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Do you have a hobby?

I have finally, after fifteen years, tackled painting the kitchen cupboards. Admittedly, I wasn’t focused on this the whole fifteen years, but the thoughts would come and go about how much fresher and updated it could be with a paint job. Lucky me, my father-in-law is also a woodworker and is making me some new cupboard doors, but other than that, no major remodel. Last year, around this time, I painted the kitchen and dining room, including the dreaded ceiling. While this project is definitely a dream “hire-out” project, it is also super satisfying to be doing it myself (with my father-in-law of course). My long dream of adding bead board, the perfect oil rubbed bronze hardware, and a soothing color of paint, brings to me the cottage kitchen I long desired.

Today, while I was painting, I was in that zone where your body is busy, leaving your mind free to wander. This is when it dawned on me. Having a project outside of my normal routine was really good for my soul. It’s so easy to not have time, to be too busy, to have work to do; but what about these soul projects? The ones that replenish. The ones that show you a tangible reward.

Working from home as a photographer, it often feels like I am always working. It is always there waiting for me and so I dip in to get work done when I can. Lately, I’ve been purposely leaving my computer at night and picking up a good book. Or cuddling my son as he drifts off to sleep (while I’m still welcome). I am reminded of when I used to scrapbook and how satisfying that was to work with paper and stickers and archival tape of course. That feeling of working with my hands and freeing my mind came to me then also.

We think we don’t have time. We have our chores, the kids, the should’s, the must-do’s.  What about our soul? What about me?

I remember when I was working in advertising and our company was so awesome because we worked our butts off and when we weren’t working we were hanging out together. Although the camaraderie was like family, there  came a time when my job soured. I realized my whole life was centered around my job and my job sucked. Which of course meant since my job was my whole life, then my life sucked. It was a gift of clarity and I took action on it. Soon after, I took up bike riding, bought a little cottage, met my husband and eventually found a new job. That pie of life, was awfully lopsided with the work piece taking over most of the pie. After I added more pieces back, it was easier to have perspective and make the job change I needed.

So is your pie lopsided? Is the piece for your kids really big? Is your work piece bleeding into the other pieces? Is there a piece in there for fun? For girls night out? For crafts? Most especially, what can you do with your hands so you can free your soul to dream?

Maybe you will look up and have a new kitchen.:)

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Paula Santi - July 9, 2014 - 1:23 pm

I agree! I want that kind of activity you get lost in! It has been work work work lately. I will think about what I can do and get on it. Thank you for the inspiration!

Sandra Amick - July 10, 2014 - 7:04 pm

Great reminder Laura. My job is definitely too much of my life and I’ve been thinking lately about giving up cable, because I spend too many hours watching mindless shows when I could be doing things to feed my soul and mind. When I vacation, I don’t watch tv, but I read a lot, and I always wonder why I don’t read more in my everyday life. You’ve inspired me!