What To Do?

My son, Michael, with his teacher.
I helped him make this stepping stone for her.

Do other people have this problem?

Do you?

I like too many things. I always have.

There’s just too many hobbies I want to pursue.

Here’s a list of my hobbies:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Walking and e-bike riding
  • Scrabble
  • Travel
  • Dollhouse
  • Painting (mostly paint by number)
  • Sewing
  • Stained Glass
  • Food (KitchenAide and Air Fryer)
  • Flowers
  • Pickle Ball (future)
  • Trash to Treasure projects
  • Miscellaneous (Dollar Tree crafts, making gift tags, etc.)

The first four (Reading, Writing, Walking, Scrabble) are done daily with rare exceptions. Reading and Writing are the very core of me. I’d never give them up; yet, they do take time. Blogging (which falls under both reading and writing) takes a fair amount of time, too.

The nice thing about walking and e-bike riding is that those are things I do that with my husband. The number one thing I want to do is I want to spend time with my husband and with my family and friends, too.

Our custom Scrabble board with Betty and Dan and "Chambers on the Road" written on it.

I do love Scrabble. This is another hobby that Dan and I enjoy together. We play on the computer and against each other often. We are also members of NASPA – North American Scrabble Players Association, and we have played in tournaments before Covid. We play Scrabble on a regular basis with others. There is a “Scrabble community” in the St. Louis area. We’ve met a number of really nice people through our Scrabble interests. While we don’t drink, Dan and I can regularly be found at a bar – playing Scrabble. We always buy a meal.

My dollhouse hobby really has me thinking. I’ve made a lot of progress on my dollhouse project. While there’s more to be done, I can see the day is coming when it will be done. Not real soon, but maybe in a year or so (given how much we travel.) But here’s the thing. Do I want to work on others? I wouldn’t build one from scratch, but rather find “used” dollhouses and redo them. What would I do with them? Perhaps keep them but more likely give as a gift. Or perhaps donate them to a child who is sick or is in need. Maybe donate to an auction for some worthy cause.

But is that what I want to do with the time I have left in my life? I don’t know. Plus the world of dollhouses has been transformed with 3-D printing and those Cricut machines. That’s a whole new world I’d have to learn. Which would be good for me. But again, is that what I want to do? I kind of feel like pursuing my dollhouse hobby could exclude me from pursuing my other interests.

Years ago, I pursued a stained glass hobby. I have always loved stained glass, and I still do. A couple pieces I made need to be repaired. That is my main goal. Perhaps my strategy should be to get those pieces repaired and then decide. But I do love stained glass. I could see making something to give as a gift. A gift like that is made with lots of love. That’s the kind of gifts I like to give.

Four stepping stones with a lighthouse design.
I made these for my siblings to celebrate all the years of our annual vacations in Pentwater.

I’m hoping Dan and I can get into Pickle Ball. When I was younger, I played tennis. And I’ve always liked ping pong. We’ve played a couple times. If we played regularly, I think we would enjoy it. Our neighborhood is starting Pickle Ball leagues. The issue is our travel schedule. So this one will be left to fate. If, during a session, we are home for most of the games, we’ll sign up. Otherwise, this interest will have to wait. But it can’t be too long as we are not getting any younger.

Table with 4 stained glass inserts.  The inserts look like a quilting square.
I got this table at a garage sale for $10. I created the stained glass inserts and
donated this to an auction for my daughter’s high school.

Trash to treasure. So many times I see something in the alley – or offered for free – and I look at it and see what it could be. I want to take it home, but mostly I resist because time and space are limited quantities. Plus I hear Dan’s voice in my head saying we don’t need that.

But projects like these are so satisfying to me. A project like this keeps something out of the landfill. It’s economical. It’s creative. Our one car garage is available as a workshop as our Expedition doesn’t fit in there anyway. But again, what would I do with the stuff? We really don’t need any more furniture. The hourly rate I’d make from selling it – even if it would sell – is well below minimum wage. Still I feel it. I want to rescue the trash.

This Trash to Treasure category includes some things that we already own that just need to be refurbished. For example, there’s a bench on our front porch right now which needs to be sanded and re-stained. There’s a teak table on our side patio that needs attention, too. I don’t just throw something out if I can make it new again.

The Flowers and Food entries I can handle. I plant flowers around our house during the Spring and Summer seasons. I water with my rain barrel water. It doesn’t take a ton of time, and it makes our house look nice. Our yard is very small, so it’s just enough to satisfy my urge to garden and to add some charm to our home.

Napkin Holder
Still Used Everyday

The Food is easy, too. We have to eat, and we’ve been using the Air Fryer almost every day. It doesn’t take too much time to try a new recipe, and it’s fun. I use the KitchenAide at least once a month. I’d use it more, but the things I want to make have more calories than my clothes allow. So, life kind of schedules my KitchenAide time for me.

I guess Painting and Sewing fall last. I really enjoyed the Paint by Number project I did which was gifted to me by our neighbors. I’d enjoy another one, but it falls behind everything else I like. Right now, sewing is just as a repair on something when needed. But down the road, I do have a project in mind. . .

Basement floor painted in a diamond pattern.  The colors are purple and green.
I painted this basement floor.
The St. Louis Cardinal Bird on the Bat with four dots (the bases) in between.  This is a stencil painted on the wall.  There are two doors with a baseball fabric insert.  The door handles are baseballs.
Michael’s Room. I painted and decorated.
Stained glass panel of Mary holding baby Jesus.
I made eight of these.
Most were Christmas gifts.

There’s one more hobby to mention. Travel. Number one on my list is travel. And that beats or goes along with everything else. We’re going to travel as much as we can for as long as we can. And I always add – God willing. So, God willing, that is what we are going to do. Will there ever come a time when we don’t want to travel? Probably when we are really old. But that’ll be a while because I believe travel keeps ya young!

I don’t know how I am going to manage all these interests. I sure don’t want to give up any. What happens if I find another one? Oh no!! And most importantly, the loves in my life come first. So, I guess I will just take it a day at a time and make the most of each day as it comes. But wouldn’t an overall strategy or “concept” provide direction or focus? Should I make a list at the start of each new year?

I just don’t know. But I do know one thing. Later this week, that travel trailer, which I love so dearly, has a date with Dan and I. We’ll be heading down the road leaving everything else in the rear view window, and I couldn’t be happier about that!

A highchair painted with several colors.  Kermit the Frog is sitting in it.
Painted this chair
for Michael’s high school auction.

53 comments

  1. What a great read, Betty! As I was learning about your many interests, I found myself taking an honest inventory of my own, and I was surprised at how many there are – several similar to yours. You’re very talented and artistic and I love that you find a way to repurpose/refurbish pieces that may otherwise end up in the landfill. I also love that if you don’t have space for the pieces you’ve done, you either gift or donate them. I feel the same way about selling any of my projects. Having been paid an hourly wage my entire working life, I could never put a price tag on anything I make. I guess I should say that once, several years ago, I found an extremely profitable thing to make for a fad that lasted about three years. I’ll keep you in suspense, as it might make a good blog post after we get home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terry, thank you for your kind comment. You are always so kind. Even though we’ve never met, I feel as though you are a friend. You’re always so positive and encouraging – always a cheerleader for me. I hope I am for you, too. I admire your passion and talent for photography, and I’m not surprised you have quite a number of other interests, too. I’d be interested to read that blog post about some craft that was a hot fad for a while. I like that our blogs can capture those special times from the present but also our past. Hope you have a good rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel as though we’ve developed a friendship too, Betty. You’re always so encouraging to me as well. It’s funny how, through social media, etc, we get to know people we’ve never met. Maybe someday our paths will cross. I’ve met in person a few people I got to know over the years through long term internet interactions. Every one of them was exactly as I envisioned them to be and every one is a dear friend to this day. Happy Monday!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, that is a lot of creativity going on! The stained glass is beautiful, and I admire your floor painting and other decorative tricks. Right now, my hobby is clearing out decades of things I have kept and know I will never need, want, or use–mostly paper that goes in the recycle bin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, all that creativity was over many years! I was hoping that came across in the post. You have inspired me to take care of the things I already have – in one way or another – before starting something new. That is probably the best road map I can have right now for dealing with all my interests. Good for you for working on clearing out decades of stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well well Betty, I can’t believe it, you are soooooooo talented. This is incredible. I thought I have many hobbies, many things I like to do, but you definitely beat me to it. Go for what you like to do and just enjoy!
    You are amazing with all the hand crafts, I admire you! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely admire you as well. Your photographs are absolutely beautiful. And I seem to remember you have some musical talent. That is a very special gift. I took piano lessons for a couple of years in high school, but it was a struggle! Thank you for your kind and cheerful encouragement, and I hope you have a great rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you, I have many hobbies and interests! I’m never short of things to do and I know that I’ll never get to all the new things that I would like to try! I’m sure you agree that having the time and energy to stay engaged with life through pursuits we love is a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you are a thousand percent correct! Having the time and energy to stay engaged with life through our interests is most definitely a blessing. I am not surprised at all that you are never short of things to do and want to try many new things. I thank God every day for my blessings, and I pray I use them to bless others. Hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is wonderful to have so many different interests to keep both the mind and body active. I am sure your gut instincts, or intuition, will help you negotiate the priorities in your life. Personally, I don’t get people who complain that there is “nothing to do”. Go rollover, already…..
    Enjoy your travel: looking forward to hearing all about it🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is wonderful to have lots of interests. I think my gut will guide me, too. We are looking forward to our travels. I appreciate that you said you are looking forward to hearing all about it. That encourages me. Guess I can’t give up blogging. 😉 Hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You and I share interests of reading, writing, walking, and travel. Like you, I also have a long list of other hobbies that I enjoy, and there aren’t enough hours in a day for me either. I can’t imagine not having a lot of different interests! I love your stained glass and you are very talented with all the various creations you’ve posted to the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The four you mention: reading, writing, walking and travel – are my favorites. Thank you for the compliments. Through the years as I made something, I took a picture of it. That way, even if I gave it away, I’d still be able to remember it. I’m glad to follow your blog. I love to travel, and I enjoy reading about your travels and getting to know you post by post. 🙂 Have a good rest of the week!

      Like

  7. I had this problem once and it solved itself. Now I have many interests but only a few hobbies. I have tried certain things, have not finished numerous projects due to either lack of talent or fading interest, and moved on.
    At one point in my life I had too much of everything. Too many friends, too much food in the fridge, too much clutter. Downsizing everywhere helped.

    I have trouble choosing if you give me too much to chose from. It’s like a buffet place when I eat three plates, because it would be a waste if I don’t. 🙂
    Yes, I would make a difference between interests and real hobbies.
    Write a project list or a miniature bucket list with things you always wanted to try (and/or do) and go after it. Every month one or every other months.

    You have multiple talents. They all require time. 🙂 Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • An interesting thought to distinguish between interests and hobbies. Also interesting thoughts about downsizing. I think downsizing gets rid of the clutter leaving that which a person wants to focus on. I’ve also thought about the distinction between activities and creating something. I want to be selective when I make more “stuff.” I like focus. I like to be organized. I don’t like clutter. I like your idea to write a miniature (ha ha) bucket list and go from there. And you are right. Everything requires time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think all ‘stuff’ we make needs a purpose or a home. Either create something for yourself or others. Keep it, give it away, or sell it.

        I would love to try everything, which is a tall order and a bit overwhelming. When I sat down and made a list, I was surprised I only wanted to try four things. Mosaics, pottery and painting and working with glass shards.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed reading about your many interests. We have several in common. My artistic creativity seems to begin and end with photography. You have a very artistic ability. I love the many things you have created. Looking forward to your next travel adventure turn in your trailer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I take pictures with my phone camera, but mostly I just want to capture family memories or have something for my blog posts. You take excellent photos! I know we both enjoy traveling. It seems you just get home and then are going again! Good for you! I’m looking forward to our next travel adventure, too. It’s been 5 months since we winterized our travel trailer! Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The majority of my pictures, recently, have been taken with my phone camera. I want to get back to using my camera, though. It is expensive and just sitting there…doesn’t seem right 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel your pain. I’ve recently retired and jumped right into all the things I’ve always wanted to do. At this point however, I need to prioritise so that I remain satisfied and fulfilled. Enjoy your upcoming trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Diane! I took a class to learn stained glass. I have always thought it to be very beautiful. Just so you know, and I think you do, in the “food” category, I rely on your website for lots of new things to try! I didn’t always want to be a good cook, but I have always wanted to eat good! Hope you have a good rest of the week!

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  10. So many fun things and so little time! I have to be very careful not to overbook our family calendar. We have so many fun projects and activities on our to do list! I need to follow your example, take stock and prioritize!
    I love your stained glass… makes me want to add another thing to my list! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s good to have lots of interests. And it’s great to have fun projects and activities with your family. Your kids only grow up once. Stained glass will always be there. Have a great Spring!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a wonderful and informative blog. You do have a lot on your plate. So many wonderful things to occupy your time and keep you going. You definitely will never “rust in place”. Rather, I suspect that when you finally come to the end you will be seen sliding into home plate, rumbled hair, out of wind, and exclaiming “what a ride it has been”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I hope that will be a long, long time from now! Life is precious and meant to be lived. Like you say, “Cherish each day that God gives you and live it to the fullest.” Enjoy your day today!

      Like

  12. I can relate to your post! I never understand when people are bored or say they do not know what they will do when they are retired. I am glad I can bring some of my projects with us in our RV. Pickleball is very popular at the RV resort but we have only played once. You are right that your creative projects and other activities are keeping you young!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I don’t understand people being bored either. Enthusiasm is contagious though, so hopefully at least some of them can catch some. I bring a few things along in our travel trailer, but keeping up with my blogging takes up most of my time when we aren’t doing other things. Have a great day today!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, Betty you really do have a lot of interests! I guess I should list mine out but I don’t think it would exceed yours. I for one love building doll houses and during the pandemic when our travel has been so limited, I have built three. I am very impressed with your eye to see the potential in someone else’s give away. I look forward to reading about which interest draws you next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David. I know you have many interests, too. And I really admire your dollhouses. They are just so professionally done. It’s nice that we bloggers share our interests. I learn from many, including you. Hope you have a great rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Betty, it seems that you are a very ambitious woman. It’s a shame that time limits what we can do in life. I do hope that you can check of many, if not all, of those desired hobbies. I love the painted floor by the way. Great Post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! At my age, energy is also a limiting factor. But our attitude is determined by where we place our focus. I liked that painted floor, too. I did it years ago, and it was inspired by a show on PBS. The show had Debbie Travis, and it featured all kinds of decorative painting. I have her three books. Hope you have a great weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Although the items of things I want to do is as long as yours, they are quite different. I even scheduled time in my calendar to work on them an hour here and there. Sadly, three of my I-want -to-do-this items haven’t risen to the top yet. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You have so many wonderful hobbies! Good for you. That’s what makes life interesting and keeps us young and happy. There’s no time for boredom, self pity or loneliness when we stay happy and occupied. I have noticed that many of us retirees seem to get down in the dumps. You are certainly fortunate you still have your husband. But one of the reasons I’ve been able to stay positive as a widow, and now going through cancer treatment, is because I have a plethora of interests to keep me busy. I have to say I can always find something to do. But, I’m really impressed with all your hobbies! Wowza! Way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It’s wonderful you have been able to stay positive. I really enjoyed reading your post about your birthday. It looks like you have a lot of love in your life, and that is a blessing. I am blessed to have my husband, but full disclosure – it’s my second marriage. The first guy is still alive but with someone else. Writing about all my hobbies helped me to clarify a bit how I want to spend my time. Thanks again for your comment, and enjoy your day!

      Like

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