The crafting perspective.

I am not known for my handiwork skills, nor my practical expertise in gardening or decorating. I tell myself constantly that I am not a practical person in the physical sense.

Yet, I can planned pack for a holiday, I can cook for a houseful of people, I can organise brilliant parties and bake amazing cakes. I can see how a room of furniture could be arranged, I can place plants and pictures in the “right” places, I can choose colour schemes for rooms. All of which are practical, physical skills and I am good at them all. I need to change that narrative in my head.

One of my aims this month was to create space in my day for doing something different, something that does not involve typing on a screen or meeting in a room of people making more to do lists. I decided some more time crafting would be good. I have been trying to sew. It is not neat and tidy, but I am only starting out, so why would it be? It is fun. And a bit addictive.

I have managed to meet up with friends three times in the month to do some gentle sewing or knitting together over a cuppa. A friend and I had a fun afternoon wet felting and making some beautifully wonky coasters. It is a social activity as well as a relaxing one.

Looking at my progress I realise why I tell myself I am no good at it – it takes practise, it takes time. Embroidery, knitting, felting are not skills we’re born with, they’re skills we learn. I am as able as anyone else to learn the skills, but they take time.

Finding the space to sew a bit or do anything creative has shone a light on how I spend my time – a lot of what I do is very similar, both in work and in my home life – organising lists, groups of people, planning, emailing, meeting. It has been fun doing something very contrasting, but it has also given me a real insight into how little variation in activity there is in my week.

Finding a hobby

Pastimes are funny things aren’t they?  We all manage to find something to do with our time, but I wonder whether we choose them or fall into them really.   I am in the choosing category.  I am considering a new type of volunteering, but am deciding against it as it involves meetings, managing processes and strategies and well, fairly much what I spend time doing at work.  I have spent various evenings this week at meetings and that does not feel like a hobby.

I think I am looking for some very specific things from a hobby.  It needs to be something different from what I do at work, so less about doing something that directly builds my business skills and more about being practically creative or physical.

Learning new and different skills is important to me too, I am challenged by my job and a lot of the volunteering I do, but I would like the challenge of learning a totally new skill, not necessarily getting good at something, just trying to learn it.  And I am certain I am not looking for a hobby for life, I just want to try out some new things.

I am fascinated by how people fit hobbies in. Someone I know has interests as diverse as Scouts, photography, pyrotechnics and trains, alongside working and having a beautiful family.  He may even be reading this in a spare moment.  It’s impressive and it’s that diversity I am aiming for.

Interestingly people I meet in Scouts seem to have very diverse hobbies, I think it is because as an organisation Scouts encourages acquiring a wide range of skills for life and offers a taste of many potential hobbies.

I think I need my own personal Scout programme.

yellow kayak
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