HAD A BELLYFUL OF LIFE'S BURDENS? TRY A HOBBIES DIET

For weeks now, Dan could be seen jogging into the office, smiling, joking with the secretaries, polite to his superiors, and producing voluminous quantities of account material, ready for layout. An advertising man, he knows
that he doesn't know when the magic will strike, but is apparently open--day and
night-- to being struck by the wand of fate that will produce a winner. This
despite the harbinger of doom looming in the office as business has been slow
and the atmosphere is heavy with rumors of layoffs; uncertainty is the only
certainty.One day, curiosity lured a co-worker to beg the question: "How
do you do it, Dan? How can you be so disgustingly happy and productive
considering the state of affairs around here?" "Simple. After much
deliberation about what I cannot control, I just think of my job as my
hobby."During the course of our lives, there are things we do and
then there are hobbies. Hobbies are about the only activities we do because we
don't have to do them; which is one reason we enjoy them so much! They are truly
the pause that refreshes. Interests outside of work and family can often provide
the balance in our lives necessary to avert physical and emotional problems. Yet
typically, we get so enmeshed in daily concerns of work and family that we don't
even think to take time for ourselves. If you come to a point in life when you
find yourself needing outside interests, there are some general guide- lines for
choosing activities which are personally satisfying and appropriate to your
lifestyle. First, think in terms of balance. What is missing from your
daily life? Perhaps it is physical activity. Many people engage in weekly
routines absent of any form of stimulation. Sedentary individuals may find a
need for rigorous exercise. Join a health club; Select a sport such as tennis,
golf or skiing. Take some lessons and become involved with people of similar
interests. Others individuals may require something more mentally challenging to
balance a physically dull routine job such as chess, cards, writing. Some people
requiring both a physical and mental release might study karate or a musical
instrument. In addition to striking a balance between mental and
physical activity, you can use your outside interests to fulfill other needs. If
your occupation consumes a lot of energy as well as most daytime hours, you may
wish to find an activity that includes socializing in a relaxed atmosphere such
as, a club or social service agency; or a league organization. If you are
surrounded by people, noise and ceaseless activity, you might try a quiet and
solitary pursuit such as crafts, coin collecting or even reading. The
point is to become involved in activities that become internally represented as
more pleasant experiences, in contrast with the routine drudgeries that become
anchored to more unpleasant states of consciousness. They become an opportunity
to "recharge" your battery; a commercial break in the game of life. In addition,
as with Dan, an internal representation of that interest or hobby, with its
relatively pleasant state of consciousness, can travel anywhere--even to work!
But suppose in considering the guidelines of balanced living, you have
difficulty deciding on just what pauses really refreshes? Make a list of all the
things you used to enjoy or once dreamed of learning to do. Consider the time
and expense involved with each activity on your list. After some
experimentation, you should find an activity that can add depth and richness to
an already satisfying life; or provide a healthy diversion from a
less-than-satisfying one.