Following on from a question that the PIP (Personal Independence Payments, which is a UK government benefit) assessor asked me the other day about did I have any hobbies and interests. My first thought was “yes, loads!” but you see he also asked me if I enjoy them regularly……yeah, there lies the stumbling block for me and countless others with PDA I’m sure. Yes I do have a lot of hobbies and interests but I’m not able to enjoy them on a regular basis like other people can. So, with this in mind, my answer to him was a simple and rather depressing “no”. Mostly my days are filled with scrolling through Facebook/admin, iPad games involving candy and watching huge amounts of television. Not groundbreaking stuff either – Diagnosis Murder, Judge Judy, Neighbours and Game Shows feature heavily! You see I’m always in either preparation or recovery mode and for that I need to watch television. It’s not just about whiling away the hours without having to use my brain – it’s also about being surrounded by the familiar, where the unknown isn’t a thing. My other hobbies, like crafting, involve too much stimulus for preparation and recovery. They excite me too much. I need to be in a low stimulus environment to properly go through those processes. I’d not connected those dots until I started this blog so I’m in the midst of my own mini lightbulb moment! I love it when that happens! Yes I’d always known what I needed and that crafting wasn’t something that I could enjoy all the time but I’d always put that down solely to demand avoidance because I love crafting so much. Yes that is part of it but I also think I’ve stumbled onto something quite interesting. Think of my preparation and recovery times as very extended time-outs or naps (without the sleeping element). You can’t “nap” if the world around you is too busy and exciting – you have to remove the excitement before you can “nap”. It’s really quite simple when put like this. So this is partly why I cannot craft as often as I like, which let’s face it would be all day every day! Not being able to craft very often doesn’t stop me having a lovely little room set up just for that purpose and nor does it stop me buying new things to use or my brain filling up with idea after idea. It actually gets to the point where I have to put other things on hold that normally take up my energy and time and then force myself into the craft room! I know! Sounds crazy when you consider how much I enjoy it! I’m getting to that forcing myself place again. It’s been a good couple of months since I was in there and the ideas and new stuff is piling up! Once I’m in there I’m okay and then it’s hard to get me out! I have to pick the time wisely though so as to make sure it’s not when something big is coming up because I literally have to stop everything else to craft. No Facebook/admin, no socialising and no commitments outside of the home. So you see I couldn’t craft every day from a practical aspect too. No one can live their life closed off completely, even though we might want to at times! Crafting seems to need all of my attention or absolutely none at all. There seems to be no middle ground at all. I’ve tried over the years to find a balance but it just doesn’t work. Maybe one day!
The photos are just some of my recent purchases, including my new hobby of crocheting which I’ve never even done before!
So Paul and I are going to go into the hole that is the craft room to tidy and clean tomorrow! You see that’s the other snag – it’s such a mess! I’m such a messy crafter and I don’t tidy as I go or even at the end of each day – I just let it pile up and up until I actually can’t craft in there anymore! My crafty friends will recoil at that! I struggle with demand avoidance to keep it tidy and then demand avoidance to tidy when it gets out of hand but if I’m to get all these ideas out of my head and turned into something tangible then I have no choice! Paul can’t do it for me because in fairness he wouldn’t know where anything goes and then I wouldn’t be able to find anything. The struggle is real!
So……watch this space! Will I make it into the craft room tomorrow to tidy? Will I craft anything? Or will I just have yet another sofa day? Let’s not forget that even just thinking “I must” or “I want to” makes something a demand￼, let alone writing a blog about it! Fingers and toes crossed please!