I’ve thought of hobbies I’ve had over the years. Sometimes I think I must have a lot of untapped talent and then I figure it’s just a version of ADD. My attention span seems to get shorter with each passing year. More than likely it is just that I spend so much time thinking about what is involved with starting a project, realize the cost, the time involved and whether I’ll actually be able to stick with it long enough to finish it and become exhausted before I start.
I bought a ukulele. I loved learning chords and playing songs. But who aspires to be Tiny Tim? Playing the guitar just hurt my fingertips. I made candles. I collected how-to books. I did jig saw puzzles.
I learned to crochet when I was a teenager. My mother’s mother was always crocheting and I wanted to learn. There is nothing like learning something from a parent or grandparent. The time you spend with each other in sharing is something that will never be forgotten. I am now 65 and remember that grandmother with great fondness. And I still like to crochet. I have made a few afghans and pillows. I tried doilies. These days, it has to be a quick and easy project. My arthritis fights with giving up almost as much as my attention span. I also tried knitting. The technique and use of the hands and wrists is a little different in knitting than crocheting and sometimes I can do that longer than I can stand to crochet. I’ve made afghans and even made a sweater once. You have to really love to knit to do this. Now, I’d rather buy a knitting machine and do it quicker. Wait! What am I saying? I can go buy a sweater at Walmart! But that defeats the whole purpose.
I always wanted to paint. I wanted to study art as a minor in college but we couldn’t afford all the needed supplies. I never lost the desire to paint and decided to give it a try later in life. I bought tubes of oils and turpentine and brushes and canvases and instruction books and an easel. And then I came up against my biggest hurdle. I had no idea how to make the beautiful colors and pictures in my head appear on the canvas! My attempts were daunting and depressing. I never considered primitive art to be ‘real’ art, so I was easily discouraged. I painted a bowl of fruit that I liked and then put the brushes away for another day.
I discovered Donna Dewberry in my 40’s. OMG I thought. A way to cheat. A short cut to color and highlight all in one stroke! Cool! I loved that technique and managed to stay interested for about 3 years. I painted tables and vases. I painted cards and framed some of my creations with an inspirational quote or bible verse. I painted mailboxes. I gave painted bars of soap for gifts. I got all caught up in the fad of ‘shabby chic’ and those who could sell their work on eBay. All I managed to do was accumulate painted flower vases and bars of soap until there was no more room. When I went back to school to finish my bachelors degree, I finally got to take a painting course. I had a great time.
I went on a religious retreat. It was a time of reading, praying, and reflection and fellowship with God. During that time, I noticed my mentor/retreat director was making a rosary. How exciting was that! So, I learned how to make my own rosaries. Once again, I got caught up in the obsession to make and sell something. The only problem was, the supplies I could afford weren’t unique enough for people to flock to my door. I did enjoy a few years of making inexpensive mission rosaries to give to churches in poor countries. It was fun to get to give of myself in that way. And then the arthritis flared up causing pain when I worked, so I stopped for a while.
I tried needlepoint and cross stitch. I loved collecting the many beautiful colors of thread. But, this work is time-consuming and tedious. It takes a long time and a lot of patience to see the end product. I didn’t finish much. I tried crocheting rugs. I sewed my own clothes for a time. Mostly out of necessity, needing larger clothes than were readily available, but later, after losing a lot of weight, just for fun. I loved shopping for colors and prints and fabrics and had a large collection of materials I would look at and feel the texture of and imagine a creation. The dream was always more fun than doing the work.
Now, there is playing solitaire and yatzy on my nook. And there is reading and tv marathons. I think of rosaries from time to time but remember I got more pleasure out of touching the different beads, feeling the textures and shapes and admiring all the wondrous colors than I did in actually finishing a rosary. Same with crocheting. I had bags and boxes filled with beautiful skeins of yarn in colors of the rainbow and couldn’t decide what color to put together and begin a project. I just loved seeing all the pretty colors.
And then I started blogging. I had dabbled in poetry years ago but sometimes words would come and sometimes my mind was a blank. I’m a creative person, I thought. Why is this so hard? So blogging fills my need to express myself. I can expound or rant or just ruminate. What a great tool we have in words. I began just to write for myself. No wild expectations. Just write for myself, and while doing it, learn to make a better sentence and maybe throw in a pinch of humor that others might enjoy. It’s a win win situation.
And so, is your life full of hobbies? Or do you have one thing you really excel at that feeds your passions? That way, each day will always be fresh.
And the journey continues…