The snow flakes shimmer under a dull gray sky, twirling and whirling, and flying up in great swirls of wind. The leafless trees stretch their naked trunks and branches upwards, into the gray, upon gray, upon gray. The cold winds deter me from doing anything outside. Even though outside is my favorite place, the unfavorable temperature and bone-chilling winds make it less bearable this time of year.
Here I remain, trapped indoors. The dogs are sleeping, as are the cats. The husband and son gone for the morning and early afternoon. What to do. What to do…
So honestly, I have a ton of hobbies. I think I’m one of those people who needs to have something to do. I can sit and read quietly for only so long, and then I need to do SOMETHING. Cleaning house is rewarding only to a certain extent. I have to use my brain, my creativity, and my hands. I love to paint, but my talent only goes so far. I have a very large collection of houseplants that only need so much nurturing before they become angry in their winter hibernation. I can only cook so much food for a small number of people. I can write only so much before people stop reading it. I used to enjoy sewing quilts for my children when they were young, but how many quilts does a person need? I crochet to a certain extent, but its a time consuming process that yields yet another blanket, or set of dishcloths, or a scarf to add to my collection. I make jewelry, and have a fabulous collection, even though I rarely wear jewelry. I have made rugs, sweaters, greeting cards, curtains, clothing, shelves; all sorts of things. But what next? What’s the next thing to do?
I think a lot of people struggle with the winter blahs: trapped indoors with no real sense of purpose. Our great-grandmothers would probably tell us how lucky we are having all the modern appliances that make life so much easier. I remember as a child, my grandmother had an old ringer washing machine, and doing the week’s laundry took the entire day. They washed the clothes, ran them through the ringer-press to get the water out, and then hung them on the line to dry. Once dry, all the clothes had to be brought in, folded or ironed, and put away. It was a great deal of work to keep their clothes clean. For me to do a load of laundry, I simply put the clothes in, toss in a gel pack of detergent, close the lid and push the button. Elapsed time: one minute. Then I transfer the clothes to the dryer, toss in a softener sheet, close the door and press a button. Sure, I do have to fold them and put them away, but that takes a fraction of the time because I do a load every day or two and then fold and put away as I have time. In fact, my washer is working right now as I sit and type; there’s nothing hands-on about it.
Our lives of chores have gotten easier, and I won’t complain about having a high efficiency washing machine, but now that the kids are older, I don’t have as much to do at home any more. Its strange how the hurried days of childhood taper off so quickly. I now have the time to do the things I always wanted to do, but it seems I’ve forgotten what those things are. Perhaps I’ll learn a new language, or finally learn to play the piano. (I have one in my living room so I might as well!) I think its important to always keep learning. It helps occupy your brain, helps you use your creativity, and maybe its even something to do with your hands. Never give in to boredom, there’s always something new to discover, or something to create. I do treasure my time alone, since I don’t get a lot of it. But I still need to have something I want to do. What are things that you do to occupy your time? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section! And thank you for reading!