This phrase really resonated with me when I read it in the Happiness Project. When I saw it in my calendar today, I come back to same thought I had when I first heard it: gardening.
I really like the idea of gardening. I like the idea of little pots of herbs and vegetables tumbling over on a back deck. I love in the summer when my friends give me their bounties of homemade basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers - last year, I had a field day making salsa and pesto from all these goodies. I always think "I should do this!!"
Matt planted a whole bunch of flowers around our mailbox last year. He did all the hard work of planting, and asked me to do the upkeep of watering.
Good thing he knows me well enough to know I’d forget after a week.
I really like the idea of gardening, but when it comes right down to it, I realize I don't actually like gardening. I like to be outside. I like the way flowers look. I like fresh grown veggies. I hear people say that weeding is therapeutic to them and there's not a single ounce of me that can relate to that. I can think of a hundred other things I’d rather do besides be in my yard. I just don't like gardening.
I also don't like scrapbooking. I don't like hiking. I don't like concerts that don't have lyrics. I don't like bowling. These are all things that somewhere along the line, I've felt like I should like or I've tried to make myself like doing. It feels kind of nice to just embrace the fact that I don't really like these things - but my brain still keeps fighting against this concept.
I like writing. I like dancing. I like snowboarding. I like sitting on a couch with my feet curled up under me talking to a friend until I've lost track of the hours. I like reading books. I like cooking and reading recipe magazines. I like doing crafts. I like lifting weights. I like popular, top 10, overplayed music.
Isn't a weird concept? That you don't really choose what you like to do? I often wonder if I did something more often - gardening, for example - I'd learn to like it. After all, I didn't really like running when I started. But then again, I didn't dislike it. I did it initially because I didn't know what else to do after I stopped cheerleading. I've done it to lose weight, to get over break ups, to manage stress and to complete an accomplishment. But this year, I've realized I've just been running because, well, I like it. And so maybe I have all along…
I'm a bit torn on this idea. It seems fairly obvious to me, when I think about my likes and dislikes. All of them are things I either tried because they looked appealing to me (snowboarding, crafting, hiking) and either found I like or didn't like them. Or they were things I've been doing for as long as I can remember (dancing, reading books, writing.) I can't help but wonder if it's true that you can choose what you like to do or not, or if preferences can be developed over time with intention. What do you think?