2017 was a rough year that I would rather not repeat, but I don’t regret one minute of it. I learned a lot about myself and realized that I don’t need to have all the answers right now. I learned that I am stronger and have more will-power than I thought. I also learned that I need to be a better example to my kids and family.
Part of being a better example to my family, is taking care of all aspects of myself. First things first, I want to start feeling better about myself. I need a purpose. I need a hobby. I need something that is for me and that does not focus around my family. I don’t know if this is the selfish part of me, or the survivor in me. But either way, focusing on my family every minute of every day is just not possible for me.
I’m an over-thinker and I dwell on each one of my weaknesses. So why am I admitting that? Well because it translates into day when I may not accomplish a lot at home with the kids, but I feel exhausted and run down because I feel like a constant failure.
In the past, when this feeling has snuck up on me, I have found some type of hobby and it would help to regain a little bit of me. I have stripped and stained old furniture; sewn and designed purses (no clothes just purses); I’ve done black and white photography; and a lot of other things I can’t seem to think of at this very second.
But somehow it seems different now. With little kids around, I feel guilty for wanting me time. Time is already flying by so quickly and I don’t want to miss any of these precious moments of pure innocence (okay maybe not pure, but closer than it will ever be again).
Well, with my list of 2017 Revelations, I had a heart to heart with the hubby. After more than a few tears, and trying my best to clearly communicate my feelings, I let my husband know that I felt like I was going to burst if I wasn’t able to find something, like a hobby, for me.
“I need to feel like I’m good at something.”
I probably ended our conversation a little too early and went to bed too emotional, but my head was spinning. I think my hubby needed to absorb a lot of what was said as well. Later the next day, I let him know I am trying to do a better job of verbally communicating my feelings (bless his heart, he has noooooooo problem doing that). So often I just let it fester, and that really doesn’t solve anything. He genuinely seemed to appreciate it, after the fact of course.
This brought me to my next question (internally of course), what can I do? I recently broke my sewing machine and don’t really like constantly threading the needles anyway. We had just taken a large truck full of stuff to Goodwill, I said good-bye to many projects there. But, I also had to try and understand my husband’s point of view, he hated extra stuff around the garage and house. Where I saw a potential project, he saw stuff with no home and clutter. A compromise would have to be made.
Here’s a little info about me, I am very much like my dad in a few ways. First, we have a dry sense of humor. This also means I love sarcasm and probably hide a lot of my insecurities with humor, but have a really good time doing it.
Second, I love to argue, in fun of course. I hate fighting, but arguing is more of an art of creative conversation (sounds less passive aggressive that way).
Third, I love to put things together. For instance, pre-baby putting together IKEA furniture actually calmed me (scary, I know!).
Lastly, I love to start projects and am horrible at finishing them. Now if you ask my dad, he would adamantly deny that he is that way, but my entire family knows the truth. I am still waiting for my sandbox he promised me as a kid (that is an ongoing joke in our family).
Now that we have determined I need a hobby but I’m horrible at completing them, I decided on trying my hand at refurbishing furniture. This is something I have done in the past and really enjoyed it. Two of my favorite things in life are handbags and furniture. My husband and I agreed that he would support me working on one item at a time (and that’s kind of hard because paint takes too long to dry).
My first item was a nightstand for my 12-year-old girl. She desperately wanted one, and I looked online for some ideas. I found a free nightstand, French provincial style online but it needed a major makeover. She loved the idea of me refinishing it, and I loved the idea of making something for her.
It’s not fancy but I learned a lot and had a blast. It was amazing how that little bit of time not focusing on my family, just cleared stress away. I had creative juices flowing and loved learning how to do new things.
Right now, I am working on fixing something that came from my Uncle’s estate (among other things – again, why does paint take so long to dry?), but it’s a little birdhouse box thing. I think my uncle would like that I want to make something of his, part of my home, even if it is just a little thing.
My next project is a little bit more adventurous. I want to convert an antique dresser into an outdoor beverage cart. We will see how it turns out. I have decided, at this point, I will not pay a lot for a piece of furniture since I’m still in such a learning mode. But I have to admit, I already feel a little bit better.
In conclusion, sometimes taking care of yourself means being a little selfish. Sometimes it means putting yourself first and putting your needs somewhere above last place. My family is still my first priority, but when I am overwhelmed I have a safe place to go. A place that is just mine. Maybe someday I will be able to say I’m good at it or maybe not, but until then it’s fun learning and becoming a better me.
What are some of your new hobbies? Or if you don’t have time, what is one hobby you hope to start this year?