Thursday, November 17, 2011
the art of happiness
A few months ago I was sitting with a friend at book club. We both attend with our daughters. Part of the activities of the evening were to practice sketching. We had read The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The book is filled with gorgeous pencil illustrations. Our hosts handed each of us sketch pads and pencils and invited us to take a page from the book and sketch. I thought it would be fun...but I really liked it. Joyce was sitting next to me and we were having so much fun! She suggested we take an art class. I would love to do that....but I already take guitar lessons...I can't have more lessons than my children. :)
A few weeks ago Joyce called. She found a class. She was excited. I was too. I knew she would be fun to learn with. I could find out if I could paint or draw. It would be a new creative outlet outside of photography. But I was undecided. Do I have time for another hobby or interest? Would I be any good? Should I be spending the money? Is it selfish??? I remained undecided.
Yesterday as I was reading the The Happiness Project a particular idea caught my attention. As part of a year long happiness project she focused one of her months on "being serious about play." She struggled even knowing what was genuinely fun for her. As I read her goals I struggled to know what I myself thought was fun---outside of what "should be fun" or what my friends do for fun. Her friend posed this question to her, "What did you like to do when you were a child? What you enjoyed as a ten-year-old is probably something you'd enjoy now."
What was fun for you when you were ten? Do you remember? Are you still doing it?
The three things that stood out in my mind (outside of imaginative play like school, house, etc...) exploring the neighborhood (wherever it was at the time), art and writing. I wrote a lot in blank books, mostly fiction. I loved to draw. I am not sure why I stopped doing any of those things. Maybe I thought they were less legitimate than other things I could spend my time doing. My mind immediately traveled back to the evening Ellie and I spent sketching in our friend's back yard, moms and daughters. I really enjoyed it. I thought of the class Joyce mentioned. I called today.
images: left found here/ right my image taken 01.01.11