Today I am thankful for my jewelry hobby/obsession. Until I started making jewelry three years ago, I had no idea that creating something could be a relaxing and rewarding hobby. You see, I'm what I like to call an impatient perfectionist. I want things to be perfect, but I also lose interest quickly. For example, I tried to learn to sew. I took sewing classes and even made a "formal" dress for a dance in high school. But I found that if I couldn't begin and finish a project in one day, it would never get done. And I also failed at mastering button-holes and zippers. There are only so many one-day-buttonless-zipperless project out there, so I gave up sewing.
I tried gardening, or working in the yard, to be exact. People always talk about how working the soil is cathartic. Well for me, no. It's dirty. It gets under my nails. And it's hot outside because I live in Texas. Plus I always manage to kill even the plants that are supposed to be "hearty and foolproof". So this is not a relaxing, rewarding hobby for me.
Quilting...I made one, very, very simple and very, very small quilt when I was expecting HannahKate. It was her favorite. She called it her "mommy blanket". But, alas, even though quilts don't have buttonholes or zippers, to do it right takes longer than just one day. (Please don't mention to Hallie that I made a blanket for Hannah...as the second child, she already feels mistreated.)
So, on to scrapbooking. Several of my friends are really into this. Some of them even have the luxury of a whole room dedicated to creating cherished works of art that would rival most scrapbooking stores. But I get overwhelmed when I think about having to photograph and journal about every event in our lives. I knew it was not for me when I saw the most precious picnic paper with watermelons and ants one day and found myself thinking, "Wouldn't that be adorable to take pictures of the girls eating watermelons outside this summer?" Seriously, I was planning a "photo shoot" inspired by a piece of paper. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Let's see...what else? Oh, my friend Kristi tried to teach me to crochet. I actually found it very relaxing, but I cannot for the life of me master turning the corner at the end of a row. So for a while I was content with just making a shapeless blob of green yarn because I enjoyed it and felt sure that after just "one more row" I'd get the hang of it. But when BigJoel asked me if I was crocheting astroturf for a football field, I knew it was time to give it up.
But about three years ago, Joel wanted to know what I'd like for my birthday. I told him I'd always wanted to learn how to make bracelets. So he took me to the craft store and bought one of everything on the beading aisle...literally...well, almost literally. I was trying to envision what I would need to make just one bracelet and he was piling the cart full of tools and beads and books and all sorts of stuff. It was truly one of the best gifts ever because so many times I don't finish a project because I'm missing one important component and by the time I run to the store to get it, life has moved on and I'm left with a half-done mess. With that birthday shopping spree, I was set! I had lots of choices and plenty of materials and could just let my imagination run wild. Now I understand how a hobby can be relaxing, rewarding, cathartic, enjoyable and therapeutic! (Of course since my dining room has become the "jewelry studio" and the housework is frequently neglected when inspiration strikes, BigJoel probably regrets getting me started and wishes he had taken me on a shopping spree down the cleaning supplies aisle instead!) **sigh**
For a hobby that brings me untold joy and so much more, I am very thankful.