Monday, April 25, 2011

Passion and Purpose: Rediscovering a hobby

It’s been years since I sewed. Sewing, embroidery, making little crafts was something I did as a child and into my early twenties. But then life got in the way. First there was college, then graduate school, then getting a career off the ground. Now with a day job, writing, a husband and three kids my passion for sewing has taken a back stand.

That changed recently. A few weeks ago my daughter had a craft project to do for a religious class. My husband elected me to do it with her. I was reluctant at first and waited last minute. Finally we were up late the night before the project was due working on it.

I took down my sewing kit, and was hit with a wave of nostalgia. There were all the embroidery thread that I hadn’t touched since college, and remnants of the cloth I used to sew my daughter’s curtains when she was three.
My daughter was excited. She wanted to take out the needles and start sewing. But the project was a simple banner requiring only cutting and pasting fabric. She quickly lost interest. But that sparked an idea. Why don’t I teach her embroidery?

So this weekend, in time for Spring Break, we started an embroidery project. We went to the store and got a few pieces of cotton fabric. I drew a flower and we started working on it. Though the project was my daughter’s, it filled me with a sense of calm contentment. I had forgotten just how fulfilling a hobby can be.

Yes I write novels. That has been my main and all consuming hobby for some time now. But recently, with publishing and promotions and the Dorchester woes, it feels more like a job or a business than a hobby. But to put that needle to the fabric and create something simple yet beautiful is fulfilling. And to see my daughter’s eyes light up… to see her take up the needle and thread without prompting and make those awkward little stitches, that is powerful.

So you know what? I am going to resume my sewing. I’ll start first with small projects that my kid and I can do together and if time permits, graduate to larger projects. It’s a great way to spend time with my kid (purpose) doing something I love to do (passion). It’s a great combination of passion and purpose.

Have you discovered any long forgotten passions recently?


Charles Gramlich said...

After the last week it seems like writing is a long forgotten passion. I hope to rediscover it today.

Marissa said...

Beautiful story - to rekindle passions is divine! I think I'll try some crocheting like I did years ago, or maybe even bowling. Funny how life gets in the way of doing what we really enjoy. Thanks, Jewel!

Liane Spicer said...

This made me so nostalgic! I used to do embroidery and crochet while growing up, along with a bit of knitting. Then I started making my own clothes from paper patterns (remember those Vogue, Butterick and Simplicity patterns?) and this continued into my early thirties.

The patterns got harder to source, I developed a fondness for custom tailored suits for work, found other interests/passions... and stopped sewing cold turkey. You make me want to start again.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Good to see I've inspired some of you to get back to your passions. Sometimes it takes a little jolt, or a nostalgic story to remember our lost (or abandoned) loves.