Making Time for My Hobby

There just aren’t enough hours in the day. That is, for yourself. When you finally get the kids tucked into bed, yearning earnestly for that elusive ‘me’ time, there doesn’t seem to be much time left!

Mostly, when that time eventually ticks around, I am too tired to do what I had wanted to do unhindered all day…and end up relaxing with ‘The Block’ and a cup of tea on the couch. Not that relaxing isn’t fantastic…it really is. But what about all that blog reading I had wanted to do, the house work, the connecting with my husband, the keeping up with the bills, the writing of that reply email to my friend who has waited many procrastinating months to hear from me …and what about my new hobby?

That’s right, who has time for a hobby? It seems for a mother to keep her sanity, and keep up with the Jones’ in this busy modern society, a hobby is the new black handbag (or nappy bag even).

So after much dilly dallying about, with so many endless choices vying for my attention, I chose one hobby. Not to validate myself in modern society as such, but to see if it really does help one to keep calm in the midst of a fast-paced life.

What did I choose? The most unlikely hobby for myself. I chose to be a sewer. As in, a sewist. Not the smelly kind.

This is unusual for me, as, firstly, I have had zero patience in the past for sewing machines. All machines tend to seize up on me, for that matter. And my solution to fixing a machine, is to get angry at it and hit it. And then ignore it and wait for my husband to deal with it.

Secondly, I have never completely finished a project (in all those years of school Home Economics). I’m all full steam ahead at the start, come up against roadblocks and get stuck there. Forever.

Thirdly, I hate sewing. Oh yes, I forgot about that.

Did I mention that I hate making mistakes as I have no patience for them, and also, that I can’t easily fix mistakes, as I have no patience for them? What does one require to sew, I hear you say? Yes. Mostly patience.

One can’t finish a project right away either. You need to cut the pattern, piece the pattern together, trace the pattern, cut the traced pattern, pin the material to the traced pattern, cut out the material, pin the parts together, put the correct thread on the bobbin and thread the needle, blah blah blah, and…finally begin to sew. A lot of racking the brain occurs step-by-step to make sense of the instructions, and then, inevitably, out comes the unpicker. Many times. It’s actually crooked now.

I’ve yearned for years to be more creative. I can be. I was. Until I did law, which snuffs creativity out of you (yes, you do need to think cleverly about all avenues, but within the constraints of the law). Obviously. And there are no pretty things to get all clucky over. Although I suppose some lawyers would get excited over legislation.)

So, after years of wishing I could sew cute little outfits for my children, (there is a half-finished 000 knitted cardigan that has been sitting in a cardboard box for over 4 years downstairs…) and thinking how clever and creative my sewing friends are, I now am one myself. TA-DA!

Except, I’ve realised, there actually isn’t a whole lot of creativity involved. It is following a pattern, similar to following legal principles in fact. And dealing with problems.

But, you get to shop, and match up beautiful fabrics (cue creativity) and who doesn’t love that? And um and aah over fabrics and cute babies modelling your finished garments.

You also get a sense of achievement in producing something you made yourself, and for your children, who proudly (or unknowingly) wear your pride on their snotty sleeves.

So there you have it. I am a bona fide representative for myself, in the Sewing Business. And yes, I think having a hobby does work as a de-stressor. I feel a happier individual.  I can’t stop looking at my children in their gorgeous outfits I –MYSELF – ME made them.

I am thinking of meeting the challenge of making clothes for others too. What do you think?

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