I remember in one summer alone I:
- took a class on whitewater kayaking and when that didn't work out (the lesson on dumping my kayak upside down and being required to right myself was enough for me)
- spent a month learning Tang Soo Do and that wasn't quite it, and,
- spent time volunteering with an animal shelter and a wild animal rescue.
Then Brady came along and my identity problems were not nearly as important. My role as mother became my identity for a very long time.
Flash forward and here I am in a small town of less than 1,000 people. It's a wonderful, friendly place, but it is still a difficult place to forge friendships. Most everyone has friends they grew up with as well as a wide extended family. They have traditions, groups, neighbors, people they've known forever.
That's okay. I'm patient and pretty independent and good at keeping busy. Here are the things that I have discovered make me feel happy and relaxed and fulfilled.
It was a shock to be 40 years old and realize not only do I enjoy cooking but have rather a knack for it. I have a sense of what flavors go well together, how to thicken or thin or spice up something, and I enjoy trying new things, taking risks and being creative. My husband and son both seem to appreciate this.
I've collected a fair amount of beads over the years and jewelry supplies, but I had put them away for a long time and nearly ended up donating them at one point. I'm so glad I didn't! I adore making jewelry and then giving them as gifts to friends and family or wearing myself.
Here are several different kinds of earrings I've made that I wear and my most recent experiment that I saw in a magazine, the washer pendant necklace.
Collecting fossils and artifacts
Over the years I've collected rocks, fossils and artifacts and I still love it. Here I have been digging up a 70- to 80-year-old trash pile not far from our house. I've found tons of old bottles and spoons and buttons and tax tokens, all manner of items from life in the 1930s and 40s.
We also have a "nature box" that Brady and I collect natural items like snake skins, turtles eggs, dead cicada killer wasps, feathers, wasp nests, etc.
Hobbies, I think, do the following:
- add to my sense of well-being.
- give me an escape.
- keep me mentally and physically fit.
- keep me from ever being bored.
- and set a good example for Brady of how to follow who you are in a practical, enjoyable, healthy way.
Below are some of the old bottles I've found.