Monday, August 15, 2011

Question of the Week: Got Any Hobbies?

My large container full of Summer vegetables

Chronic illness affects so many aspects of our lives.  Sadly, that includes all the fun ones too.

When I first became disabled, I thought Cool, I'll have more time for arts and crafts projects.  Boy, was I wrong.  With a chronic pain nexus in my neck, traveling down my arms and into my hands, doing anything for more than 15 to 20 minutes with my hands guarantees a flare-up.  Which means I have a lot of time on my hands, but hands won't cooperate to let me do anything with that time.

Boy was I bummed.

Luckily for me, I discovered container gardening a few years into my chronic pain journey thanks to a push from an occupational therapist.  The great thing about container gardening is that it lends itself to doing just a little bit each day.  Plus when I look outside the window into my backyard I experience an enormous sense of accomplishment gazing upon the fruits--and vegetables--of my labor.

Plus this is one hobby that actually helps with my diabetes management.  All those vegetables are an important part of my diet.  Right now I am rising to the challenge of trying to preserve a bummer crop of cucumbers and tomatoes, enjoy some right now and cooking or freezing the rest to eat in the Fall and Winter, however long they will last.

As you know, one of my other hobbies is blogging, made possible by Dragon Naturally Speaking software.  It allows me to dictate my posts and the program types them up for me.  It's a true hand saver!

In an effort to share my container gardening hobby, I launched a new blog devoted to it this past Saturday.  This new endeavor is called The Seated Gardener.  I plan to share my container gardening tips there, as well as pictures and notes about my harvests and the recipes and techniques I use to enjoy what I grow all year long.  Since I take the time to document my garden through photos and videos already, as well as search for recipes using its bounty, it seems like a natural extension to take those things and create blog content with them.

Who knows, maybe I'll inspire some other sick chicks along the way to try container gardening too...

With any new endeavor, I know that something will have to give in my current set of activities, but I am committed to keeping Oh My Aches and Pains! going.  I'm making so many meaningful connections and friendships with other ChronicBabes through this blog.  I cherish this so much.  OMA&P! has become part of my life, a very social and life-affirming part.  I'm not willing to let that go!

Which just goes to show that a good hobby goes a long way to helping one cope with chronic illness.

So let me ask you: how has chronic illness impacted your hobbies?  Have you given something up?  Have you discovered something new?  Are your searching for things you can do despite chronic illness?

Let me know your answer, either here in a comment or over on the OMA&P! Facebook page.

PS  Want to view my blog in a whole new way?  Click here to see something new.

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Sharon Stevens said...

Yes, my illness has put a damper on my doll design business. I have absolutely no desire to work it which is the first time I've been like this.
Hopefully this is just a temporary thing..going through alot of stressful life things the past 10 months and more to come.
My gardening didn't pan out this year. But i do love to grow my own food.

Pam said...

I was Going to be a Chef..Then I got Sick, Now Cooking is a Hobby and art is also!
XOXO God bless!

John Henry Goico said...

Ever had those days where you didn’t want to touch the Xbox or the PS3? Atv for rent