So… what do you do for fun?
This question causes me to stumble sometimes. Do people want to hear that I take books out of the library somewhat compulsively and am a wee bit sketchy when it comes to actually reading them? How about how I enjoy writing, even though my procrastination habit makes me wonder whether writing is actually just a tool I use to torture myself?
Maybe you have a love-hate relationship with some of your hobbies. As much as this is true for me for my aforementioned pastimes, I do have some ways of passing the time that usually I completely enjoy–and I thought I’d write about one of them today. Why? Well, I always find it inspiring to hear what other people love to do, and this blog is all about inspiring others. Introverts are usually the main audience, but I won’t stop you from reading if you’re not one–as long as you’re nice to us. 🙂 So, here’s a little about what I do for fun.
I love to bike. You can see that my blog’s ‘logo’ of sorts is of a lone bike on a path, surrounded by fields of green grass. The decision to use this photo was not arbitrary, oh no. Back story: I saw the bike in the photo at a tourist-y Dutch village called Zaanse Schans (not too far from Amsterdam), took its photo, and just a few months later, when I started this blog, knew the photo I had taken of it would give me the look I was after. Something about this fun mechanical thing posing by itself spoke to me. Biking was and is a pastime that does wonders to fill me up as an introvert–here’s why.
A bike can take you on adventures
One of many myths about introverts I’ve heard is that we’re boring or don’t know how to have fun. To that I say this: ‘fun’ is different for everyone. On top of that, many risk-takers, backpackers, athletes, and etc. are introverts–we just might do these things in a quieter, more independent way (or do it as socially as an extrovert would, then recharge later in sweet privacy).
I love to bike because I can do it by myself, choose my own route (or no route at all), and get to places that I wouldn’t attempt to reach by car or foot. I don’t have to worry about gas or getting my shoes dirty or developing sore feet and worn-out soles. It’s so simple and full of possibility. Sometimes I feel as if the bike is leading me, like that curious voice that goes ‘I wonder what’s down this street…’ gets to have its say when I’m on two wheels.
Biking can get you up close and personal with nature
Sometimes I would like to spend slow leisure time walking on a trail or through the woods (to grandmother’s house we go?), but that time just isn’t there. Biking lets me recharge in nature at an accelerated pace.
Spending time with Mother Nature is great for anyone’s mental health–for connecting with those parts of ourselves that might get pushed aside during work or school or time spent with loved ones. It doesn’t judge or come with expectations for who you should be or what you should be doing. It shares its beauty with us mere mortals whether we’re feeling great or wishing we were a little more [fill in the blank].
Over the weekend I sat by a lake after a bike ride and found myself with some surprising thoughts. Like, this: there’s no rulebook to life that says thou shalt have a great career that sounds impressive to other people. Figuring out a career path is something I’ve been struggling with lately, and I find it’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing if I fill my mind only with my Facebook newsfeed and online articles about how to find success, money, prestige, and an ice cream cone as big as my head. (Actually, I know where to find that last one, and it’s amazing.)
But after a ride through some trees and rest by a body of water if I have the time, I find that I can do with a lot less.
It’s great for commuting–without the stress
I’ve been lucky to live in areas that have decent bike lanes or trails. What can I say? The times that I choose to ride my bike instead of taking the bus are usually enjoyable, even if I grumble about having to gather my helmet and bike lock and use the right bag and clothes. I’m saving money and giving myself the chance to spend more time completely by myself, before ending up at my destination where me-time is often over.
Overall, biking adds a lot to my life. What about you? What activity can recharge you like nothing else? What do you really do for fun?