It’s time for fall projects – change the bedding from summer to winter warmth, bring in outdoor plants to over-winter in the garage or cool home corner, check the car’s antifreeze, pack away summer shorts and T-shirts and bring out the woolies – mittens, scarves and insulated jackets.
As the nights grow longer and the days shorten, many of us have more stay-at-home time because of low night vision or other infirmities. We are told it’s not good to sit in front of the TV or computer or to read a book for long periods of time. We have to move; at least once an hour is recommended.
It might be just as well to do something useful and find a project that interests you. If rest is needed, a short nap during the day might be the solution, rather than continuously dozing off with book in hand or in the middle of a TV program.
There may be a hobby previously enjoyed but work or family obligations left little time to pursue. The supplies are still packed away in the attic or closet. For example, the dress you started for your pre-teen daughter will definitely not fit her now that she’s 22. Now may be a good time to unearth the stash and check to see if those sweater pieces could be stitched together to fit someone in the family or if the partially carved Santa could be completed by Christmas.
Although boxed away for weeks or months (or years?), it’s possible that unfinished projects may not require as much time as originally thought to complete when tackled in earnest. Another gift could be crossed off the shopping list.
Leftover craft and hobby supplies are often sought at St. Vincent de Paul stores and could be bagged and added to your clean-out-the- closet donations.
Since most days are still pleasant, and the holiday rush is a few weeks off, it may be the right time to replenish supplies for projects or to start researching a new hobby.
Is there some craft you always wanted to learn? Start now. Lots of sales and percent off coupons will keep the budget in check.
Start small and simple until you’re sure you will really enjoy the work. Remember, it may take time and patience, but completing a project can bring fulfillment and a new purpose to life. Learn the correct way to frame pictures you may have stored. Put photos into albums or download to your computer.
Too busy during the day? Nodding off at 8 p.m. in front of the TV? A relaxing hobby may keep you awake a little longer and ensure a good night’s sleep.
Check with the local library, church, senior center, community recreation department, technical college or on-line for lessons to learn a new skill. Seniors often get class discounts. In the process you’ll meet new friends, find a motive to get out of the chair and even out of the house on good weather days.
New variations of some old standby hobbies are available. There is now “arm knitting” and “finger knitting” with video instruction online under the subjects or check the library. Instructions are similar to the basic process but no needles required, only yarn, so there’s not a big investment.
It seems weird to someone who learned to knit in seventh grade, but knitting is on my list to try. Perhaps your former hobby has been updated also. Check what’s new at craft or hobby stores.
Benefits from hobbies are numerous – help to develop fine motor skills, nurture children/adult relationships (if you invite a grandchild to share time), fill leisure time, donate finished articles or supplies to charity or church events and even provide extra income.
(King, a member of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish, North Lake, is married to Thomas. They have seven children, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.)