It turns out, I don’t.

I thought I did. When people are asked, “what do you do to relax”, they often say things like: read a book, watch TV, surf the interwebs.

I don’t know, maybe super laid-back people find most things relaxing. But analytical, project creators like me tend to turn relaxing hobbies into …well, work.

I started young

When I was around eight I became mesmerised by the world of pro wrestling (you read that right people, the male soap opera). I didn’t just become a fan, I was obsessed (kind of like the time I watched Sleeping Beauty every day for 40 days when I was four – I think my mum just shrugged and said “my daughter is a freak”).

So while my friends screamed over the possibility of a Jason Donovan concert, I looked forward to Wrestlemania. Anyway, somewhat unusual hobby aside, I remember making all of my spare time about this industry.

I must find out more, MORE! became my mantra. I research it to death. I turned a hobby into a major research job. I was a mini-archivist for pointless trivia, and well into my 20s I could answer a 80s or 90s wrestling trivia question with clarity and precision in a matter of seconds.

It’s how I am

If I like something, I want to analyse it to death. To re-watch loved box-sets until I know the dialogue better than the actors. I don’t tend to re-read books that much though.

This is a long-winded way of saying that I can make a massive complex job out of something that is relaxing for others. And I need to keep this trait in check, because it may be my kind of fun to analyse, delve into and research things to death, but it isn’t relaxation, it’s work. And added on to real, paid work, it can lead to burnout.

That’s why, I’m taking a break from the little reading challenge I’ve set myself. July is going to be about reading what I feel like reading, at the pace I feel like reading it.

I do want to finish Game of Thrones, but I will admit to spending the weekend reading two brilliant zombie books: Surviving The Evacuation Books 1&2 by Frank Tayrell. (I may have also listened to a Steve Austin podcast…what can I say, old hobbies die hard!)

Several sources say that relaxation aids creativity, so taking some time to just chill out a bit may be good for my writing as well.