My Happy Place Is A Work In Progress

(Image via successjustclicks.wordpress.com)

On August 10th, FibroDAZE is excited to be hosting PFAM and the theme is “Your Happy Place.” (We’ve all heard the expression “Find your Happy Place.” That may be a tough thing to do as a chronic chick. So this edition of PFAM asks “Where’s your Happy Place?” )

I had some trouble trying to come up with  my happy place.

To be honest, I don’t know if I have a happy place. I am able to do things that helps reduce stress or pass the time, but that is now more of a reactionary thing I do as a result of having a chronic illness.

Pre-illness, I probably would have said going out Sunday mornings for breakfast and then doing some window shopping or walking around downtown and relaxing by the canal.  I worked in a department with a bunch of people, so doing something by myself for a couple of hours was wonderful.

Post-illness is an entirely new ballgame for me. I’m not able to go out and do much. If I want or need to go somewhere, I go by taxi. which costs money. Buses make me dizzy and most of my friends don’t have access to a car. Most of the time I stick pretty close to home.

Currently, my definition of a happy place is where I go to escape when I’m tired of dealing with situations or with people who are stressing me the &%$@ out. But, for me, that is dealing and reacting to things so that I calm down and destress. I want and need a happy place where I enter happy, not as a stress relief.

So, I think my stock answer at the moment is to say reading,  music,  or going on the internet. I do find the internet a wonderful escape and time waster (I’m saying that in a good way).  And if my happy place is the place I can escape to, then the internet is probably it.

But, this question has me thinking of changing my definition of a happy place. I want it to be a place where I want to go and stay happy, not a place I have to go so I can calm down. Lately, I’ve been thinking about different crafts I can do while considering I have to do it in my room or something I can easily take if I go somewhere. And if my ears start bothering me and brain fog kicks in, I need something I can put away and not worry about anything I may be in the middle of doing.

I have some drawing supplies, coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, pastels and 2 sketching books. I have found a place for free drawing lessons on the internet that I’m going to try. I’ve also been looking at jewelry making and will probably do that. I had taken an introductory class  years ago that taught the basics of making an earring and a necklace and I enjoyed it.

So, my happy place looks like it will be an activity where I can learn and create something. It will be something I want to do, something I will be learning to do, which will help with this older mind of mine. And I may end up with something that I can wear or hang on my walls.

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13 comments

  1. I’m glad that you can find places to go when you need to. I have found that difficult. To me it’s much harder to find that happy place, when you need, than when you just want to.

    I’m always amazed at how well you have adapted your life to suit your situation. Yet, still have a happy, fulfilling place. You are a special person.

    Thanks for the link to the drawing lessons.
    I looked at some, and will probably use some. If you are just starting out with drawing, some of these lessons look a bit over whelming. (I looked at the figure drawing one, and it blew me away.)
    Don’t get discouraged.
    First have fun with it!

    If you ever need some feedback, or anything, please feel free to ask me…I’d love to see what you are working on.

    About jewelry making. Are you beading and such? I have some supplies that I bought, and then just never got into it. i do make some fused glass pendants and such sometimes, but don’t need most of the beading supplies that I have.
    If you want I can send them your way. I’ll have to look to see if it’ll be worth your time…not sure exactly what I have.

    Looking forward to hearing about your journey to your happy place.
    wendy

    1. I’ve got places to “go to”, but they’re not working as well as they used to. I think that’s part of why I’m trying to find something new to do like drawing. What I have to do is get into the habit of doing the lessons and staying at it. It’s so easy now (and sometimes necessary) to sit still while in front of the computer or lie in bed. Art was always something that was taken in junior high school but, unless you showed an exceptional talent, it was not something encouraged. I’ve drawn/doodled, but never took lessons to learn how to do things properly.

      Thanks for the offer. I still have most of the jewelry supplies from the introductory class I took and the beads and other materials I need to make a necklace. I also have a beading book, too. But, I worked overtime a lot and didn’t have the time or energy to really get into it. I’ve been looking at different beading sites and I’m seeing things like wire work, polymer clay, kilns, torches and metal clay along with all those pretty, pretty beads. It something that I have to take slowly because I could go wild and buy a bunch of stuff that might not get used.

  2. Being creative is a great way to build a happy place all of your own making. (excuse the pun). I completely understand the idea of a happy place being some place to go because you want to (rather than because you have to to destress, distract, etc.)
    Since moving to a much smaller house in fall 2006, breaking my wrist in July 2009, and having to spend so much time at my mom’s, I’ve been buying craft supplies more than using them, so I know what you mean about “going wild.” I have so many ideas, more than enough “stuff” to make them happen, now I need the time, motivation (beyond planning and purchasing), and when I get home the space.
    When I found myself unemployed (and not having much luck finding something else), we turned a corner of our little used living room into my craft space. What is now our only table was all mine; I could start a project, leave it when the pain or meds made working on it difficult, and then go back to it. I got back into calligraphy — something I had taken lessons in 1985 and did alot of it until grad school just took up too much time. I don’t have the skill I once did (I cheat and use markers and fountain pens — I used to use dip pens and bottled ink!) probably as a result of not practicing and loss of some motor skill abilities. But, I find it nice to think of the projects I want to do; I hope I can carve out a space for it.
    Good luck with your drawing and beading. Judith might have some good links at her blog/website too.

    1. I really have to be careful when I’m looking. I was checking jewelry supply sites and saw resin jewelry and metal clay jewelry. My first instinct was “Oooooh…something new I haven’t seen done before. Must try!”. The little kid in me was going “get..buy..get..buy…”. Then I read a bit more and things such as torches, kilns and the really important proper ventilation are needed.

      It’s probably a good thing I slowly started getting drawing supplies.

      1. As Judith suggests, it’s the creativity that counts! So far, the majority of my crafty purchases have been from dollar (or a bit more) stores — though that does add up. I’ve managed to stay away from online craft supply sites, which is a good thing.
        This a link to a wonderful blog done by a young woman in Australia who has a variety of chronic illnesses and does some terrific crafts. http://www.chronicallycreative.net

  3. Phylor,

    Thanks for the links. I’ve found Chronically Creative a couple of months ago and enjoy it. I know I’ve seen the Sustainably Creative blog at some point and now have it bookmarked to check it out further.

    I have to stay away from the dollar stores. It’s too easy for me to go in and buy something if I’m using shopping as therapy.

    I also have an art supply store that is within walking distance when I’m feeling really, really good. Lucky for me and my bank account it’s a little too far for me most days. It’s also art supply store prices so I rarely go in there.

  4. Being creative is my happy place too! and I find that (unlike the “time wasting” internet type of entertaintment and distraction) you end up with great end results that you can look at for a long time and feel really positive and accomplished about, which loops the happy around a little bit more. 🙂 Good luck with continuing to draw! I envy you there, drawing by hand is something I’ve never been good at, although I have a knack for creating little things on the computer at least.
    ~krismom

    1. Creating things on the internet can be just as satisfying. A friend gave me an old copy of some Corel software that makes calenders, cards, posters and such. I don’t make stuff with the programs as much as I used to but it is lots of fun.

      You’re right, the internet can be very time wasting. On some of my worse days, that’s just what I need. But, I am trying to replace some of the time at the computer with other activities.

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