Vacations are planned around conferences. Movies and dinners are delayed because I'm not done working yet. Calendars are filled almost entirely with writing or teaching related events and deadlines. Podcasts and writing workshops fill the space between my ears when walking, driving, or doing laundry.
And there, with strangers giving me advice on how to be more successful, I hear again that I need to get more involved with “other” communities, online or in person, and talk about something else. Because people want to get to know you as a person, not as a writer trying to sell them a book. Not as a real estate agent trying to sell them a house. Not as an Internet marketer trying to sell them “the next thing.”
And it finally occurred to me…what do I like to talk about besides writing and stories? Movies? (Those are stories.) Books? (Those are stories, even the nonfiction ones to some degree.) The practical effects of a life based on faith in Jesus Christ? (We kind of talk about that in Bible study and church.)
Have I forgotten what interests me outside of writing?
After a little thinking, I realize the answer is no. But in the struggle the last few years to just keep up with bills (and sometimes fall under that weight), a lot of what I do is less and less for love and more to just keep our heads above the water line.
And that's not horrible.
But it is something to be aware of. Much as I wish I had time to get back to playing guitar and piano, that's going to have to continue to wait a bit longer. Much as I enjoyed spending a couple hours a month building scrapbooks with friends, that is not in the cards right now. I'm trying to get back into running, but that isn't a topic for extended and interesting conversations – you are running or you aren't.
What about you? Have you gotten ensnared by your day-to-day responsibilities to the point where you don't remember when was the last time you talked about something really interesting? If you've been able to keep up with a forum or blog on something you're really interested in – that doesn't revolve around your career – let me know. Every Facebook group I'm a part of has to do with my career. I don't even know anymore how to find places to go online to chat with like-minded people about things that interest me that have nothing to do with writing or teaching.
But I'd like to find a couple places. Much as I love superheroes, I am woefully ignorant about the broad universe of comic books. Is there a good place people are chatting about it where I won't be outcast as a newb? (This is pressing entirely too close to being about my career, but I really am interested in learning more because it's cool.)
Is there a place where people are talking about Christian theology and philosophy in an interesting way that hits on ways to make it practical?
If you've talked to me about topics that I seem to have found interesting, let me know! I seem to be hitting a wall when it comes to remembering what I'm interested in enough to chat with strangers about it.
And if you've started to notice this about yourself as well, that you are so engrossed in daily life that you don't even remember what else you're interested in, let me know in the comments what you're going to do about it.
I don't have a lot of time to spend outside of working and the things I already do. (My first priority after work is hanging out with John, which is where all the TV and movie watching comes in. 🙂 ) But maybe I do need to add a little more balance to my life. I have no idea where I'm going to find the time, but it seems like I need to at least try.
P.S. Let me know if you've enjoyed these “Sunday Devotionals” the last few weeks. I'm trying something new on my blog – writing every Sunday about things that interest me from a spiritual growth standpoint. 🙂