I do two things that are just for me. One of them I do with other people, and one I do alone. Well, in the car.
I take Tai Chi. Every time I go back to it after an absence – whether that absence is one of a couple weeks or a couple years – I can feel my entire being release. Relax. Breathe.
Go here to see a beautiful example of the 24 form Tai Chi .
I take it for myself. I go alone – no husband, no sons – just me. It’s my space – the people there are genuinely happy to see me, and email me when it’s been a while. It’s a place for me to cherish myself, to feel that connection back to my ballet dancing days, to breathe and get in touch with the energy of life. When I see friends there, that makes the class better – but when I only have acquaintances around me, that’s fine, too. I’m accepted.
The first time I went back – at the very end of January, after two full years and then some – the emotions ran high. I hadn’t planned on going back – but Tom had been urging me to. Tai Chi is the perfect thing to do when you need to regain your sense of balance! I had worn the appropriate shoes that day – so I went to the studio, bought a new set of clothes, and signed up for a month.
When Sifu saw me try to sneak by the children’s Kung Fu class to the dressing room, she did a double take, excused herself from her class, and came over and gave me a hug. It’s that kind of place. I felt I had come home.
I’m exhausted both mentally and physically after class, but my body, mind and spirit are better the next day. It fills a need I have that I don’t realize – and I am so grateful for it.
The other thing I do for myself is sing. Not just to the radio – I have a set of cds that I borrow from my hubby. They’re vocal exercises, but with a bit of a jazz beat. So it’s not operatic, but it is fun! I also have another cd that helps me learn how to harmonize. (Um, but no, I don’t do karaoke. Never have, never will. That will be all.)
I do almost all my singing in the car – yes, I know, I should be standing up – but still, it’s a fun way to use up some energy, it keeps me awake when I drive, and it exercises my voice. I used to take voice lessons a couple of decades ago, when I thought I might want to do musical theater; but I have to tell you, these exercises are much more fun than what I used to do. And I think I’m a better singer now, too. Everything I’ve heard says that people sing better as they age. Or maybe that’s just opera singers…
So, there you have it. Two things I do, just for me, that don’t benefit anyone else. They are my personal joys. I probably do more, but when I stopped to think about it, the other things that are joys also bring joy to others, and that’s not what I was aiming for this go-around.
What are your personal joys? Do you do anything “just for you” that doesn’t benefit anyone else? I’d love to hear about it!
It’s been raining here this week. Whatever the weather wherever you are, please drive safely – and drink responsibly!
For me it’s going to Curves three, often four times a week. In my neighborhood if I walk I always run into others who want to keep pace and talk. Sometimes I need to be quiet. At Curves I can get in a workout, participate in conversation if I want to, or just zone out and do my own thing. I consider it “me” time.
When I was younger and my knees were stronger I loved to hike. I miss that.
I love hiking, too. Maybe just long nature walks, instead of hills, is the ticket?
Yoga. I love yoga. I feel relaxed and refreshed after a class and I see the world with such clarity. I also meditate. 15 minutes each day centers me.
I love yoga, too – but I prefer to do it in the privacy of my home, lol. I’ve got several yoga DVDs and there’s something for every mood!
I ride my bike around town. Yes, it’s exercise but I love going along different routes to get away and then home, changing it up sometimes. A person who isn’t familiar with our small city would never know that you can bike where there are no cars. Makes it so much more fun.
Hi Christine – Love this. I bowl!! Yes, I am admitting it here. My team (which I’ve been with for twenty years) and I laugh about it all the time. We want to tell people that we’re playing tennis, or taking art classes, but truly, we have so much fun bowling one morn a week. It gets me away from the computer and out with people and I love the group of women, all fifty of them on a league that many of us have been on since our children were little. Now, many of us are grandmothers!!
I do other things, for me too…I love watching DWTS and my guilty pleasure, which I thought I would NEVER get into, is Celebrity Apprentice. Don’t ask me why, but I love watching that show on Sunday nights. I can’t explain it, I just do!!
I love to hear what you do for your own personal joy!! Fun, fun, fun.
Charlene! I LOVE to bowl – my dad is still bowling, and he’s 83! I need to get on a team, I just don’t have the time right now… hugs!
I read just for me. It makes me happy and relaxes me. I either listen to an audiobook or read everyday. I can’t imagine a life with books and stories.
Brinda, I have to agree – I love reading, and I do that only for me. That’s such a normal part of my life, though, that I don’t think of it as a personal joy – but it is! Thanks for the reminder!
I walk and walk and walk and think and walk. And if it’s raining I go to the gym and get on the treadmill and walk and walk. And think.
I love walking, Janie. I just don’t make the time to do it enough. And usually when I’m walking, it’s hubby time, so there – in a sense – goes the thinking part!
I’ve been wanting to try Tai Chi but with my ankle issues I’m not sure I can do the movements. Hopefully after my surgeries…in the meantime I just put up a pilates machine. We’ll see how it goes. I read — just for me — every night. It relaxes me and takes away whatever stuff is running around inside my head so I can sleep well. I also sing whenever I’m alone. I’d sing when others were around but they don’t tend to like it much. My cat even runs screaming in the other room when I start belting one out. LOL
Hm. Well, Tai Chi – it really depends on the studio you go to. My studio is a “do what you can” type – there are poses where, no, I can’t bend that way, lol – and I don’t even try, and they don’t force me. But it’s still hard! Every now and then my fibula hurts from where I broke it (down near the ankle) last year, so I understand. Good luck on your surgeries!
I’ve often wondered about Tai Chi. I’d put singing on my personal joys list too, and I have singing karaoke on my life list as well. I sang in high school and some in college, but I’ve had little opportunity to sing since then. I mostly entertain myself in the car and around the house. I sing everything from opera to jazz to country to rock.
Another just-for-me joy would likely be taking a hot bath. Oh, all those muscles relax and I feel the tension ease away.
One final one (speaking of tension) is now and then, I get a massage. It’s a luxury, and one I thoroughly enjoy. I feel so much better afterward. If I was a billionaire, I’d go weekly. Alas, I’m not. 🙂
Ah, Julie – you hit my weakness. Massage! I love massages…and hot baths…
Hi Christine! I run on the treadmill and watch my favorite shows that I’ve DVR’d. I also eat – does that count? 😀 I’ll often go out and buy my favorite lunch, bring it home, and eat it while I read a book or magazine. The house is quiet. No one wants “bites.” And I can take my time.
Eating counts, of course! I love enjoying a snack or something that the rest of the family would not approve of…
Your “singing” took me back to my childhood. When ever my mother and I were in the car for at least an hours drive, we would sing all of the old musical show tunes. We had the best time. I can’t tell you how many times we missed an exit, got lost or even ran out of gas because we were having such a good time singing.
Aw, Christy! That sounds fantastic! What a great memory…
I get two days a week to myself, and what do I do? Er, I clean house, wash clothes, etc. So I guess they are not “really” for me. I guess my “me time” is my writing and reading time, and neither come often enough. 🙂
I totally understand that, Dawn! I don’t clean house, and hubby (not having the day job now) is the one who does laundry…but still there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get the writing done, much less the rest of it!
I also love to sing when I’m alone. I used to perform when I was a kid, but for reasons that are too heavy to go into here, I lost my belief in my ability as a teen. I never stopped singing when I could be alone, though, and I have regained a lot of my confidence as I’ve gotten older. So much so that I love to do karaoke, on the all-too-rare occasions when I can get people to come along with me.
On a different note, it’s not what you’re talking about, but when I read the topic on the MyWANA feed I immediately thought of XKCD.com. Obviously it’s not literally written just for me; Randall Munroe probably has hundreds of thousands of people reading his webcomic, if not more. But his comics resonate with me in a way that no others do. It’s like he’s sitting down and trying to think of things that *I* will think are funny, and if other people enjoy them too, well that’s nice but it’s not the main goal.
Joe, I totally understand what you mean about XKCD – my kids love that comic, and there are a couple that I swear he did just for me. So I get it.
Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, and best of luck with your singing…its never too late!