April has had some incredibly hard and terrifically fun moments. I thank God for the balance. If I didn’t have it, I can’t say for sure I would be sane right now.
Balance and variety are keys to happiness, at least for me. I find that in the roller coaster I call my life, the low points are somehow more survivable by the mere fact that I know I will rise another day. It may not be much higher than my valley, but if I hold out and have faith, it will get better – eventually. When I am low, I try to remember it can always be worse and that I have endured more difficult times in the past.
If I cannot pull myself out of the slump, I get active. I go outside. I seek comfort in nature. Recently, I have learned to kayak. I adore the calm waters of slowly paddling down the river. I watch the water and how it parts from my path. I observe the raw beauty of the riverside. I notice the fish jumping and the birds flying. It is very calming.
In the last few years, I’ve noticed I crave variety in my activities depending on my mood. I enjoy everything from painting to cooking to running. I certainly am not a master at any of these hobbies, but I enjoy them regardless. My paintings assuredly have no art value or applied art techniques, but I find peace in the process. When I try new recipes, they don’t always turn out as I want. Sometimes they are even bad, but my kids are gracious enough to say, “Mom, this one was not your best.” When I run, it is not even fast enough to qualify as running on fitness applications. I say, “whatever” to those judgmental apps, lol. The fact that I am putting one foot in front of the other is good enough for me. I feel my blood pumping and enjoy the fresh air. After doing these hobbies, I tend to feel more alive, more hopeful and more ready for the next challenge.
I suppose that is the main purpose of hobbies/downtime – finding things that help us maintain our strength and hope. So regardless of whatever is happening in your life, I hope you take the time to find your strength. Go try new new things. Retry old things. Attempt activities that you think you might enjoy even if you are not great at them. Find your smile in the little things around you. Life is too beautiful to lose hope.