I am doing Meredith Lewis (@dangerousmere) creative challenge for the month of December where she sends us a creative prompt every day.
Today it’s to reflect on the activities that absorbed us as a:
What’s the pattern?
This activity is referenced from Etienne Fang who has a brilliant website called Having It All. I LOVED going through this website this morning and reading the stories of women defining what ‘having it all’ means for them.
Wow, easy one today.
My immediate thought was BOOKS! (and Knitting).
As a young child, I was an avid reader. Thinking back to my childhood, they’re years I choose to forget. I didn’t like my childhood because I was awkward, shy and pretty much scared most of the time so I hid in books.
Books for me represented a chance to escape and delve into fantasy worlds where I can pretend to be one of the characters.
I would carry a book with me everywhere as a kid because it meant I could quietly sit on a lounge in some corner and not be disturbed by other adults or even other children. A book for me represented something which was akin to a forcefield around me where I could keep others away.
Children would leave me alone because I was boring (besides, I never wanted to play with dolls or run around) and secondly, adults would just leave me alone because a book represented education – and they weren’t likely to disturb a kid reading.
Libraries were my most favourite places on earth and loved being taken to them by my mother as a child.
I was taught by a teacher in primary school to knit and from that moment on, I loved the craft and begged my mother to buy me yarn and knitting needles. Over the years, I taught myself how to knit by learning it through books and years of trial and error by myself.
As a young adult, my obsession with books and reading continued. I had imagined myself to be a writer and pondered the idea of writing many books in my life. However, I got into university and my leisure reading was soon replaced by reading only text books. I think my mojo for reading fiction was lost for a little while as my mind focussed on more pragmatic and professional matters – finding work and doing activities that related to some outcome such as career development.
I think there was a while there after university and joining the Navy, that although reading was something I did for leisure, it was less of an obsession (as it is now!). Back then, it was all about trying out new things. I recall my time being absorbed by social activities such as social community projects, being a team member of different sporting teams such as volleyball, trying out some swing dancing, pottery, ceramics, water colour painting classes. I was always doing something.
Knitting had taken a back seat during my younger adult years. I think it was mainly because it was seen as old fashioned. Besides, I would have been made a laughing stock if I carried my knitting in the Navy. Instead I focussed on social, sport and creative endeavours always experimenting and always learning. It was a way of doing something out of hours and that got me outside the Navy base meeting new people who I didn’t work and live with day in and day out.
Now I see in my 50s, that what has stuck with me has been my books and knitting. Two things that are constants. The third is writing. I have been writing a journal for many years as well as this blog. I have written SO MUCH over the years that is out there in the public forum as well as stacks of private journals.
For some reason, my writing has taken the back seat in that, it’s not as evident as my love for reading and knitting but I would say writing also was something I was absorbed with and always as an after thought.
I did it here too. I remembered writing while writing this blog post after I mentioned books and knitting!
What’s that saying? Why do I put writing last?
If I was to rethink this, I’d say, writing would have to be my most absorbing activity because it’s the one thing that I have been doing consistently for years more than reading and more than knitting – for as long as I could remember.
In recent years, as I attempt to explore ‘what’s next?’ I do think about writing more and publishing books. I enjoyed writing the Teams Book recently and also the second on one Gourmet Teamwork (out in Jan 2022).
However, I’d like to have a go at writing something by myself for myself – but I don’t want it to be a boring non-fiction book about learning and development. I’m over that. I want something different, something that would be a joy to face every day in front of the computer – something that helps people too – especially women my age.
Maybe this is something I need to explore next….