what do you spend time doing-that's totally worth it?

In case you didn’t get the memo (or just haven’t been here in a while), September’s theme at The Happiest Mom is TIME: how we use it, how we manage it, how quickly it goes by–except on those bad days, right?

Yesterday in my post about parenting tasks you wouldn’t outsource, I asked, “Have you ever learned an antiquated skill just to see if you could, or held on to a task you could have delegated simply because you got a small amount of satisfaction from being the one to perform the task?”

I still want to know your answers, but I want to expand on the idea a bit. What about those things you couldn’t exactly delegate, but aren’t absolute necessities, either…and yet you wouldn’t give them up, even when they’re time-consuming? They don’t have to be parenting tasks per se–just anything you do with your time, maybe lots of your time, and feel it’s totally worth it. Maybe for you it’s spending hours baking (even though the results will be snarfed down within minutes). Or playing Sudoko. Or watching 4 X-Files episodes in a row every Friday night (oh wait, that one’s us, only we have a hard time limiting it to Friday!)

I’ll share three:

  • Travel. Yes, by the time you make the reservations, arrange for the dog’s care, pack the suitcases, set up the security system, make everyone use the bathroom one last time, and oh yeah, stop by a garage on the way out of town for an emergency last-minute oil change, travel…especially with kids…takes up a lot of time. This month we’re taking two road trips, to Indianapolis and Mackinac Island, and I plan on posting about staying happy on the road.
  • Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very (very!) possible to spend too much time tweeting. But I’m trying not to judge myself too harshly for “wasting” time there. The way I see it, it’s a great way to meet other moms and interesting people, I find out a lot about different fundraisers and charitable events I might otherwise not, it’s a good source of late-breaking news, and let’s face it: even when the conversation isn’t scintillating, sometimes a bit of mindless relaxation is a good thing.
  • Walking the dog. I used to marvel at how easily Jon could just slip out of the house for no real reason (how many “emergency” trips to the gas station can one man make, anyway?), while I always felt obligated to be in the house doing something unless I had a legitimate excuse (grocery shopping, work, etc). Well, ever since we got a dog last spring, she’s been my disappearance ticket. She could always, theoretically, use a walk, and I am of course obligated to be the one to give it to her…a half dozen times a day. Once I’m out of the house, I go wherever the mood moves me…sometimes it’s just a few blocks, but often I meander down to the beach and watch the waves for a bit, or walk through the historic area of town and dream about what the insides of those grand old homes must look like.

What about you? What are some ways you spend lots of time–that are totally worth it?

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