If you would have asked me several years ago what I do, I would have probably said that I work, and then I do some other stuff, sleep, and work again.
I have a great job. For those that are interested, I work in IT for a healthcare company, and I’ve worked here for a year less than the Kid has been alive (almost seventeen years, for those who are counting).
Recently, however, I’ve been trying to develop hobbies. Like, serious hobbies. I have always been a sewer (which is so wrong, spelled out – by this I mean, someone who sews, not a tunnel filled with poo. Although I can see how people might think that), I have scrapbooked for years, and always, always loved to read.
In recent years, however, I decided I wanted to branch out. I think in a post the other day I talked about making stuff with wood (I can’t say woodworker, I’m not that – but I do like to build stuff) and some of my other hobbies.
Well, right now, my life is like work because I have waaaaaaayyyyyyy too many projects in the works. I have had some pretty good successes, which fires me up and makes me want to do more – but like anything, if I get too focused on that, I tend to let other things suffer (who needs clean clothes and dishes, anyway?). Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who helps pick up the slack, maybe because he likes sitting on new patio furniture as much as I do.
While I do need to find more of a balance in my personal life, between projects and actual maintenance on the home environment, I feel like my personal life and work life are much more balanced these days. While I am still putting as much effort into work as I ever did, I’m not quite putting as much time into it. By this I mean, I’m not routinely working until ten, eleven, midnight, or even later. I do still sometimes, but not as often. This means I am feeling MUCH better in general. So it’s a good thing! Even if I don’t have quite as many clean clothes or dishes (it’s just an excuse to buy more, right???).
One of my more favorite projects I did last year was a series of videos I called “2017 Year In Review”, in which I compiled a bunch of pictures and video clips I took throughout the year, organized by month, and edited into 13 or 14 videos, one or two per month of 2017. When the family came over to spend New Years, we watched it! I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new, although I may have been the only one that was quite so fascinated.
I figured out a way to put the opener up so you can have a look if you want! You’ll learn all our real names, but since I am pretty sure most of you either know me in real life, or just plain don’t care, it’s probably fine. It also had musical accompaniment, but I was worried about getting a copyright claim on it since it was posted to YouTube, so I removed the music. For anyone watching, just imagine Smash Mouth “All Star” playing in the background.
I’m working on the 2018 YIR since I want to make it an annual tradition. Again, possibly I’m the only one who cares, but I think – maybe when the Kid is older and has Kids of his own, he may enjoy showing them what a nerd their grandma was. That’s something I never had of my family when I was younger (did they even have video cameras back then? I mean…it was like the 1800s or something like that), and I would love to be able to give that gift to him.
The YIR was fun for me also because I did a bunch of learning. I signed up for the Adobe Creative Cloud service, which gives ALL of the Adobe applications (think Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, etc.) for $50 a month, including a few GBs of cloud storage and access to fonts and images from their online archives. It’s pretty amazing, but I didn’t know how to use any of it. So I watched a bunch of YouTubes on how to use Premiere (their video editing software) and AfterEffects (their animation software) and made some pretty cool stuff. So I made family memories AND exercised my brain!
Another project like that I did was to build a computer. Well, not technically, I had a computer but I bought a new case and some new components (and LIGHTS!) and then transferred everything from the old case to the new case. So it was kind of like building a new computer, except I didn’t have to install the processor (which is nice because I think when I do that for the first time I will probably freak out and break it).
What I learned, when doing all this stuff, is that I really love learning. I love researching things. I love teaching myself to do new things. I love the feeling I get when I try to do something new, and it turns out really, really well. My brain feels good, my heart feels good, and I have something tangible and real to show for my effort.
Not that everything works out well, mind you. There was the time I tried to make a bowl using a balloon, tissue paper, and Mod Podge. Whatever you’re thinking, it was likely THAT BAD. I think I have a picture floating around somewhere with me wearing it on my head. It was pretty terrible.
Or the time I tried to make a cool lighted sign with letters and cardboard. The letters didn’t work right and I gave up before I could actually add the light strings.
Or the time I tried doing water swirls on my fingernails….one good effort and the rest looked like I had dipped my fingers in a smear of paint.
All that aside though, I have had some successes and I’m pretty proud of those. I’m proud of all the stuff I tried, because, well, I tried it. At least I gave it a shot, right?