I have written about my moods recently and when discussing them on a self help group, it was suggested that trying to do something to take my mind off things when it was difficult can help. A few suggestions were made, some of which I am just not capable of because my artistic talents are not up to it - doodling and drawing were two such suggestions. In fact the thought of doing anything like this is something that triggers bad memories of school. I had an art teacher that used to delight in mocking my poor attempts at artwork. It was something I was never encouraged to do and behaviour like this teachers have literally scarred me for life. Ironically, this teacher was the one who everyone thought was really nice and all the girls were really taken by him. To me (even as a closeted girl at the time) he was just another bully but one I couldn't even deal with as he was in a position of authority. But I am digressing.
The thought of finding some form of crafting has actually been in my mind for some time. I have a good range of hobbies but most require some form of involvement. I have my gaming (PS3 and 4 as well as PC) and this has it's option for release but at the moment it is just not working. Cooking would be a brilliant way of relaxing, it is something I thoroughly enjoy but the sad reality is that I have gained 20 pounds since my surgery and the downside to cooking is having to consume the goods that are cooked. This would actually be a fantastic time to explore cake decorating, something I would love to be good at, but it would cause even more problems with moods with seeing my weight increasing.
Walking is something else I enjoy and I really want to explore some of the local footpaths but obviously I have had to be careful about overdoing things at this time. I have been managing some 45 minute walks which have mainly been fields and including stiles. My plan is to do some more of this but of course there is another small issue that I never had before. This is toileting and the option of finding a gatepost, hedge or tree is no longer an option. A shoulder bag has been purchased so that I can carry a small bottle of drink but more importantly, toilet paper and baby wipes! Longer walks would also give me something more to write about on this blog as well as get some photo's. There are a multitude of footpaths right on my doorstep here and I fully intend to put in some serious miles later on. Sadly the weather recently has not been good and this option has not been possible. Yes, I could put on waterproofs, but I just don't feel able to deal with being out in poor weather at the moment.
I also have my writing, another main passion of mine. However, this usually requires me to be stable and on an up. It's not possible at the moment and even keeping this blog going has required some serious effort recently.
This brings us back to the idea of some form of crafting. I felt I needed something that I can do sat on the settee, that occupies my hands and doesn't require too much brainpower. Something methodical and rhythmical are suggestions for relaxation and this brings us into the realms of sewing, knitting, etc. I am fully aware that these pursuits have gained some serious popularity in recent times. Perhaps in my old life, I might have scoffed at such things but these days I am open to anything. Knitting was actually suggested back in the self help group although I wasn't quite ready to embrace anything at that point.
As an aside, it did occur to me last week that I needed some way of storing my dilators. I have 6 sizes of them, and needed a way of being able to store them so that they are easily displayed when it come to using them. The problem is that when I am using dilators 2.5mm different, it can be a little difficult determining which is which. If I had a case that held them in order, I could simply select the one I needed from it's place in the case. I noticed that the SoulSource dilators from across the pond came in their handy roll up case. I wondered if it would be possible to make such a case for my own.
I sourced some fabric on my next trip into town, a table runner for £3, which was just the right width for the backing. I started cutting it about to get it to the right length which involved cutting both ends and then joining them in the middle. The remaining fabric was kept for the front and this is where I am at at the moment. The whole project has involved some serious stitching and I spend 30-40 minutes a day at it. I want it to look good and last as well so I am triple stitching everything. Every time I pick it up and work on it, I find how quickly it relaxes me and the power of this is quite phenomenal. The best part of it all is that by the end of it, I will have something very useful and for a few quid at that.
The usefulness of this hobby got me thinking and I returned back to the thought of knitting. I have knitted in the very distant past and it brings back memories of my aunt who was a keen hobbyist. She could do it all, knitting, sewing, embroidery, cross-stitch; there was little she couldn't do then and probably still can (I must give her a call!). Yesterday, I picked up a knitting book in town and a quick look through showed that it has all levels of ease and difficulty. Supplies can be picked up cheap in town, lots of places sell wool and other things can be gleaned from charity shops. So today, I ordered a starter pack of wool, some accessories and a bag with some needles. This should arrive by the end of the week and by the end of the year I should be churning out the tasteless Christmas jumpers by the dozen!