Between, work, my significant other, family (including my dogs), friends, community activities, and worrying about COVID-19 and politics, I often feel I have less and less time to myself. I sometimes even feel guilty eating lunch if it is not in front of the computer while working.
Working from home, I often walk by my Jen Sincero yellow push button
– an item released to promote her book You are a Badass
. When you push the yellow button, a wise old inspirational proverb plays. There’s, "Feed fear a suck-it sandwich," and, "You are a badass," and this gem: "Do what you love." I have thought a lot about "doing what I love" and making time to "do what I love."
I have always loved swimming, the beach, the ocean, and sports played in and on the water. I love the water, the outdoor, the routine, the friends, the camaraderie, the ability to just put my head in the water and think. When I’ve done what I loved, it helped my ability to handle stress, have peace with my thoughts, and hold back the noises of the world.
I started swim team when I was five years old (my attorney father convinced the coach I was a six-year-old in a five-year-old’s body) and swam consistently and competitively from five years old until the end of high school. In college, I switched to competitive water polo, playing (ok, warming the bench) for UCSB until I graduated. From there, I played on weekly Masters Water Polo teams until 2007 when I began law school. My last competition was the 2007 Masters Water Polo Nationals, the month before law school. Then, I stopped.
Over the past 13 years, I have occasionally swum in the pool, done some snorkeling, working a bit on my surfing, but with no real schedule or competitiveness. Prior to COVID-19, I planned to start Masters Swimming, but would I actually have started? Who knows. Now, I can't wait to get back into some competitive water sport. I even took a surfing lesson a month ago, and since then, have bought a new board and gone out twice! I know that doing what I love will once again help my ability to handle stress, have peace with my thoughts, and hold back the noises of the world.
So many people – women especially – feel guilty doing what they love, even though doing what we love makes us happier and more fulfilled. I hope this post inspires more people to do what they love!
Julie O. Wolff is an attorney, swimmer, and water polo player – who loves to practice surfing!