ME, Myself and I: Learning Something New

Sometimes it feels a bit like I get stuck in a rut, with ME and not having the energy to really go out much it does get a bit monotonous sometimes. I also tend to find that sometimes I just feel like doing something new, some way of making a bit of a change. There are only so many times you can change your wardrobe or move things around in a room though and I’ve found that learning new things is a great way to make a bit of a change.

I don’t mean do a course particularly, or learn something like a language or other more school like things, though if you want to do them then fine. I have been meaning to go back to German and French but I just find that retaining information isn’t all that great, at least short term though my long term memory is great which doesn’t really help when you have to remember a phrase you learned yesterday. I mean more along the lines of a hobby or a small skill that’s a part of a hobby. Things like learning how to do a certain thing in card making, embossing is something I’ve wanted to learn for a while, or trying a new hobby altogether and just doing it enough to learn how to get better at it to a level you want to. This way there’s no pressure from courses and deadlines and these days there are so many websites and YouTube videos on pretty much anything you can think of you can go into as much or as little depth as you want.

As recently my jewellery making hit a bit of a snag when the glue I was using turned out not to last as well as the old one I had before I had to find other ways of attaching things together to make thing designs I wanted and ended up stumbling across soldering. It’s something that I’ve known about and I even did a bit on welding and soldering back when I did my A level product design, about ten years ago now so not exactly fresh in my mind but still I have an idea on the basics. I’d also done a bit of soldering when I made a robot, probably around the same time, so I’ve done some more detailed bits and knew how to use a soldering iron. I had a bit of a go with a soldering iron dad has and some lead and decided that this might be something worth investing in and trying so today I finally made an order of all the bits you need for soldering silver for jewellery making.

For some reason I always plan these kinds of things, like working on something that people will see like a Christmas card design, or buying equipment to learn something (the embossing idea started years ago and never materialised) but get bogged down in all the details and learning about how to do things and it never gets beyond the planning stage. This time I’m definitely going ahead with it, having bought the things I kind of have to, and I’m actually quite excited about learning a new skill that is actually possibly transferable into everyday life, or rather maybe a professional context some time in the future. I may not get a qualification but I get a life skill.

 I think in the past as I’ve got so into the research part of it it becomes a bigger thing than it actually is. There is the financial side of it but a lot of hobbies or skills can be started without spending a lot. I’ve gone for the cheapest good quality soldering torch thing I could find that got recommended and it means that I’m not spending hundreds of pounds on something that might not get used all that much. I’d say if you’re starting out on a skill or hobby then go for the lower end of the market and it feels like less of a jump if you find yourself thinking about it too much. I’m always a bit worried about whether it would be a waste but I think learning new skills, whatever they are and no matter how much they will be used in the future, is a good thing as it keeps you doing things, stops the days from all blurring into one, something which seems to have happened quite a bit the past few months for me.

To be honest this blog pretty much started out as a hobby, a way to improve some of my skills and now it’s become a part of my everyday life. Even if I don’t post every day I think about posts, try to work on ideas and things like that. I do think it has definitely helped improve my writing, especially when it comes to reviews, as looking back on my first posts there are definitely things I’d do differently if I was writing them now. One thing I will definitely work on with blogging is getting back into the community a bit more. As I said before it’s become a bit of a blur the past few months with family health problems, fun new side effects from medication and just generally not having much of a timetable so time just sort of goes without you realising, or at least for me. I know I’m not the most social person and I really need to get more posting on twitter and trying to promote this blog and see if I can actually make it into something but at the moment it’s staying as one of my hobbies, something to work on and improve my writing and photography (not sure how well that’s working but I’m trying new things with it anyway).

Basically, this post got a bit off topic in a way, but the main reason for posting it was to say that if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, like the days are all blurring into one then finding something to work on, whether it’s something like learning a skill, working on relearning and existing one or doing something that does that in a roundabout way like this blog has for me, is a good idea. It can be doing ten minutes every few days if it’s too much energy and things like learning to make cards or how to take a photograph of the plant on your windowsill in different ways or different settings can all be fun and interesting even if you don’t have the energy to leave your room.

I remember doing project 365 a few times when that came out and half of my photos were different ways of taking photos of things I found in my home as I didn’t have the energy to go out and take photos of amazing events and landscapes every day like some people seemed to. I’ve been thinking of doing a different project 365 in getting a diary with a page a day and writing or drawing or sticking in photos I take every day, just have something to add to each day and see how I improve in whatever it is I try.

I think that’s one of the things that makes learning, or trying, something new feel so good, seeing how much you’ve improved since the beginning and having a tangible way of knowing it. Whether that’s knowing how to ask for something in a certain language or seeing how your cards look two months later compared to the first try. I know that my health is improving, slowly but it has improved since this time three or four years ago, but it’s very hard to see it myself even if others can. I just find that having something that I’m working on that has visible results makes me feel like I’m achieving something even if I don’t have the normal achievements someone my age would be aiming for.

I think this turned a bit more rambly than I meant it to. I realise I haven’t really done a ME Myself and I type post for a while and I couldn’t really think of much to write about that I hadn’t already covered but I have a few ideas now so I might start doing more again. Maybe I’ll post a bit about the soldering, see how I get on with that as I’ve been saying about changing the Wednesday post into a general blogging post.

I hope you’re all as well as possible and enjoying the end of summer.

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