I loved to hang out in the summer at the local community pool, even when I was not the strongest swimmer nor the one with the perfect strokes. These things were just plain fun for me and made me feel good. And they do today as well.
So, as you hunker down at home this winter season, remember to think about returning to your childhood fun or the passion you had for grooming animals, canoeing on the lake in the summer, the love that kept you writing poetry or hand weaving, or dancing or singing or making watercolor pictures or following animal tracks in the woods or collecting stamps or dolls or whatever it might have been for YOU!
If it lit-up and fed your soul as a young person, chances are it might spark that flint for you again today. Just do it for enjoyment, not with any sort of expectation.
When you get back to those things, those interests, those possibly long-dormant avocations or hobbies, chances are they might still bring a sparkle to your eye. And that will keep you both young at heart and joyful too. 🙂
Write to us with what your long ago and rediscovered-as-an-adult passion is that and how it still calls to you today. Reach us at [email protected]
Be bold and be joyful!