My least favorite question in a “getting to know you” conversation is: What do you like to do in your free time? For some reason I always find myself stammering around and unable to think of how I spend my leisure hours.

I read. I do laundry. I clean the bathroom. I cook dinner (though I don’t create my own recipes). I blog. I read and comment on other people’s blogs. I go for walks or do Netflix pilates. I go to church functions. I play Team Trivia. I read books. I coupon and shop for bargains. I go to thrift stores. I watch TV shows, including Jeopardy with my husband.

I sound like a pretty fun and well-rounded person! So why do none of these come out well when someone asks? I could talk all day about what I do at work and the mission of the organization (which is not a bad thing), but I think I need to come up with an elevator pitch for myself so that I can concisely explain what I like to do. I usually end up saying something dopey like, “Well, I like to read, so I do that a lot.” BOR-ING.

Part of my problem is that I’m so wrapped up in my online world that I forget that it might sound strange to other people. I had someone recently ask me what a blog is. Instead of getting excited to tell them about what I enjoy doing and how much fun it is to “make friends” through others’ blogs, I got sheepish and didn’t want to admit how much time I spend in the blog-world. Couponing is the same way: I’m so engrossed in it that I’m taken aback when someone doesn’t know of it, and I stall out there in the conversation.

I’m sometimes unnecessarily embarrassed that I don’t have a traditional hobby. I craft and sew only sporadically; I have yet to succeed at sticking to a Spanish-learning routine; I don’t play any sports or games routinely; I don’t write computer programs or garden or write poetry. I’m too good at apologizing for myself and not good enough at celebrating my uniqueness. I think it ties back into my realization when reading The Happiness Project that you have to embrace what is fun TO YOU and not worry about what’s fun to other people. I am lately coming to terms with the fact that I don’t like to run! I am perfectly capable of running, and I’ve proven that to myself by sticking with the Couch to 5K program for 3 months. I’ll be checking the final item off that list when I participate in the Atlanta Women’s 5K next weekend. But I don’t enjoy it, so I’m not going to force myself to do it, no matter how much I wish I could say I am a runner.

So, you know what? What’s fun to me is coming home from work, reading my Google Reader, writing a blog post, cooking dinner, and watching Jeopardy with my husband. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

Now I’ve got to ask: what do YOU like to do? Do you ever have trouble explaining yourself?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman