I Need to Put Myself On a Shorter Leash (Sadness.) / by Dana Wood

Does she have the right idea? Maybe.

Does she have the right idea? Maybe.

I've come to a stunning conclusion about myself, which I'm sure you're dying to e-hear: Lately, when I don't absolutely "have" to work, I just don't. 

Trust me when I tell you this is a sea change for me. For pretty much my entire life, I've been very, very self-directed and ambitious. I literally can't remember when I didn't have some huge, scare-the-pants-off-me goal I wanted to achieve. 

Well, for me they were huge. They weren't Hillary Clinton-level huge, but they took effort. And self-discipline. And drive. 

Recently, however, I've become extremely mercenary and protective of my free time. If I'm not being paid, I'm off the clock. 

And from what I can gather, that makes me a circa-2015 freak of sorts. Everyone, everywhere, seems to have some kind of side-hustle they're working alongside their real jobs. Oscar-winning actresses are launching lifestyle brands, tennis coaches are unveiling hot pepper businesses (at least my tennis coach is, and btw, his Patty's Peppers line is crazy-delish), and virtually every Park Avenue princess on the planet is moonlighting as a DJ in Ibiza. 

Not that I'm doing nothing of an enterprising nature in my free moments.

I'm currently enrolled in the Docent training program at the Dali Museum and I am head-over-heels in love with everything about it. While a teensy bit grueling (there's buckets of reading to do each week), our fearless leader - Dali expert Peter Tush - is an impossibly charming lecturer and so upbeat. One feels he actually believes we bumbling Art Nerds will make perfectly decent Docents when he springs us on the unsuspecting public roughly six months from now. 

But I can't help but feel that the other stuff I'm learning right now - a serviceable backhand, how to merge onto the highway  - doesn't really "count." Those aren't side-hustles. They aren't real work. 

If I felt just dandy about all my leisure of late, I'd be thrilled. But I'm just not wired that way. I think I need to set a few new goals for myself and systematically pick them, off one by one, like Bradley Cooper in American Sniper. 

With a plan in place - specific goals to be met within specific time-frames - I'd feel more relaxed about relaxing.