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The Joys Of A Hobby: Brightening The Lockdown Gloom

I am a lover of to-do lists. Not the helpful, productive kind that you can tick off at the end of a day and be content in the knowledge you have achieved what you set out to do. Oh no, being the self-saboteur that I am, I adore a list of unachievable (often frankly absurd) dreams and goals, with the expectation that these should be achieved by the stroke of 6 o'clock that very same evening.


This trait has manifested itself particularly pertinently throughout these reoccurring lockdowns. First there was the goal to learn Spanish, followed closely by a foray into learning the not-so-similar French. I have done coding courses, countless marketing courses, business management and psychology courses, heck at one point I wanted to become a PT so started looking into, yep you guessed it, more (extremely overpriced) courses.


Also on the list was to master the art of cookery, probably with the view of becoming a professional chef (I have managed to achieve becoming 95% vegan which I consider to be a big win). Then there was this blog, which again I don't consider an astronomical failure for the simple fact that it is up and running and you, dear reader, have got this far.


Even now I have darted all around the houses to end up at this point: the fact that in amongst working full time, trying to uphold some semblance of a personal life AND attempt some form of self-care in the name of preserving any sanity I had left, these long lists of things to achieve were futile. They were an exercise in piling on undue pressure and adding large swathes of anxiety that I had failed at a time when anxiety levels were already bloody high enough to begin with.


Another to-do was to pursue photography. Something that has always interested me, with my interested piqued following the purchase of my first SLR camera; my baby that is the old-school Fujifilm XT100.


Biting the bullet, I splashed out a large chunk of my monthly wage on a photography course (quelle surprise!) with the London School of Photography and the result has not been an unmitigated disaster. Instead, I have found something that brings me joy; I look forward to getting behind the lens and snapping away, taking in my surroundings and capturing the faces of the people I hold dear.


What began as yet another bullet point on a very long list has become something I genuinely look forward to; being able to wander around, camera in hand capturing the moments that I am experiencing and living through.


Lockdown has been a lonely and often very difficult time - having something to focus my mind on and channel my energy into has been a very welcome tonic to the monotony.

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