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Talents Differ

Everyone needs a hobby. If people find what you do creative and beneficial to them, that’s a bonus. Yet, as long as you enjoy what you’re doing, it benefits you no matter what accolades you receive or don’t. You still get the endorphins regardless of the world’s opinion.

I like to write. If someone comments on the travelogue I’ve posted on Facebook, along with multiple pictures of my trip to Sicily, I feel a certain jolt of happiness because a reader has taken the time to digest what I’ve posted. Maybe they received a boost of entertainment or a smidgen of knowledge or some savoir-faire about travel by perusing my musings. Yet, even if they didn’t receive any justification or reward from browsing what I wrote, I still got the satisfaction of reliving my trip ruin by ruin, cathedral by cathedral, boat ride by boat ride. I got déjà vu.

Not everyone is creative in the same way. I have a good friend Beth, a potter. She thought everyone could throw a pot until she tried to teach me. I failed. Miserably. I didn’t want to try again. I have another pal who is clever at cake decorating, cooking, and costume-making. I admire Becky’s creations but have no desire to attempt anything close to her oeuvres-d’-art. Laura paints. Oh, how I wish I could do that! My sister Donna is an avid gardener, and her yard and flowers look like a British scape; however, I’m not envious. I may enjoy pushing a mower once in a blue moon, but that’s about it for me. I have neither patience nor impatiens for gardening.

Firmly, I believe everyone needs a creative outlet, especially when one is no longer pursuing a career, holding down a job, raising kids, or caring for aged parents. I also think spouses of workaholics need purpose and diversion. It’s not just a matter of filling up one’s days but you must feel joy with how you fill up those days. Watching the dryer spin with clothes drying doesn’t float one’s boat.

Journaling is a way to relive fond memories, sort out what one thinks about what one experiences, and leave something behind for one’s heirs, even if it’s merely the mutterings of dissatisfaction with how one’s day has unfolded. Maybe, you aspire someday to have a byline in a magazine or in an anthology or emblazoned on the spine of your very own fantasy book; if so, then you need raw material. We forget quickly. Write it down. Jot down your feelings, opinions, and wants as well as life events. You never know when you might revisit a diary to aid you in remembering a happening, a meal savored, or a place visited that later is poorly recollected.

Photos are good. Nonetheless, they never tell the whole story. Images may trigger a memory, but prose would have fleshed it out.

In January, we open a new memorandum book, unfold a calendar, and begin a new year of our lives with hopes, resolutions, and plans. Make one of those hopes, resolutions, and plans to nourish your creative side.

Even if the best you can do is collect pet rocks, do it!


  1. Erika,
    You are always an inspiration. I am pretty sure I will not keep a journal or write a book, but I’ll do something interesting. I gave my g-daughter a journal for Christmas and she is already writing and pasting pictures in it. I’ll send her the link to your publication. Thanks for the encouragement to explore hobbies in the new year!

  2. This made me think. I don’t believe I have a creative side but I do love and enjoy my life , family and friends. I am older and retired and that somehow has made me really appreciate the smaller things a squirrels visit and dog’s snuggle. I also realize my memories are fading so I am looking into that journaling so I can remember the precious and hilarious things life brings. Thanks Erika

  3. Really liked what I just read however I now am feeling guilty because I don’t think I have a “hobby” or special interest. I know how important it is to use one’s creative juices, just not quite sure where to start. Journaling has an appeal, however putting in writing my innermost thoughts seems a bit risky! Always enjoy Erika’s muses as she nails the topic so perfectly and with grand humor.

  4. gotta go…
    getting out my paper, paints and pen!
    thanks, Erika, for the prompt and permission to play!

  5. Erika,
    In your own lovely purposeful way, you propose a good idea fit as a new year’s resolution. I’m going with your journaling suggestion. Thanks for continuing to uplift me with your prose. All the best for more writing success in 2023.

  6. I love this, Erika! Your thoughts about making things or delving into your special hobby mirror the feelings I have when I create. You have inspired me to try to do more writing in 2023, especially the journaling kind! Thank you!

  7. Erica,
    I always enjoy your musing and delight in your writing. I’ve always trusted my good memory, but as I approach old age it would be wise to jot down my thoughts and feelings day by day. We might be able to remember things that happened decades ago and forget what we had for breakfast. Great advice!

  8. Thanks for the reminder for me to follow creative expression because it’s an important necessity and not a a luxury. Not your exact words but it’s what your essay evoked in me. I daydream of getting back to creative hobbies I used to enjoy but keep letting “life” get in the way. I appreciate your good advice given with a light heart for the New Year.

  9. Erika, you are so right! Finding time for the interest you always wanted to explore is so important—especially after retiring. It gives purpose and joy.
    I recently finished a book with essays and pictures about my family—for my family. I hope it will be enjoyed for many, many years to come!
    I’m sure your essay will inspire your readers to discover their own buried gems!

  10. Erika, you inspire me for the new year. I am always reminded that all of our lives have seasons. After raising a family and taking care of aged parents, you make me realize it’s my time. I need to put myself out there and get back to a hobby! It’s always comforting to know other women struggle with the same issues. Always enjoy your writings. Thank you.

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