New Year Resolutions Pt4 Skills & Hobbies

So much for keeping up with this, it’s now 23rd Feb and I am only on part 4, it will be summer before I finish!

At the beginning of each year many of us think this will be the year we make changes and get more out off life and become happy. In reality, not much changes and by the end of the year we feel bad for not having achieved anything that feels worthwhile.

Apparently the top 10 New Year resolutions are ;

  1. Exercise more
  2. Lose weight
  3. Get organized
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby 
  5. Live life to the fullest
  6. Save more money / spend less money
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

I would like to do most these too, except for losing weight and quitting smoking, they are all big things, but we believe that they will make us more happy. Many people will have already given up, or like me won’t even have started yet as life gets in the way and most of the things we want are too vague and we feel overwhelmed by it or just realise it is not realistic. Then of course we get annoyed and feel like we have failed.

I have decided to write a post about each resolution, I would love to say I will do one a day, but know that is far beyond me, one a week would take us to the end of March!! So will just have to see how it goes and how much I ramble on or get distracted by other things, I am way behind even the once a week schedule, so much for resolutions!

I always find new year hard and would love to be able to do so much. I always feel that I haven’t achieved anything and am in the same place I was a year ago, only change is I am a year older!! Other significant events make me feel this way too, my daughter turned 16 at beginning of the month, where did her childhood go. I was an old Mum anyway so now I feel so old and so guilty for all the things I can’t do for or with her, not that she needs me much now. She has mock exams this week in the run up to GCSE’s in May. It doesn’t seem that long since I was doing exams, but that was 1987, where does the time go?

No.4 Learn a new skill or hobby.

I am always wanting to try new things, but in reality struggle to do the stuff I already know how to do and I mess up even the simplest of tasks.

For Emily’s birthday I wanted to make her a stuffed Dachshund. I found a pattern called Dapper Dachshunds free to download so thought I’d give it a try. Firstly I couldn’t work out the pattern, then the pieces were too small to work with so I had to enlarge it. I had to ask my husband for help several times as I just couldn’t figure out the simple instructions. Anyway I finally finished it, 2 weeks late!

Whilst he is cute and wasn’t too bad once I worked it out, I don’t think I will be rushing to make anymore. P.S I didn’t make the cat!!

When I was 10 I learned to play clarinet, but had to give up lessons when I started work at 16. Emily now plays it instead and has lessons. I have wanted to relearn it for a long time. In December 2021 I bought a book called I used to play clarinet to get me back into it, I haven’t even opened the book yet!!

I keep looking at new card techniques, but of course all new things come at a cost. I am still learning to use my Cricut, which I got for my birthday last year, it is a fickle beast and the design space which I pay to use, is not fit for purpose.

I keep getting reminders for the latest Cats Protection Craftalong. I got the last two and managed to do my felted cat to go on the Christmas tree, it was no work of art. I still have the printed tea towel to do from last Autumn. The latest one is a quilled picture and looks really sweet, but again comes at a cost. The proceeds go to charity and I like to support them, but then I feel bad for spending the money and not getting the project done.

For Valentine’s Day I got Rob and I a pottery throwing class and we went on Sunday. I never realised it would be so draining, i was already in a bad way before we went, but after an hour I had to give up. I even ended up with bruises on the sides of my hands. I struggled to hear the tutor and even with a demonstration I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. My first pot collapsed and my second looked like a candlestick. It was good to try something new, but not in the same week we are having a new kitchen fitted and in the cold weather.

The big new thing for us at the moment is a new kitchen. We started looking in 2018, but couldn’t find something we liked or get anyone to do the work and then we all know what came along in 2020 so it all went on hold. We spent much of last year trying to get quotes and people either didn’t turn up or didn’t get back to us with quote and it just became too much chasing people. Eventually we found the people who are doing and a kitchen that we liked so work began at the beginning of last week. We have no kitchen and boxes all over the house, have to wash up in the bath and send washing to Launderette, cooking meals in dining room in air fryer and microwave. The whole house is filthy with dust and I am really struggling, with the mess, the constant people in and out, the noise, being without water and electric and the stress of things going wrong. The kitchen is coming along now and we may be able to use some of it soon, but won’t have worktops for several weeks yet or splashbacks as they have to be measured for after fitting the rest of the kitchen. There have been several issues as there always is and as we know from doing other stuff in the house some nightmares get uncovered, I wonder how the house is still standing sometimes, it was only built in 1979. Having work done always makes me really unwell, I am coughing all the time and so exhausted, spending most of the time laid in bed. I feel really guilty as Rob is working through it all, Emily is doing mock exams and one of the kitchen fitters is working after dislocating his finger yesterday!

For Christmas Rob bought me a silver clay kit, we had tried this when we were on holiday in October and it worked quite well. I haven’t had chance to look at the kit yet, I can’t get to most of my craft stuff and I also need a hob to fire the clay on. Hob and sink will not be fitted until after worktops. There is so much dust around making things is not really the best thing to do.

I always feel like I am still waiting to start a career as I have not been able to work for 23 years. I am haunted by the past and not a day goes by where I don’t question where I went wrong and mourn the things I used to do ( I need to find an alternative to the word thing, I use it far too much.) At 51 rapidly approaching 52 I am unlikely to have much chance at anything new or to go back to what I did before, but it would be good to feel I can achieve something and that I haven’t messed up my whole life.

So how can I learn new things? I am not sure really as I am so overwhelmed by everything I already have to and so many things I have tried and found too difficult. Now is probably not the best time to be thinking about it with so much else going on, but when is a good time? I’d love to discover something that I am really good at and that doesn’t make me feel so ill and useless. Society is very focused on what we can do, what our job is becomes a label, working full time and having time for hobbies, a social life and family seems to be the aim for life. When you have a chronic illness that robs you of your ability to do any of these, you feel so useless and have no identity or purpose.

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