Autumn Sunday

The boys are at their dad’s this weekend and I’ve been reading and scrapbooking.  Once again I’m putting together a scrapbook for Surfer Ty’s birthday (his birthday was October 6th but as I didn’t see him I procrastinated putting it together).   Scrapbooking is a lot of work and yet the end result is always great, even when imperfect.  Maybe because it’s homemade.  Maybe because it’s a labor of love.  No matter.  Ty says it’s always his favorite present and so I make one for him every year.  This is his fourth.  

I haven’t made a scrapbook for the kids in years though.  I keep ordering the photos to do it but its overwhelming.  I take a lot of photos in a year, and we do a lot of wonderful things.  If I gave up writing I’d be able to scrapbook full time.  Or if I gave up reading I could scrapbook for an hour every night before bed…not that it’d be all that relaxing.

There were a lot of things I did before I published.  I gardened.  I cooked.  I entertained.  But I don’t have time for most hobbies anymore.  I actually have time for very little beyond kids, writing and Ty.  I do see friends when I can, but that tends to be hit or miss, based on writing deadlines, based on energy, based on creativity. 

Is there anything you’ve given up you wished you hadn’t?  Or is there something you’d like to try, that you haven’t yet?  I can’t think of any new hobbies I’d try, but I’d sure love to entertain again.  Maybe by December I’ll feel like me again and I can throw a  holiday party for family and friends.


  1. I, too, would love to scrapbook but just never do. I have all the stuff and pictures but just never sit down to do it…I always find something else like crocheting or reading. You sound so much better than last week! Hope you are doing well and enjoy your time with Surfer Ty!!

  2. I have given up the game of golf. Well, I have put it on the back burner. My partner Derek and I used to golf together every weekend. In fact, I got him into golf 11 years ago. Our vacations have always revolved around golfing 6 days in a row. I lived to golf and loved it. Then, we move to NC, bought a house on a golf course and I never play! Go figure. Actually my game went down the tubes and I became embarrassed to play. I keep telling myself I need to take some lessons and get back out there, but there never seems to be enough time. I have a full time job and what I really would like to do is write so time on the golf course just doesn’t fit into the equation.
    Jill W.

  3. Embroidery. I used to do this on a semi-professional basis as a sample stitcher for a professional designer. But it takes so much time to complete a design that I don’t have to spare anymore. Plus my eyes just aren’t good enough for working on fine linen that requires anywhere up to 400+ stitches per inch. (Yup, really, that many.) Not to mention that framing those suckers costs a minimum of $200 a shot and I’ve got almost 20 stored away waiting to be displayed.

  4. TIME.

    I miss that carefree feeling of having TIME to do things. That blissfulness of knowing I can sleep in late on weekends; of browsing in shops; taking in a movie; lunching with friends. Sometimes I feel trapped by the constant schedule that is my life – the M-F 8 hour day job at the law firm, and the 2+ hours every night, and 4+ hours every Saturday/Sunday that consumes my writing life. But this is the only way I know how to make sure the books get written, in order to quiet the voices in my head.

    And feel at peace.

    Come to think of it, maybe it’s a good trade-off, after all.


  5. I used to crochet but I did it when I wasn’t working and so I was active all day and used to do it in the evenings when I watched tv (or I should say when my husband watched sports) and I could be there with him but doing something I enjoyed.
    Now that I work and am sitting at a desk most of the day I can’t stand (pun intended) to plant my butt in a chair and sit for a couple of hours counting stitches. Instead, I try to exercise at least an hour a day (easier when it is still light after work – daylight time is ending, boo hoo!) and then I need to read the newspaper and my current book(s) so no more crocheting for me. If/when I retire and have grandchildren, then I hope to have the time to do it again because it was so satisfying to make something with my own hands (but I bet I will need bifocals to see the instructions and what I am doing by then).

  6. I was a singer. I gave it up when I had kids. Rehearsing takes so much time and there was no way (for me) to work it into the schedule. Maybe someday I’ll sing again.

    For now, I’ve re-invented myself and feel so empowered that I can do what I love and be home to raise my kids.

  7. It seems as we get older we give up a lot. The morning news does this question of the day thing and the other day they said a child laughs 400 times a day but asked how often adults laugh in a day. It was 15 times a day that adults laugh! Fifteen! We get too busy and don’t do the things we enjoy anymore – or the things we aspire to do. Well, in an act of rebellion to that, I registered to run in my first marathon in March – which is hysterical when you think about it. lol

    I think it’s important to take time for yourself from time to time. It’s not being selfish or self-involved – you need to do it.

    Oh, but a good while ago, I bought a bunch of scrapbooking stuff but haven’t done anything with it yet. Reading your post made me want to get it all out and work with it.

    I also decided to go back to school last spring. It takes a lot of time (and cuts into my social life) but it’s something for me and I think it’s worth it.

    But here’s hoping you get back to your old self soon. *hugs*

  8. I used to scrapbook a lot, but that was when I used 35 mm film. I’m not very computer savvy and it is hard for me to upload/download pictures, so they just stay in the camera. I really need to get back to it though, because I have about 3 years worth of pictures!

  9. I’m with you on the scrapbooking. I just don’t have the time to sit down and do it. I used to love doing it at night before I went to bed, but I now I just want to relax and I am to too tired to be creative!

  10. I used to love drawing but I gave it up after my father died. I didn’t do it on purpose. I just sort of lost interest. Lately, I’ve been thinking about giving it a try again.

  11. When I got serious about my writing, one of the things that suffered was my painting. I still kept all my supplies out and within easy reach, but the time I took to actually use them became less and less. After I became published, I pretty much gave it up. My family was so disappointed that I bought paints and a portable easel for my 14-year old daughter, and we spent a day in nature, painting. It was a wonderful experience and I’d forgotten how much I love to paint. And the amazing thing? My daughter loves it, too, and actually shows a lot of promise!
    Good luck with your scrapbooking; that’s a talent I’d love to develop. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in scrapbooking supplies, but sadly I don’t have the creative knack for it.

  12. I used to love to scrapbook put it is time consuming although the end result is great. Now that two of my girls are old enough to scrapbook (5 & 8), we do small pages together. I bought them little brag picture albums 4 x 6 and I cut down the large 12 x 12 pretty papers and we do mini pages. That way we can get 3 done each in an hour and the girls have mini scrapbooks to fill up. It’s fun and I’m grateful for that girl time we have together. I used to paint and I miss it but the littlest one (19mo.)is too helpful when it comes to tubes of paint and the oil etc. So until she is bigger I’ve put that on hold but I miss it.

  13. Have you tried creating a photobook with There are a bunch of different websites that you can use, this is one that I find very easy to use. It’s not as much fun as scrapbooking, but I have personally done 1 and a half scrapbook pages since my 2nd boy was born…and at least this gets your great memories off the computer and into a book. Quick and painless, and I think the quality is very good.

  14. Hey Jane if you ever need any help with your scrapbooks just let me know. I create Custom Scrapbooks for people who don’t have the time. It’s something I really enjoy & each page is uniquely designed! Take care!

  15. It a big fat tradeoff for me. I WISH I could do more. If I write, I don’t get much else done. If I do other things, my writing suffers and I’m not producing. But if I could . . . I wouldn’t mind painting again. I did that before life got so busy with kids, family, etc. And I want to plant bulbs again and watch them come up during the year. I’m long overdue for scrapbooking. My pictures are everywhere. I’d do lots of things. But I guess that’s part of the attempt to balance, only I need five of me to do it all.

    Jane, you always get us thinking!!!

    Good luck on your scrapbook! I’m sure it’ll be great! And the homemade thing is true–taking the time to do that is very special. Have fun!

  16. I haven’t painted like I used to since my mom died in 2005. It was something that we did together, and my joy for it diminished after she was gone. I still have my painting supplies, but the desire to do anything about it is just not there.

    I know that someday I’ll paint again, but other things take priority now with the kids and school and Jeremy. Sometimes that just happens, and sometimes we just need to take some time away from things we used to do to learn new things (with me it’s jewelry making) and then go back to things we used to do.

  17. I wish I could learn to knit and scrapbook and learn another language … or two or three.

    I also wish I took the time to draw like I used to.

  18. Ah, hobbies. I knew you well, once.

    I’ve recently learned to knit (I’m taking a class with son), but really don’t have time. I’m setting up scrapbook templates so I can at least get the memories down, digitally, in some organized format.

    But writing takes precedence over all hobbies.

  19. Giving up? Hmmm…I have given up on so many things and I am beginning to think I did it for silly reasons. I gave up piano, because I got pregnant (my first time). Why? I sometimes try and figure out what was going on in my mind that time! Then I gave up tap dancing, because I got pregnant (the second time). Why? Can’t believe I did that, because I love it so much. I give up everything I start it seems. When I finally accomplish something I am filled with so much of a wonderful feeling that I can’t describe. Now, why wouldn’t I want that to continue?! Can anyone explain that? I don’t want to be 82 years old someday (like Clores Leachman) and begin dancing. I want to start again in my 40’s…but I’m afraid I won’t follow through. Anyone one know the answer to that one?!!!

  20. I had given up writing and drawing when my kids were little. Now that they are older, I make cards (because scrapbooking is so labor intense) I can get 5 cards done in an hour. I recently took up quilting again. It had been 10 years since I had sewn anything. Of course, this quilt is suppose to be really easy and you can do it in a matter of a couple of days. It took me 2 months but, hey, I got it done! With activities and volunteering and the demands of running a house, I rarely get time to work on it. I think that I just don’t have time for things that are too labor intensive and if I break things down to something I can manage, that it will get done and I can relish in being creative again.

  21. Jane! I’ve only just caught up on the news of your pregnancy and I’m sending you gentle hugs and warmest congratulations from New Zealand.

    Hmm, a few things I used to do before publishing were work for someone else in their office (don’t miss that! LOL!) floral design and cross stitch. Seems one way or another I’ve always had to create something at any time in my life and the cross stitch worked out well in the years we didn’t have much money to spare for gifts at Christmas time etc., as I’d do personalised borders for handtowels and give the completed handtowels as gifts. I doubt I’d have the patience to do cross stitch now, although I do have a European castle that needs finishing, and as for floral design…well, maybe one day. Right now I’m so busy with deadlines and contracts, and so blissfully happy about that, that the other things are in abeyance. Must be working with a man brain. One thing at a time, LOL!

  22. I love to scrapbook but don’t do it as often as I’d like. I have so many little kids here every day that setting up my tools is very temporary. I can’t leave my stuff out.

    Something I gave up that I wish I hadn’t is quilting. I can still take it back up, and I need to so I can finish the quilt I started but I have so many other things going on. It’s hard to find the time.

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