The Sock Animals That Saved My Life

a column about love

When my first husband very resolutely told me that he no longer loved me & started voicing his more-determined-than-ever desire to end our marriage, it was a very strange time in our household!  I knew this time it was different than I'd ever seen before.  I knew it really, really was coming to an end this time and at that point, there really was nothing I could possibly do to stop it.  But in those last few months when he was figuring out how and when to end it, somehow our previous lifestyle pretty much continued.  He'd meet me at the train after work and we'd go for burgers, we'd explore our neighborhood, spend time with friends, spend time together at home, laugh, and enjoy conversation and music, etc.  So much of these last few months appeared very much normal.  I think it was due to his sense of relief at knowing he was freeing himself of a situation he didn't want to be in, and also due to my desire to no longer react to his behavior (I had just learned that tidbit in the year prior).  And, we were still best friends.  But, despite all that, it was still a very sad time because we were no longer meeting up for dinner as husband and wife, but as two people whose lives were on the brink of parting ways. And so . . . I started making sock animals---tons & tons of them.  Every night after work I'd come home and he'd be on the computer and I'd start sewing my little heart out on the couch, so my mind could be focused on something other than this man who was about to leave me.  Those sock animals saved my life during that time.  You can't be upset about anything when you're making a sock animal by hand.  Well, the knots and threads and broken needles and raw finger tips might make you want to cuss; but you really can't be moping about anything else while you're trying to figure out what the cute little bugger's face is going to look like.  So I made 'em.  And I put a lot of heart and soul into them.  And they got me through nearly an entire summer of living under the same roof with my husband who was making plans to leave.  At the end of the summer, I had already given away plenty of animals, but also had a bundle of 10 of them for my sweet nieces and nephews who I was going to see at my parents' 40th Wedding Anniversary out west.  My husband was supposed to be on that plane with me.  But instead, I was on a plane with 10 little animals sobbing---with tears and snot just pouring out of my face---as I had just said goodbye to him at the curb for the very last time.  He soon was on a plane to Australia, never to return to New York.  Without a doubt, giving those animals to my nieces and nephews and feeling some joy by doing so, was one of the greatest blessings of my life.

If I can pass on any advice to you today, it is to find a little hobby, especially if your life is difficult right now for any reason.  I am telling you, a hobby will ease the burden and give your heart and mind a rest.  And, it will be fun.  (Yes, even if there isn't much good going on your life, you can still feel some enjoyment.)

Do you have any hobbies that you love that help to ease your burdens or stress?  I'd love to hear.  And I'm sure I'll be adding them to my fantasy list of hobbies  :)