One definition of the word hobby is something done for fun or amusement. My definition is a useful tool for dealing with and working through the not-so-pleasant aspects of life in general. It also provides a nice mental break from a long day.
I’ve taken up quite a few hobbies over the years and developed a rather obscure pattern that I have only recently noticed. My grandmother passed away when I was 11. Almost immediately, I began to make kitchen potholders on a small loom that had belonged to her. At age 19, my grandfather also passed and within the following week, I took up gardening. I was 23 when my favorite uncle passed who loved music and played the piano. With no talent for playing instruments, singing was now my latest hobby. These examples were long forgotten once my grieving term was completed and I could feel a sense of normalcy again.
Last year, my mother was taken from me by an unscrupulous act of nature, a tornado. I was hit hard, both emotionally and physically. My emotions were all over the place, shocked and silent one minute, then screaming and crying the next. My physical state declined rapidly. Food had no taste and I lost the desire to eat anything at all. I was unintentionally starving myself. The battle of instinct and emotion began. I forced myself to eat, but I could not get much of anything to stay down. This went on for almost a month before my will to live won out.
I set my mind to “occupied” mode, literally searching for something, anything, to make me want to smile. Fighting through my tears, I was determined to find closure and get on with my life. Once again, I turned to hobbies.
I tried building a movie collection, coin collecting, drawing, jigsaw puzzles and a multitude of others. The personal connection just wasn’t there in any of them. I prayed and cried, then prayed and cried some more until my desperation turned into exhaustion.
My search ended with a dream of a memory, the first Mother’s Day gift I ever gave to her. It was a simple, single strand, bead necklace that I bought with my lunch money from a schoolmate. When I woke up, I finally had the courage to sort through the items she had left to me and there it was. I never knew that she had kept it all those years.
Feeling a renewed sense of purpose again, I bought instructional books and materials necessary to start making beaded jewelry. In doing so, my mind stayed busy thinking up color combinations and learning the different stitch patterns. Experimenting with various sizes of beads yielded beautiful, unexpected results.
I continue to use this wonderful hobby as I still have a lot of grieving to do. Making great strides while honing my craft, I made the decision to open my first online store so that I might be able to share such beautiful creations like the one my mother treasured so much.
Source: personal experience