BYOH: Build Your Own Happiness

BYOH: Build Your Own Happiness or How to hack your own happiness buttons.

Today, the topic is hobbies.

Finding a hobby saved my life. It saved my sanity.

When I was a divorced, single mom, working for peanuts, doing karaoke for other people and unsuccessfully, trying to find a job to help me make ends meet for me and three kids, I was very lonely.

I spent my days, when I wasn’t pounding the pavement, and particularly, when the kids were away, playing on the internet, chatting with my friends and watching Netflix. I was bored out of my mind.

After I had to put my own business to bed, the friends that I had, at the time, dwindled away. Without a decent job, I couldn’t afford to party like a rock-star, anymore and since I was no longer playing or paying, my phone stopped ringing.

One day, I was alone in my apartment and bored. It was so quiet without the kids around, that, despite Netflix playing on the computer, I could hear nothing, but my beagle licking his nads, incessantly. Aside from grossing me out, it was making me crazy. I decided to go through some boxes and get organized and I stumbled upon a box of craft supplies that I must have inherited from a yard sale or something, because the craft items inside were not of any relevance to me.

Inside the box were a few balls of crappy yarn, a crochet hook, and a pocket-sized book on how to do crochet. Being bored and now curious, I decided to try my hand at it. Following the instructions in the manual, I did my first strand (round) or single crochet stitches. Next up, I decided to try my hand at making a circle, but the end result was very disappointing.I kept at it for two days (yes, on the same crappy circle), but was still unhappy with the results. I had nothing else to do, so I decided to go to Youtube and see if I could get some advice. I was not disappointed.

The best tutor, that I found, at the time, was The Crochet Geek. I found her videos very helpful and very instructive. I decided to ditch the circle and began working on flowers, instead. That’s when I got my groove. With confidence in making flowers, came the attempt to make circles, with very pleasing results and soon I was making hats. Eventually, I was making coin purses and even muffins, and balls.

I had finally found a skill that I was good at. The best part, it was a hobby that didn’t require me to interact with other humans, I could do it, anywhere, it was inexpensive, AND, I could make money at it. That it what saved my sanity. I had something that could numb the sound of my dog licking his balls and it was okay that I was alone. I could crochet as much or as little as the day allowed.

How did taking up crochet save my life?

Incidentally, there was a car accident on the street outside of my apartment. The car had hit a transformer, knocking out the power in our complex. No internet for the kids to do their home-school work and no electricity to do the laundry. So, I grabbed my kids, the laundry, and my crochet bag and took off for the local laundromat. While at the laundromat, I noticed the attendant was knitting something, so I asked her about what it was and if knitting was more difficult than crochet. She showed me a few tricks and I showed her mine and later, we decided to get together for coffee, so we could tutor each other on our respective hobbies.

I had made a new friend. We only met once for coffee, but we enjoyed each others company so much, we sat for longer than the two hours that we had originally planned. Somewhere, in our conversation, it came up that she was about to move away and that they were going to be hiring at the laundromat; she asked me if I was interested in a job and encouraged me to apply for it. I did. But, I didn’t get it…at first. The chosen applicant dropped out, just days before he was supposed to start, and I eventually got the call that the job was mine if I was still interested. I was.

I have been at that job now for 5 1/2 years.

I don’t have the time to crochet as much as I used to, back in those days, but it is a hobby that has helped me keep my head on straight. It keeps me distracted when I am upset or bored. It keeps my creative juices flowing. Crochet changed my life.

Take up sports, take up crafting, take up public speaking, cooking or dancing. Take up something that will make you excited, no matter how many people are around. Take up something that will help you focus negative, as well as, positive energy, but take it up with joy. If your hobby isn’t pushing your happiness buttons in any way, put it away and try something else.

Finding a hobby changed my life and I continue to grow from doing it on a regular basis. Finding a hobby one is on my top ten list of things to do to BYOH.

Feel free, to visit my Facebook page and tell me what kind of things that you do to push your own happiness buttons or drop a line in the comments section. I would really love to hear from you.

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