In an effort to continue down the path of exploring meaning and gratitude, here is another thought provoking question, courtesy of my illustrious therapist.
List five hobbies you have or you think you might like to have. After each hobby, list the most positive aspects (meanings) the hobby holds for you.
Photography & Scrapbooking
Hands down, my favourite pastime. My husband tells me I take too many photos and not only that, but I take too many of the same photo (which I do because I know that someone is going to blink or cause a blur!).
It can be something as natural and serene as a ladybug sitting upon a delicate leaf, to my children making funny faces! A moment frozen in time. That single moment; that single expression, will never happen again. But, I can preserve it in a photo. Sear it into my memory with a photo. Cherish it forever in a photo.
Once preserved, I move to scrapbooking. By scrapbooking, I mean both digital and traditional. I am a hands on, visual person so the old school, paper scrapbooking is my preference. But, it is time consuming. Really, really time consuming. Add my perfectionism to the mix and a one page scrapbook layout can literally take me hours. So, I usually resort to digital scrapbooking. Nothing too fancy. I prefer solid black backgrounds with little embellishment (opposite of my taste in paper scrapbooking – not sure why that is).
Photography gives meaning to my life because it preserves my dearest memories.
One day, hopefully a long, long time from now, my mind will fail me.
I won’t remember the details of that vacation to Disneyworld or last year’s Thanksgiving dinner.
I won’t remember what my children looked like with no front teeth or the look on my son’s face when his team won gold at a hockey tournament.
I won’t remember the baby birds in the nest on our eavestrough or the double rainbow after a spring storm swept through our town.
Photography gives meaning to my life because it tells a story. My story.
I could open a bookstore. Truly. In fact, I just ordered a bunch of new books online this morning. More and more books! My husband is going to have a complete meltdown. I pray he is at work when the delivery arrives! Ha!
My husband believes that in this digital age of ours there is no longer a need for paper books. For anything made of paper. Ever. Okay, maybe toilet paper. But that’s it!
He, of course, is wrong (about the books, not the toilet paper).
To feel a book in your hands and smell its pages is a piece of heaven. I have an e-reader and it is not the same. Not even close.
I read everything: Fiction, youth fiction, non-fiction, self help, cookbooks, magazines and literary classics. You name it, I read it.
Reading takes you to another world. It is an escape.
Reading means making time for yourself. To recharge. Set your worries aside. To visit a world outside of this realm and get to know an old friend, a queen or a vampire.
It also provides an opportunity to spend time with your children. To cuddle up in bed and enter a fantasy world. Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz. All great adventures that are even better when they are shared with those you love.
What does physical health look like?
Ya, I’m not really sure. I don’t do anything physical. Walking up a flight of stairs is about as physical as I get. I know. That’s terrible. Which is why it is on my list of hobbies “you think you might like”.
I have tried yoga before and loved it. Really loved it. But it was far. Door to door, the whole experience would take about three hours a day (and I tried to go three times a week). That’s a lot of time. The good news is a yoga studio opened up much closer to home and I am hoping to start going next week!
What does that mean to me? Well, physical exercise, as we all know, is beneficial to your body. More specifically, yoga can help many ailments including anxiety. It also means that I am going to take an interest in making choices that are good for my body and thus, good for my mind.
I kept a large selection of my children’s baby clothes so that one day, I could make them quilts. Great idea right? It is, except for the fact that I can’t sew!
As a first step, I need to find a person who can teach me to sew and then have them teach me to quilt. Well, that doesn’t sound too difficult, right?!
Once I find the talented individual who is going to teach me, I will be off to the races; creating magical quilts full of my love. Full of memories of when my children were babies. Telling a story of their infancy and toddlerhood; of their trip home from the hospital, their first giggles and first steps. These quilts will be priceless. I can only hope that my children will wrap themselves in them and know how much I love them. Every stage, every age. I love them with all of my being.
Traditional Artistic Expression
Lastly, I want to explore traditional artistic expression. I loved studying art in high school (many moons ago) and I especially loved pencils and oils. I think a trip to my local art supply store is in order.
The meaning is simple. Expression of yourself and your surroundings. Visual expression of your worldview; of your emotions; your thoughts. When they say get it down on paper, it doesn’t mean you are confined to lined paper and a ballpoint pen. Experiment using canvas and oils or a 6B pencil and archival quality paper. Markers, chalk, pencil crayons, pastels or good ol’ Crayolas. Journalling doesn’t just take form in the written word, your story can be told through visual art.
So go ahead, tell your story.
© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.