Stop putting a price on the activities you love

Aubreanna Miller, Editor-in-Chief

As usual, the new year brings new goals for people to strive for. Maybe you decided to read more. Perhaps for the last few years, you have had a goal of starting your own small business. Or maybe you just wish to get through the day without completely falling apart (I have been there too).  

Through our goalsetting, many of us follow a pattern of self-competition and too much pressure. 

  I have had a revelation recently that I keep attempting to monetize or “one-up” my passions. In my mind, I must start out a new hobby already great and I must always out-do myself from last year. If my hobbies do not actively impress others and consistently reach new heights, I feel as if I have failed. This ultimately leads to my loss of passion and inability to do the activity at all. 

Perhaps you see yourself reflected in my story. If so, I now declare this day the beginning of a new era. Let us set a new goal together.  

This new goal? To stop monopolizing my favorite activities. I have done this with several of my favorite things: running, reading, yoga, dressing up, writing and more I probably have not thought of.  

A fun activity I picked up with the extra time I had over our recent break was crocheting. In between walking from my couch to the fridge, I needed something to keep busy. Around five years ago, I made a blanket for one of my nephews. Well, I made half a blanket I never finished. 

However, apparently, my crocheting skills have stuck with me through my lack of practice. Now, I have two cute, crocheted tops added to my already overflowing closet.  

The problem: I find myself wanting to monetize this new hobby. Instead of crocheting since coming back to school, my focus has been taken hostage by the desire to make and sell products.  

Even though I have not even started doing this, the anxiety around this endeavor has already settled deep in my chest.  

I did this with my running as well. No one wants to hear about how I love running, but I do! Many nights a week, I would run for an hour or so, not tracking my time or miles. Even more weird – I often run with no music, so I have time to think. 

With each step, my stress and anxieties would melt away. I stopped when I was tired, and I only ran when I really wanted to.  

Unfortunately, my silly mind took running for an hour to mean I could sign myself up for a half marathon. I do want to add a note that I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and have had a blast training. I feel incredibly proud every time I take down another milestone.  

But my grueling training has completely exhausted my body. Going from casually running two to three miles a few times a week to 22+ miles per week without preparation has killed my knees and my love for running. 

Perhaps I can attribute my exhaustion to following a training plan meant for seasoned marathon runners and my busy schedule which leaves me time to run only in the early morning hours. If you are an avid runner, please do not laugh at my mistakes. I understand I should have followed a less rigorous plan, but then I would not feel as accomplished in myself. Which is exactly my problem. 

I love having goals and you should too. Working toward a better version of the self should reside in everyone’s mind. However, goals should not suck the joy out of your passions and should definitely not lead to a lower self-worth. 

I am proud I am training to run a half marathon this May. I feel proud I read 35 books this past year. And I feel proud my yoga training has progressed to where I can do the splits for the first time in my life. 

But I still need to feel proud and content with myself when… 

-I only have five to 10 minutes to do yoga. 

– I have only read one book in a month. 

-I crochet without it coming out perfectly. 

-I write without worrying what people will think when they read it.  

I am proud of me, and I am enough. I feel proud of you too for all the hard work you have put in lately. You should feel the same way about yourself! Always. No matter what.