The six things I could never do without
Or maybe this is more a propos:
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Or I can look at the amount of time I spend on an activity. Sleep wins, hands down--that includes afternoon naps. Love my afternoon naps! Hanging out online comes next, alas--I'm counting every kind of online activity, from Facebook to promo to writing blog posts like this one. Even following my Twitter followers back is time consuming. (Where do these people find me, anyhow? And who reads all that stuff? Not me).
Activities I really like, sleep excepted, don't take very long. I do a yoga workout of a little over an hour pretty much every day. I make love with my boyfriend, umm, maybe three or four hours weekly--we don't live together and maybe see each other once or twice a week. Heck, I read more than that. I socialize a few hours weekly--I don't have great social needs. I rarely feel lonely, and when I do, playing with my dog or hanging out at a Starbucks will take care of that, though I do enjoy my friends and family, and hope they enjoy me also.
When it comes down to it, our needs are minimal. We tell ourselves that many things are important--animal rights, the situation in Afghanistan, economic inequality. And these things are important, very important.
But I find if I take care of my little corner of the world while trying to positively affect the rest, that's enough for me. Changing the world is not on my agenda.
Self-centered? Unambitious? Probably.
Perhaps that's the mellowness that's come with age. At 60, I realize that while there's a lot I want to do with the rest of my life, I won't be able to do everything. I probably won't become a certified personal trainer or yoga instructor. Or a personal chef. I earned a CELTA credential in 2009, and it's a source of intense regret that I used it only in one job, teaching English to toddlers in China. I hated China but loved the kids.
Though I have regrets, perhaps what's important is treasuring accomplishments and experiences rather than harboring disappointment. I've done a lot and still have lots to look forward to, and I prefer to concentrate on the cool stuff I've done and the fun I'm going to have rather than repining about an imperfect past.
In the end, maybe self-acceptance is what's important.