Reclaiming an Old Hobby
Over the past few years, my life has changed a lot. I’m newly married, I’ve been working my serving job (semi) full time for three years now, and I’ve recently realized that I’m not doing nearly as much of my creative hobbies as I did before I met my husband.
I don’t blame him for my lack of creativity; in fact, I think these past three and a half years have been full of creativity between the two of us. Keeping the spark alive calls for a little bit of it every day, as all of us lucky enough to be in a committed relationship know.
That being said, I’ve noticed that I need a new outlet. This blog was the beginning of that new chapter into my creativity, where I could write whatever I felt like and maybe people would like it. While it’s perfect for the writer in me, the other parts of my brain needed something a little more hands-on.
I used to knit casually, nothing too crazy. I think the most complicated thing I’ve ever knitted was a hat. I loved knitting! But with my server job came carpal tunnel (or tendinitis, we’re still not 100% sure on that), and so my knitting career was over before it truly began.
One night, Matt and I were sitting there, wondering aloud what hobbies we could do together. We went back and forth trying to think of fun stuff to do: playing Pokemon Go in the park, going to the gym more (he liked that one more than I did), playing video games together…
I thought back to Valentine’s Day, when we went to a Wine and Canvas our friend was teaching for the holiday. We had so much fun painting with each other and the rest of the class. When I mentioned it to him, he thought it was a good idea to get back into it, and a few days later we found ourselves at Michael’s, trying to find the right kind of acrylic to paint with as beginners.
He eventually bought Popsicle sticks instead to build stuff with (“I used to do this all the time with Q-Tips,” he told me as he grabbed the 1000 count Popsicle stick box. “It shouldn’t be that hard to do the same with Popsicle sticks!” He had no idea what he was getting himself into). I found myself buying a ton of art supplies that Past Mary wouldn’t dream of wasting money on. Kid Mary would have been over the mood, however!
When I was growing up, our parents encouraged us to be creative. As creative people themselves, my mom and dad valued the time spent creating something with us. I used to paint and draw all the time with my sister, and eventually, on my own. Singing, drawing, reading, and writing were my favorite things to do. At some point growing up, however, I stopped drawing and painting as much. I’m not sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that out of the four of us, I was the worst at it. I was much better with the musical part of my creativity, like my mom, so that’s what I focused on while my sister honed her artistic craft.
Now that I’m older, I realize that it doesn’t matter that I wasn’t the best at drawing. I just liked to draw. I didn’t need to be the best if I had fun while doing it! Of course, Past Mary didn’t have the hindsight I do now. If I had stopped to think about that, however, I probably would still be drawing and painting regularly.
These days, I try to paint once a week. I look online for things that I can try to paint and then I paint them. It’s not super original, but I do like to try to make the painting my own instead of copying whatever painting/drawing I’m getting inspiration from. I figure eventually I’ll be able to paint the pictures I have in my head, but for now, I’m relearning techniques that I have long forgotten.
I think as an adult, it’s very important to have a hobby that simulates your mind. We are glued to technology every second of the day, and we’re constantly moving, so it’s very nice to sit down, take a break, and make something with your hands, or solve puzzles, or read a thrilling novel. From my own experience with day to day life, I find it hard to put down my phone for even a moment. I know I’m addicted to social media and just my phone in general. Remembering my past hobbies, such as painting and writing, have forced me to get off my phone and think about, well, everything else.
Technically, I’m still using technology while writing…but at least I’m taking a moment to write down something creative, something that to me is worth documenting. Reading on a Kindle is kind of the same idea; sure, technology is still being used, but you’re reading something that’s simulating your mind. Chances are if you’re reading on your Kindle, it’s a story. Whether it’s a non-fiction or a fiction story, you’re using your mind to imagine whatever place and time the story is taking place in. To me, that’s something that counts as being creative.
I probably will get bored with my reclaimed hobby. After all, I can barely sit and watch an episode of a TV show without getting bored! The beauty of that is that when I get bored of the next thing I pick up, those art supplies will always be there, just like all those knitting supplies I technically can’t use anymore. If I want to go against urgent care’s advice and knit again, I can! The same goes for the art supplies. And if I end up never getting back into painting or knitting again, there’s plenty of sites and people that will be happy to scoop those things away from my house so that it’s out of the way for good.
If you’re thinking about picking up a hobby, why not think back to what you did as a kid? If you played lots of sports as a kid, look for a community league to sign up with, or maybe go try pushing your limits at the gym. If you loved to be on stage as a kid, look for shows going on in your area. Chances are, they’re looking for new cast members for the next show! And if you’re like me, someone who forgot they knew how to paint a picture, go ahead and buy some middle-of-the-road painting supplies. You’re guaranteed to find something you’ll love if you think back to what Kid You loved!
Thanks for reading, y’all! My weekends have gone by so fast already in August, and it’s only the second week! Hopefully time can slow down a little bit so I can enjoy this late summer weather for a little bit longer…
My birthday is on the 15th, so if you’re interested I’m asking for donations to our honeymoon fund in lieu of gifts from people who would otherwise buy me something. If you’re cool with throwing five bucks towards that, be my guest! If not, don’t stress…you can still wish me a happy birthday on Twitter ;P