Wednesday, July 16, 2008

7. Find a new creative outlet or hobby.

Whew! Now that the excitement from yesterday is starting to wear off (though I'll never forget having MY PICTURE ON WIL WHEATON'S BLOG!!!!)...Okay, maybe it's not worn off, yet. Sorry about that. Anyway, now that we're back from vacation and settling back into some sort of normal routine (and now that we have Internet access in our house, again. Yeah!), I can get back to what I had originally planned to discuss on this blog: experiences with a spouse who's in a medical residency program. Which brings us to #7 on my list of "Things I Learned": you really should explore new creative outlets and find new things to do with your time. Because, you're going to have A LOT of time to yourself while your spouse is in his/her residency. I already talked about that to some extent in my last post on basically doing what you love to do. However, I found that the Internet and Netflix were not enough for me. Being a stay-at-home-mom, I sometimes found myself wanting to expand my horizons and learn about the world around me. Really, I just wanted to start using my brain again, which kind of atrophied after having my son. Don't get me wrong. I love taking care of my son and being home with him every day. It's been a wonderful experience, and with my husband's work schedule in residency, I realized how important it was for at least one of our son's parents to be around and available for more than just a few hours a day. I know that not everyone has the opportunity or ability to stay home, so I feel very lucky to be able to do so. However, there are many times when I just want to do something for myself on my own away from my family, not only to help take care of me and my needs, but also to have fun in the process. So, last year, I decided to take belly dancing lessons, and I learned how to make jewelry. The belly dancing lessons came about through a silent auction I attended at an event held by my husband's hospital. No one else outbid me for the gift certificates, and since they had an expiration date, I couldn't back out of the lessons or suddenly decide to "lose" the certificates. I called the instructor up, and in about a week, I found myself in her studio with a few other women learning the intricacies of belly dancing. It is truly an art form and a workout all rolled up in one. Unfortunately, the 10-week-long lessons I took ended around the time we put our house up for sale, so I decided not to continue on to the next level. To help me feel better about my decision, my hubby gave me some belly dancing instructional videos for Valentine's Day. I've yet to break them open and watch them, only because our old house wasn't really conducive for that sort of thing. However, with all of the room we have in the new house, I think I'll have to give it a whirl, again. Plus, I've found a few places in our new city that give lessons. It might be good to get back into a group setting! My passion for jewelry making came about when I decided to take a workshop on making chain mail jewelry at Gen Con Indy, last year. It was so much fun and easy to learn that I decided to try it at home on my own. I found a great bead shop at a local mall that had classes on both chain mail jewelry and bead working. Before I knew it, I was sucked into the world of jewelry making. I admit it's an expensive hobby to get into, but the rewards are great! After taking a few basic jewelry making classes, I decided to make Christmas presents for all of the women in my family. They either received a unique bracelet or a pair of earrings. Not only was it fun to make the jewelry, but all of the ladies loved their gifts. After that, I beaded at home whenever I had the time and felt the urge to do so. What's great about this kind of hobby is that it usually doesn't take much time (unless you find something very time consuming to make, like chain mail dice bags--I still have to finish my husband's Father's Day gift!), and if you have a lot of leftovers, they can be used to make other things. Plus, if I feel like it, I could always start selling some of my products at craft fairs. So, if you find yourself with lots of time on your hands, don't be afraid to try something new. You might find that you're really good at it, that it's a lot of fun to do, and that you're learning something in the process. I need to go for now because B, V, and I are going to attend our first board gaming session with a new gaming group this evening. It should be a lot of fun, and it'll be a new experience to boot! Woot!
Best to you all,

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