Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hobby For Peacefulness

Okay, I will admit it. I have an extreme Type A personality. I am very intense, very driven, and very impatient. As with many traits, my husband loves that I am driven but hates that it makes me high-strung at the same time. Instead he would prefer that I find something to relax myself. I have been taking him up on the idea, and although he prefers that relaxation would be lying back on the couch or hanging out on the porch, I have been thinking that it will take the form of a new hobby.

Of course, I do not know what that hobby will be yet. I am looking for something that will occupy me in the evenings when we are sitting down and not doing much. Sometimes, as a writer, I discover that I need something that will occupy my nervous energy without requiring my mental focus or that will allow me to get lost in what I am doing so that I can leave all of my work concerns behind.

I have been searching for a hobby and trying to decide what hobby fits this description. One of the obvious choices I have come up with is crocheting. I have visions of my aunts crocheting huge afghans when I was a child. They would sit and crochet every night during the evening news and the other shows they watched. I was always amazed to hear them say that they were making something for a baby that was not born yet or for someone for Christmas when it was still January. There was a lot of organization in their crocheting, and it was something that they seemed to enjoy. My biggest concern with crocheting is that I am not very good at the tedious details required to crochet. I am not sure exactly how it works. It has been a long time since I even held a crocheting needle.

Cross-stitching is not appealing for the same reason. Well, let me back up. I have cross-stitched a few things before. I did a decorative pillowcase once, and I made a butterfly cross-stitch for one of my cousins. Again, though, I would prefer a stamped cross-stitch to a counting one because I do not know why, but I do not do well with the counting stitching.

Another idea I had was to take up single projects instead of a larger hobby, and that is what I believe that I am going to do. I think that I can work on little projects without feeling that I need to learn how to be an expert at the craft. Doing a hobby seems to be more about finding something that we believe is enjoyable rather than finding something that we can learn how to do with the best of them so that it becomes a burden.

The first idea I had is for an interesting blanket I have seen made. You basically get two large piece of wool fabrics that feel soft to the touch. Cut them the same size and lay them one on top of the other. Then cut two-inch strips along all of the edges. Then you start at one corner, pick up one of the strips, and tie the two pieces together. This blanket makes a wonderful gift for a little baby or for someone who needs a good blanket.

Overall, I think that finding a hobby is about finding peace. It is a way to calm yourself. You can forget about the stresses you may be facing and instead focus on doing something wonderful for someone else. Deciding what to do with the products you create is part of the salve of a hobby as well. By giving your hobby products to people you love, you are showing them that you spent plenty of time making their gifts. By giving the products to people who are in nursing homes or other institutions, you are giving them a needed gift of love. Be sure that you always give away your hobby items. Do not keep them for yourself. There are other people out there who would benefit from the love you can give through your soul-soothing hobby.

By Julia Mercer

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