Hobbies I engaged in as a young girl and later abandoned as the rigors of work, marriage and motherhood kicked in, are making a comeback in my life.
Years ago, I collected stamps and covered my dresser in porcelain dolls, and I played clarinet and piano in school. Unfortunately my clarinet, on which I once played classical and show tunes in middle school concert band, was lost during a move.
My stamps and porcelain dolls have been tucked away on a high shelf in my closet. But a few days ago, I pulled out the dusty boxes, gently lifting out my collectible dolls, admiring a particular antique doll I won in a raffle about 35 years ago. My stamp collection, though largely unorganized, is filled with history ranging from a four-cent Girls’ Camp Fire stamp and a 1960 California Winter Olympics stamp to a 1981 commemorative stamp of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. I thumbed through them and remembered how engaging they were to me as a teen.
Maybe that is why I have started practicing the piano again. Nostalgia is priceless and therapeutic.
While I am rusty, I can find the chords for “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and a few other nursery rhymes. Well, it’s a start.
When I stumble on the piano keys, I feel more determined to continue to find the right notes. That sense of challenge and learning has wooed me back to the piano, even after a long day of work and helping my children finish their homework.
There is evidence that engaging in hobbies can bring adults a sense of newfound creativity on the job and produce a better job performance. A San Francisco State University survey of 341 people has shown creative activities help people recuperate from the demands of a job.
And when it comes to music, a Northwestern University study found that in addition to helping people deal with emotional trauma, it can slow down the aging process by improving memory. Playing music can help people remember information easier and overcome memory lapses, the study showed.
While my busy life won’t be easing anytime soon, it’s nice to know I can still revisit some of the hobbies I once loved and find that those feelings are still there.
Chante Dionne Warren is a freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.