This question helped me identify my passions and the things that make me come alive.
As a kid, I took them for granted, but now I’m revisiting my childhood and learning from it. Gretchen Rubin suggests that the things we loved doing as a kid are probably things we still enjoy as an adult. I’ve found this to be true.
I want to make room for these sparks in my day-to-day life simply for the joy they give me. Sometimes I wonder if I can be bothered fitting them all in, but I’m learning to trust that if I do, I’ll feel better than if I didn’t.
Here is what I loved doing as a kid:
From the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. I loved falling asleep with a book in my hand. First it was Little Golden Books, then Enid Blyton, then Roald Dahl, then everything.
Last year one of my goals was to read every day so that I could read more. I didn’t read every day but I did read more. And what I found is that I never regretted the days when I read.
Mostly stories about fantasy lands, talking animals, and me being a princess with magic powers. (Ah, no wonder my favourite book genre is fantasy.) Later, when I was 11, I started journaling and never stopped.
I just feel better on days when I write. I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
3. Drawing and creating.
I loved my Derwents! Mum bought me a pack of 36 that I went through quickly, so she bought me a pack of 72. They were a prized possession. I also loved my Glitter Art and Oodles craft packs.
Drawing can be a big effort. My drawings can take eight hours to do. I considered giving it up, but the joy it gives me makes it worth it.
4. Stretching and dancing.
I ‘taught’ myself ballet and stretched every day so I could do the splits. I loved dressing up and performing concerts in my room as I sang and danced along to songs. Sometimes I performed for my family, but only if my friend was performing with me.
I was ready to drop this one since I’m never going to be a prima ballerina (a dream I had a as a kid), but every time I watch dancing or see a pointed foot, that spark captures me. So I’m choosing to continue following this spark and dance because I love it.
5. Playing piano and listening to music.
I played by ear and memory; I’ve never been able to read music well. It was also around 11 that I discovered the radio and listened to it constantly, taping songs, and making compilations.
I was ready to give this one up too since playing an instrument has never come naturally to me. It always feels like I’m missing some musical piece of the brain. I don’t have a piano, but I’m going to give it one more go with my flute. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll sell it. I can always learn an instrument later if it captures me. I’ll always listen to music though and try to find ways to appreciate it and incorporate it more in my life.
6. Petting dogs.
I loved playing with them and spending time with them. Wherever there was a dog, that’s where I’d be. They are the most beautiful creatures and gave me so much joy.
At the moment I won’t be able to have a dog any time soon, but I have pictures of my last dog on my wall. She died about five years ago and I wondered if it was time to take the pictures down. Not this year.