Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to not be a task-oriented, goal-driven firstborn. To be content to come home from work every day, and spend the evening in front of the T.V. To be happy going out with friends every night of the week or living in a house piled high with dirty dishes or dirty laundry and not even care. While I don’t see anything wrong with any of those other past times that people enjoy, I’m not one of those people.
I am a project person. I don’t feel complete unless I am working on a project. Whether it is writing a novel, attempting to master a new instrument, learning a different language, or putting together a craft, I never seem content without having something I’m working on.
This fact recently hit me as I prepared a cross-stitch for my friend’s wedding. I had completed one other small cross-stitch before but wanted to create something special for my friend. Looking through cross-stitch patterns, I finally found the one I wanted. This shouldn’t take me much time, I thought to myself as I ordered the kit off Amazon. In a few months, this piece will be gorgeous. As the time for the wedding crept up, I didn’t think I could finish it in time. In the six weeks before the wedding, I dedicated 2-4 hours a day or more to my needle and thread, crafting this piece of stitchery. After some last minute 3 am nights, I finally finished the piece.
On another front, I’m working on my fourth novel (don’t laugh!). It’s one I started in college and have let simmer for the last two years. Each evening, I try to dedicate time to putting that piece together. The going is slow, and the distractions are many, but I keep plugging away. None of my family members care much about writing or reading my work, and my piece doesn’t have much of an audience. Still, I keep at it.
Many people might call what I do a waste of time. What’s the point of spending hours of your life working on projects that will end up at a Salvation Army or never make it off a computer hard drive? While this is one opinion, I disagree. Even if I’m the only one who gets joy out of the projects I work on, it is such a satisfied feeling to create something that is tangible.
Yes, I may not know anything about Saturday Night Live or the current celebrity gossip. I may not be living it up every weekend. I may not know what sports teams are in the playoffs. I might stress myself out with trying to get too many things done at once. But I have poured my time into something that I can touch and see and enjoy for years to come.
If I am going to spend my time doing something, creating personal masterpieces is what I want to do.
How about you? What pastimes or hobbies do you enjoy? Any thoughts?