What do I enjoy?

Recently, I have found myself wondering what I really enjoy doing.  I have so many expectations for myself, activities I should try, places I should go, foods I should cook with, etc.  And while I do enjoy trying new things and pushing myself outside of my comfort zones, I think it is also important for me to simply enjoy life sometimes, which raises one question.

What do I enjoy?

For a while, I think that I lost sight of the little things in life I do enjoy because I was so focused on trying new things or working or just getting through and surviving.  So I’ve both spent time thinking about what I enjoy and asked a dear friend who has known me for years to remind me what activities bring me delight and joy.  To be honest, once I thought about it, the following list was not surprising since these are activities that I have enjoyed for a good long time.

  1. Exploring and traveling – I genuinely love to wander around and discover new places, which is probably why I love to travel.  I have yet to travel the world, but I hope to one day.
  2. Playing the piano – I began playing the piano when I was six and was even a piano performance major prior to injuring my wrist in college.  Playing the piano is one way that I express myself, a comfort that I can always turn to.
  3. Listening to music – Along with playing music, I love listening to music, analyzing it, or just enjoying the moods it evokes.  I love my tried and true favorite artists, but I also love learning about new artists and expanding my musical horizons.
  4. Writing – Though I am afraid of failing and therefore don’t write or blog as often as I should, I find writing to be very therapeutic and simply delightful.  Once I injured my wrist, I began to use writing as an outlet to express myself and my thoughts, even if it is simply in my journal.
  5. Reading – My punishment as a child used to be that I was forbidden from reading.  From an early age, my mother instilled a love of reading that I still maintain.  I was an English Literature major post wrist injury solely because I love to read.  I now try to read at least one new book a week.
  6. Taking pictures – Though I’m definitely the most amateur photographer ever, I find great delight in taking pictures of random objects in my life.  My most favorite way to take pictures is to just take my camera with me on a walk or exploration and photograph what I find to be interesting.
  7. Planning and organizing – I’m an organizational freak.  Organizing and planning soothes my soul.  When I’m upset, I’ll often organize; my thoughts sort themselves out as I physically sort through and organize whatever happens to be lying around.  The ability to organize and carry out a plan is so refreshing.  I love to plan, even though I know my plans will always change.  At least I figured out the puzzle of the plan and understand its components first.
  8. Cooking – This hobby is more recent than most, but I have really enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes.  I like to play with flavors and think of new recipes, as well as being able to cook a delicious meal when I’m just craving homecooked goodness.
  9. Baking – Though I don’t typically have a major sweet tooth (pregnancy has changed that a little), I enjoy baking.  Being able to create a good scone to go with my morning coffee or pie or cake for a friends’ birthday is just amazing.
  10. Conversing with friends – What can I say?  I love a good conversation with people I love.

While I will definitely continue to push myself to try new things, I think I am going to try to make time to devote to the hobbies and activities I know I love.  So far, I have greatly enjoyed playing music while I’m home cooking or cleaning or reading.  I’ve spent more time in coffee shops talking with friends, reading, and writing.  It’s been good.

What do you enjoy?

Advertisements

Resolved

Though I am a day late, I thought I would share my New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 with you all.  Without further ado…

I am resolved…

… to get into better shape by maintaining a daily pilates or yoga practice five days a week and by walking at least four days a week.

… to read the Word of God daily.  My friend Megan and I are following a combination Old Testament and New Testament plan together.  I think (rather, I know) that the accountability will be motivating and humbling.

… to read two books a week.  Since graduating, I have sadly neglected to read as much as I should, though I do still love to read.  Any suggestions are welcome. 🙂

… to post at least weekly.  This resolution is a bit undefined at the moment since I am still attempting to realize which of the many blogs I have I should focus on and how many I can reasonably maintain.  I love this blog too much to give it up entirely, so I will probably use it to post random, personal thoughts rather than have a specific purpose… at least for now.  I’ll update you on my other blog projects as they develop.

… to listen to music daily.  Somehow, I have fallen out of my old habit of listening to music all the time.  I blame a previous addiction to TV.  However, since I am no longer watching TV and rarely watching movies (combined with the fact that I love music and hate silence), I have determined to listen to music daily while I walk, work around my house, or sit in a coffee shop writing.

… to try one new recipe or cooking idea each week.  These attempts will be blogged about over at cupcakescoffeeandcoconut.wordpress.com.  I’m excited to see what I discover!

In contrast with previous years, I have not resolved to embark on major changes, rather just to be dedicated to what I am already working on.  If I happen to learn Italian or take more pictures, then so be it.  But for now, I’m just going to live my life with more focus and intention.

Post #58 – The smallest thing

Today’s topic is a bit random – what is the smallest thing near me?

Ironically, the smallest thing near me is my iPod nano.  Get the irony?  Cuz it’s a nano?  Ok, I promise I’m done. 🙂

Anyway, the smallest object near me is the iPod nano that my Grandma gave me when I visited her a month or so ago.  It’s small.  Much, much smaller than the electric blue 2nd generation iPod nano I had when I was in college.  This iPod is so small that I am constantly afraid I’m going to lose it.  It’s like an inch square.  Seriously.  But it’s cool; it has a touch screen and 8 GBs of storage.  8 GBs of music is a lot of music, and I love music so it works out quite well for me!  Also, it is a metallic grey purple, which is super fun.  I really like grey and purple, so the combo is fun and sleek and sophisticated.  But mostly, I love it because my Grandma gave it to me!  She is so thoughtful and awesome!  I’ve loved being able to jam while taking walks or walking downtown to work.  It was a spectacular gift!

Post #51 – Music that cheers me up

Music.  I love it!  Music is just part of who I am.  When I started  college, I chose to major in Piano Performance.  Playing the piano, accompanying, and listening to and discovering new music was my life.  I defined myself by music.  Then during sophomore year, I suffered a permanent wrist injury and had to change majors.  Anyway, all this to say that music is an integral part of my life.

When I am down, two different kinds of music cheer me up.  Sometimes I just need cheerful, uplifting, happy music.  Something with a beat, like Usher or Taio Cruz.  Or something soothing like Coldplay or Jason Mraz.  Or my current standby anytime favorites Maroon 5 and OneRepublic.

But sometimes I just need to really explore my sadness.  Why am I down?  So I listen to darker music, like Linkin Park and Evanescence.  Or any song that really fits what I am going through.

So that is my rather embarrassing confession of music that I listen to when I am down.  When I am happy, just about anything that isn’t most country, Gregorian chants, Miley Cyrus, or highly repetitive goes.  I love discovering new and indie music.  I also enjoy most (though less and less) popular radio.  Music affects my moods.   I like it.  Music and I are great friends!

Post #14 – Why I started to blog

I have been blogging on and off since high school, back when Xanga was all the rage.  I’m not sure exactly why I started to blog then, other than I’ve always used writing as a way to express myself.  As an introverted thinker, I find writing to be very relaxing.  It helps me process and sort my thoughts and relieve stress.  I love having the time to choose the perfectly nuanced word to express what I’m thinking or how I am feeling.

I do know that I started this particular blog shortly after I permanently injured my wrist and could no longer play the piano for hours a day.  Playing the piano and music in general was my preferred way of expressing myself prior to my injury.  Since my injury, I have become an avid writer.  In addition to journaling, I blog here, at www.rachelbuckingham.wordpress.com, and several other blogs.  I am also a freelance writer, currently writing several articles and my first novel.

In addition to using blogging to express myself, I started this blog as an effort to write more and hone my skills.  That is also the reason I have chosen to participate in the postaday2011 challenge.  A writer cannot improve without writing (and reading in my opinion).  So I blog because I love writing; it is an extension of myself.

Post #11

I have many passions and dreams in my life.  I love writing (and blogging) and hope to be a published author some day.  I love reading and hope to be an excellent reviewer of books.  I love music and want to create songs that reflect who I am and why I am that way or what I’m going through.  I love teaching and hope to touch many, many lives and encourage my students to dream big and achieve their goals.  But when I die, I don’t want to be remembered for any of these things.  That is, unless they bring glory to God.

When I die, I want to be remembered for following God with my entire life.  I want to seek Him with all of my life and sacrifice myself and my desires for His glory.  I want to proclaim His glory and His saving grace!  That is what I want to be remembered for!  God is so powerful!  He created everything.  He sustains everything! Only He can save us from our sin.  We are depraved, sinful, selfish people.  We need God.  In his infinite love and grace, He can choose to save us.  God is so awesome!  If I am remembered at all, I want to be remembered for Him!