Time for a bit of disclosure. Lucy feels it’s time to reassess how she uses her time (partly inspired by Mark’s blog on the extra hour). Read this one first but then come back and look at Mark’s blog here. An increase in indulging in guilty pleasures seems to be the answer.
One of my Gallup StrengthsFinder strengths is ‘Learner’. It’s described as having a natural tendency to latch on to knowledge, seeing value in continuous education. It’s true that I have a constant thirst for learning. This strength plays to my curiosity in looking at different perspectives and questioning why people do the things they do. My colleagues have heard me banging on recently about unconscious bias. I’m interested in how it influences us in the workplace, for example in recruitment and our approach to tasks, so if an article crops up on the subject, I don’t hesitate to dive in. It’s not because I want to sound knowledgeable. I’m genuinely interested in the topics I study. And I’ve recognised that’s the challenge that comes with this strength. Having previously thought that constantly developing myself to be better, more skilled and knowledgeable can only be a good thing, I’ve realised that it can become relentless. This strength can be at odds with another of mine, ‘Achiever’, which sees me needing to be able to mentally tick boxes of my achievements. With the vast amount of knowledge now available to us at our fingertips, I never really feel that I can tick the done box for a lot of the things I want to learn more about. I might know more than some people on a topic, but without choosing one and fully immersing myself in it, at the sake of other learning, I won’t be an expert. Jack of all trades and master of none is very fitting. And I let this bother me. It’s time to change.
Several of us at Rambutan get a lot of pleasure from listening to music, me included. I enjoy finding new singers and bands, and I love the old ones that I haven’t heard for ages and can sing along to when they pop up unexpectedly on the radio. I’ve noticed that I’m not listening to music so much these days, but I have been doing a lot of non-fiction reading. I think it’s time to redress the balance, to remind myself of the benefits of ‘non-thinking time’. Exercising is important to me; attending a circuits or pump class forces me to focus on me. But I can do more than just exercise to achieve this, and I think the answer lies in the guilty pleasures that I’ve not been indulging in so much lately: the chick lit, the mellow music and the unsophisticated television shows. I’m open to reading suggestions. No gripping thrillers. Not really suspense, intrigue or murder. Gentle tales that are well written but not taxing to follow. The last one I read was ‘Left early, took the dog’ by Kate Atkinson. That sort of thing is just the job. I’m going to make time to just sit in front of the telly, without feeling the need to multi-task and skim through articles on my iPad at the same time. My TV guilty pleasures include things like a bit of Corrie; Location, Location, Location; Cold Feet; DIY SOS; Suits. Guaranteed to relax me or put me in a good mood is music from bands like Stereophonics, Elbow, and Simply Red. I love chilling or singing along with artists like Pink, Gregory Porter, Ed Sheeran, and yes, I’ll admit it, Dolly Parton. Who doesn’t sing along to ‘Working 9-5’?
I’m going to consciously get back into some of my guilty pleasures. Now you’ve seen mine, fancy showing me yours? You know what they are. Dare to admit them?