Start Fishing & Drinking Budweiser Or Something

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Once upon a time  . . .

Did you watch that show late night? I did for the first time only because it has become Wicked. I love everything Wizard of Oz and I love this Wicked theme.  If you get a chance to see the Broadway play Wicked, you must! I will now be adding this Once Upon A Time show to my rotation. I plan to catch up on Netflix before next Sunday (while I work, of course. I am not a deadbeat, ya know.  I have a very low paying job where I go through people’s medical records, create a summary and write a memo on it for the  . . . . . Oh can’t tell but it’s. . . Nope still can’t tell you. Anyway I can do this while watching television. In fact, it’s the only way to survive going through page after page of medical information).

Once upon a time . . .

I was a very ferocious reader.  That was my number one hobby. I didn’t want to do anything else but devour book after book.  It didn’t matter what it was but I was partial to romance novels.  If there was a buzz about a book or a book club recommendation, I definitely wanted to get my hands on it. I had gotten so many books, you couldn’t move in my bedroom except through a maze.  That’s when I started using libraries and that opened up even more doors.  I attribute my love of reading to being able to excel in school without any problems. College. No problem. Law School. No problem. Bar Exam. No problem. Jobs. No problem.  But, I stopped reading for myself during law school and while I was an attorney.  I did not pick up one book. I worked. Constantly.

I remember when I had my first nervous breakdown and could not work. It was refreshing to sit on my mom’s porch and read a book. I played ping pong or basketball with my brother.  I sat there and watched television.  I read every book I wanted. I could just read for days and days.  My soul was light.

I’ve learned a powerful lesson.  We have to shut ourselves off.  Before my breakdown, my mind had been running 24/7 since I was a kid. I was always working: first trying to excel at school and then at work. Always a goal to better my life. Always a deadline. Always something that put a heavy burden on my mind.

And, I did nothing to help it. I needed to do activities I loved and to do silly things that did not produce anything but joy.

Now I know: I got sucked into the rat race. That was my downfall. I should have worked less (which is easier said than done because bosses run you ragged and are constantly throwing someone out on the streets.  You always worry you are next.  And, good luck in this economy! How many times have we heard that?) Despite that I should have had more balance in my life. I should not have let my whole being revolve around a job. A job is a small pip in the radar of life.

My stepdad knows how to turn off the madness.  One time I called my parents in the middle of the night sobbing. I couldn’t sleep. I had a million worries on my mind. How did he do it? He told me he was able to compartmentalize his worries.  When he was away from work, he didn’t think about it.  And, when he was away from work, he fished and drank Budweiser. Those were his things.  He told me that I needed to start fishing and drinking Budweiser. Which was funny because I was so wound up and uptight but he was dead serious.

In January’s Oprah magazine, Brene Brown wrote a brief article called “Dare to Play.”  She stated, “I feel behind if I’m not using every last moment to be productive . . . .”  That’s the mentality that has been cultivated in our schools and the current work climate.  But, this is dangerous. Insane. We aren’t hamster that can keep spinning on the wheel infinitely. We will burn out.  Eventually. Just like I did. And, if you don’t, God bless you. It must be nice and I do envy you.

Back to Ms. Brown. She stated “I can’t ignore what the research (mine and others’) tells us: Play- doing things just because they’re fun and not because they’ll help achieve a goal- is vital to human development.” She goes on to list a few hobbies like snorkeling, scrapbooking, and solving crossword puzzles.

For me, hobbies are serious business now. I am even turning a section of our large sitting room/reading room/library into a craft corner (as you can see).  Hobbies help me cope with stress and anxiety. It gives me an outlet. It just occupies my mind when my mind would be heavy with complicated thoughts.  While I was working, I had no release of my frustration.  I worked. I came home. I slept. I got up and I did it all again.  It was very dangerous for my personality and eventually I lost my self and lost everything I owned in the process.

I know for tortured minds we are very creative and that creativity needs to be released. I discovered my love of crafts when I was confined and in a dark place. But, hints of it have been coming out my whole life. I made a mean Halloween costume. My Papa Smurf one is epic. I love to decorate. I love fashion. I love colors.

I am back to reading books. I joined Good Reads (http://www.goodreads.com/) to catalogue my reading, rate and review books and also to get recommendations from the website and friends.  I have a couple of books going right now but I am determined to finish “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd before its due date tomorrow.

One of my other hobbies is magazines. I have a whole system that involves folders, binders, a trash bin and an x acto knife.  First, I go through and rip out the advertisement for subscription because I already have one.  I rip out anything else that comes loose like makeup samples. And, most of that I trash. Sometimes, I use the makeup or beauty product. Then, I look at the cover, see what the theme is and see what stories are inside. Then, I start going through it again and this time I concentrate on all the advertisements.  I cut them all out.  Stuff I want goes into a folder. Stuff I don’t want goes into the trash pile. Then, I cut out recipes.  The ones I want to try go into the “recipe” folder.  The ones I do not care for go into the trash.  Then, I go through the fashion, products, and leftover advertisements I missed and again they either go into the “fashion,” “home” or “I want” folder or in the trash pile.  I keep the trash pile in an expender folder (just in case I want to use them for another project. You never know). Then, I sit down with what I consider a clean magazine to read the articles.

The other hobby I found is scrapbooking.  It is so cliché but I love stickers, markers, stamps, and paper. I love creating a page of my memory. I am in the early stage of scrapbooking. I have just created a couple of pages and they are very basic and elementary. I’ve seen some beautiful scrapbook pages and want to get to that advanced level.

Right now, I have several projects in the pipeline:

The End