For a long time after I had kids, I put all my time, thought, emotion, and energy into them, and was happy to do it. But I eventually realized that left very little for my husband or myself.
Since then, I strive to keep more balance in my life. I started exercising and lost 40 pounds. I read. I ride and train my horse. I’ve taken up photography. I keep a daily journal of our family. And at the ripe old age of 39 I started training for my first triathlon!
Not only have these hobbies enhanced my life, but they’ve made me a better mom and wife. Hobbies help fill my emotional and mental ‘cup’, which I’m then happy to share with my family and community (through service). Allowing myself time to recharge gives me the energy to keep giving to those around me. It’s kind of like putting on your own oxygen mask (on an airplane) before helping someone else! You can’t keep giving when you’ve got nothing left in you.
My newly acquired hobby – within the last year, is becoming a puppy raiser/pet sitter for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. You may not be aware but the first 18 months of a Guiding Eyes prospective guide dog, is spent with a family that raises, loves and teaches them using the guiding eyes STEP method of training. Pet sitters are just as important to the program as the puppy raisers in order to follow the consistency of the care and learning process. After about 18 months, the dogs are then are sent to guide dog “college” (if they have passed the first level) in Yorktown Heights, NY. Many people ask how one can stand loving and tending to a puppy, only to have to give it up. For me it is not unlike raising a son, and then sending him off to contribute to society. And what other hobby gives back with “licks of love”.
Golf is like life. It teaches you to be organized, one club out at a time, put it back in your bag so you can find it when needed. Keep your own score, why would you cheat against yourself? Fix your ball marks and divots plus two others, always leave a golf course in better condition than when you got there, just like our world. Be respectful of other people’s time, don’t make people behind you wait. If you can’t keep up with the group ahead of you, kindly let the faster players behind you pass. Like on the freeway, don’t be that jerk who gets in the fast lane going slow texting, tweeting, or talking on the phone, or on the course either!!