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!