Curiosity is a motivator I cannot live without

Recently I found myself off work for medical reasons and therefore without an enforced daily and weekly rhythm. I had insurance to cover the bills, so my first reaction was “Woo hoo! Extended vacation!” I started strong: planned my garden for spring, organized my closet, visited friends, binge-watched Netflix. 

Soon, no need for routine meant my routine started to break down. Why do laundry now when I can do it tomorrow? Watching one more episode before making dinner became the first season and eating pizza. I went from getting up at 6:00-ish to crawling out of bed at 7:40 to make sure my kids made it to school on time. 

I am not alone in this struggle. Newton’s first law states an object at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion. This maxim applies to people too and I was at rest. Getting off my sofa was hard. So hard! The longer I sat, the harder change became and the more the things I wasn’t doing overwhelmed me. 

With my curiosity slowly dying, I feared I would become a boring conversationalist, my house would be a mess, and dinner parties would dwindle: a great loss because dinner parties are arguably the reason I evolved. I resolved to start moving and to reframe this time as a season of growth. I am not just waiting to go back to work, I am on sabbatical. What is my dream for this time? Be more creative? More fit? Dive into the life of St. Theresa of Ávila? Master the art of souffle? 

I discovered goals need a plan, otherwise they are just dreams, not enough to get me off my sofa. The Internet and library are a marvelous source of free resources and I took so many books out of the library I sometimes used them as a table to hold my tea. It no longer matters if a goal is realistic or sounds batshit crazy to everyone else, it just must excite me enough to start. 

Stuck in your house? YouTube yoga classes or knitting tutorials are fantastic. 

Learn an instrument, read the collected works of Shakespeare, learn to knit, and time just how long it takes to deliver 100 hats to Hope Mission. Get your nature on and walk the entire river valley or become an expert on some random topic, like 1970s vegetarian recipes or the films of Cecil B. DeMille and share this with others. Find your volunteer muscle. 

Look, motivation is hard: few people truly want to do the things that make dreams a reality. Once I got comfy on my sofa, being lazy was easy. But emotional ennui and lack of dinner party invites on the horizon motivated me to find opportunities to learn and get involved in the community. 

Knowing my action also makes someone else’s day better, either by being a customer or just sharing a smile, is a great motivator. Find the thing that makes you curious and get moving. It might take a while, but the conversational anecdotes are worth it.   

Featured Image: Building a LEGO bridge across a divide, my LEGO partner and I wanted to discover if there was a way to reinforce the slim bridge so it would successfully span the gap between the two wall-mounted canvases. | Trish Noelle