In this-book-that-I-won’t-stop-talking about (aka The Happiness Project), Ms. Rubin spends a month and a chapter ruminating on what kinds of leisure activities lead to greater happiness – what hobbies she really likes. Although begins this chapter with a treatise on how, despite the fact that she is an capable, educated adult, she has this strange and inexplicable passion for (gasp!) children’s literature!, this little struggle hit home.
Do you remember when everyone and their brother was writing up 101 in 1001 lists? I wonder how many of those 101 things ever got done, and not because people are lazy and content to watch 101 episodes of television in 1001 days rather than get off the couch – maybe it’s just impossible to WANT to do that many things with enough passion to actually do them. My own 101 list was a 30% aspirational randomness I had no control over, 30% hobbies and activities I though would make me smarter or more well-rounded or some other college application bullshit, 30% travel destination checklist items, and maybe 1% things that I actually wanted to do.
How do you distill out that 1% when your brain is full of 99 things you don’t quite like. In The Happiness Project, Ms. Rubin asks a friend for advice and the answer she gets really stuck with me.
“What you enjoyed as a ten-year-old is probably something you’d enjoy now.”
The only activities I really remember enjoying at ten involve watching music videos on VH-1, watching TGIF with my sister in my parents bedroom, and buying new Beanie Babies. So I thought about seventh grade instead, when I was a bit more mature. Ahem.
So without further ado, here are seven things I loved as a seventh grader that I would be happy to do any day of my twenty-seven-year-old life.
1. Cutting and pasting pieces of paper
2. Staying home on a weekend night, doing nothing in particular, and going to bed early.
3. Making up imaginary people.
4. Reading on the couch. Has to be the couch.
5. Playing with Legos. I pretty much only want kids so I can play with Legos again.
6. Writing things down, preferably while practicing different types of handwriting.
7. Oh yeah and that reading-books-for-kids thing.
So cheers to spending weekend nights watching MTV while scribbling in notebooks, making collages, and reclining on soft pieces of furniture with books. If I’m lucky, I will be doing all this when I’m 80.