One of the things I’ve seen suggested for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them is to take up a new hobby. One that their loved one wasn’t involved in, so it wouldn’t be something they associate with them.
Since Ian’s death, I’ve stopped pretty much every hobby or pass-time I had while he was alive. For a while, I spent my new-found free time doing nothing worthwhile. Watching tv shows and playing games on my iPad. That didn’t lead to much positive thinking/feeling on my part. I would obsessively check all of my social media sites, and get annoyed when nothing was happening.
A week ago today, I decided to take a break from Facebook and Twitter. The only reasons I’ve been back to either were for private messages from people. I’ve found I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. I’ve also found that unless I put these blog posts out on those media, the number of visitors declines greatly. Luckily, there are many ways to cross-post without having to go to the sites, so I set that up.
Last Friday, I finished purchasing the supplies I needed for a new (old) hobby I decided to take up. I learned to do it in… probably middle school, actually… and haven’t done it since. But my mom had made me a set of lovely embroidered tea towels, and receiving them from her made me want to do it again. So I started on Friday evening. And did almost nothing else all weekend.
Aside from the two week vacation I took, that time was probably the most overall pleasant time I’ve had since February. I finished the first project on Sunday evening, after something close to 24 hours of work on it, and I’m almost perfectly happy with how it turned out. (There are some things I don’t like, but that is due to it being my first attempt in over 20 years. I think my next project will turn out beautifully.
So yes. I think that finding a new hobby that has nothing to do with Ian has been a very good thing for me. I actually laughed on Saturday while I was listening to the Brewers baseball game, embroidering away, about how incongruous those two things are, and how Ian may have reacted.
As I get better at it… faster… I may even decide to try to sell some of the things I make. We’ll see.
I still miss him, and it still hurts and I’m still grieving. But while I’m working on these projects, I’m also excited about them… inspired. Which is significant, considering that I haven’t been truly excited about ANYTHING since he died.
Maybe I really am moving forward.
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