December 22, 2013

The importance of having “one thing”…

Everyone has their one thing. You might not know it, or have found it yet. But that ‘one thing’ I define as something you absolutely need to do and can’t live without, which is not quite a ‘work thing’ but is definitely more than a ‘bit on the side’ hobby. It is something that helps time management skills, creativity, motivation but most importantly it is completely enjoyable, and a new kind of therapy in this crazy fast-paced world.

yes

Mine is, unsurprisingly, this blog. It is something that has helped me improve my writing and website skills, enabled me to value the power of a free hour and meet with some incredible people in the industry. I am never ever bored, I don’t have time to be, but I am also not able to get properly stressed out – because I have a creative outlet that is not pressurised. I can say yes or no to things, I can decide to write 5 times a week or not at all. It is my own space and no one can tell me what do or say.

Work is work, but for any individual it should never consume anyone enough to make them properly miserable. If you have that one thing outside of the working environment that is all yours, you can never truly feel imprisoned to a life of 9-5 or even if you work part-time – luckily, your one thing makes a miserable outcome impossible. You have a choice not to let your desk define you or overwhelm you.

It all started when a friend gave me the email address of the online editor of the Huffington Post in 2010, where I began writing and blogging about things that I thought were a bit silly and my freedom came from not thinking anyone would read it. I first wrote  about having disastrous severe PMT and how I was becoming more and more crazy around ‘that’ time of the month. Weirdly, people actually read it and I received emails saying that after reading my article they felt less alone. This is when I decided to turn my  ‘hobby’ into something more.  More… but not my full time job. Turning it into ‘work’ would kill the fun, you see.

I have friends who have their ‘one thing’ which consist of one or more of the following: cooking, or yoga, or running, or painting, or designing, or music, or dancing, or poetry, or comedy. I could go on. You’d think that all of these things are just common hobbies, but they are actually more than that; they are taken a little bit more seriously and become a separate, fun, dare-I-say-it ‘work-stream’. My top lawyer friend will karate chop deadlines for 12 hours straight, but to get out of the ‘zone’ she will make gluten-free cakes. Amazing, creative, artistic, beautiful ones. In the kitchen she is not the same girl who just stomped around the office in her heels making grown men cry: she has two sides to her life and she feels it is the perfect recipe to happiness.

I even have one friend who’s thing is to get home from a day at work and cut things out of magazines to make collages to put in frames round the house. Whoever said Pritstick and scissors and ELLE isn’t the answer must be lying. She says that it keeps her sane and happy. Another friend makes her own clothes, but works in finance. This, for them, provides a Ying to the sometimes painful Yang.

So, what’s your one thing? If you don’t have one, I definitely recommend you find it in 2014. Things are so much more fun with it, I promise.

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic