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  • Writer's pictureClarissa Tapia

Work with your hands, you know you want to ;)

Working in my dad's shop!

Can you remember the last time you used your hands for something other than typing on your electronics? Ok, maybe that was a bit dramatic... but in all honesty, in a world as fast paced as the one we live in (Hello Christmas Decorations at Hobby Lobby in August!!) it probably doesn't come as a surprise that as we get older, we stop using our hands to create fun things like making food from scratch or homemade birthday cards. I can almost see the eye rolls from people saying, "where am I supposed to find the time to add that into my schedule?!" I get it, believe me, I do, but I hope you hear me out anyway.

I recently read a book called "If you're in my office, it's already too late" by James J. Sexton Esq. and there's a chapter in there titled: "Tight Grips and Loose Arms" - one of the more subtly titled chapters in the book. This particular chapter stood out for me because it talks about the importance of taking time to do things you love to do even while and especially in the midst of a relationship or marriage. The message of the chapter is clear: "Make time for yourself. Don't lose your identity in your marriage or in becoming a parent." Sexton continues: "...We do need to change in a long-term relationship. We do so willingly; ideally, we do so enthusiastically. We give up sleeping with other people. We start to share our living space and our daily routine. Our perspective becomes more long-term and we start to think about developing the 'we' instead of just walking the path solo." This 'we' however, sometime ends up muddling things up to the point where we think parts of us that make us happy have to die in order for the relationship or marriage to survive. Sexton argues that while most people are quick to blame the relationship or marriage for stifling the things that bring them joy - how much of it, in reality, is a prison of our own making? Bottom line: By staying interested in things outside your life with your partner, you stay interesting to your significant other. In fact, you stay interesting to yourself, which makes you that much more exciting to be around. What happens when you want to make your partner your everything? That's easy: Eventually, things will be predictable, routine and likely boring. In sum, Sexton writes, "If you never fully allow yourself to unplug from being married, you never fully recharge. If you don't step away from the 'we' to reconnect to the 'me,' you eventually find yourself far from shore (sometimes too far to get home) and lose both."

I don't think it's a coincidence that when we are single we suddenly go back to doing the things we love. The things that make us who we are. For me it was writing. Why did it take me so long to start writing, when clearly I am fully of words just waiting to pour out of me! Unfortunately, I think I was in the above mentioned category where I was so preoccupied with the relationship, I didn't make time do more of what I loved. The last couple of months, I've not only reconnected with my internal writer, I have also rekindled my love for photography, learned to cook (that's a big one for me!) and found that I have the makings of a future green thumb in gardening. I've learned more about myself in the last six months than I have in a very long time. I realized I can stand on my own. I am also a lot more creative that I give myself credit for. I also know I am one of the most interesting people you will ever meet. :)

I want to share with you the latest skill I am developing that surprised even me - wood shop! My dad is a carpenter who not only redesigned the entire kitchen in my home, he has also been helping me with projects around the house. Up until yesterday, the projects were minimal in effort, painting things, mostly. Today however, we actually created - from scratch! I have a vision for a wall mounted coat rack that my dad is helping bring to life. I didn't realize how much effort it takes to create things with wood -I spent hours in my dads shop creating this masterpiece and we still didn't finish. Nevertheless, I want to share our progress.

My hope is that this post inspires you to reconnect with something that makes you happy. It might be something you haven't thought of in years or something you've never done before - even better! Dust it off and see what happens, I bet you will surprise yourself.

I want to be able to look back on this post in the future and remember all the fun things that make me who I am because at the end of the day, our significant others fall in love with who we are when they meet us and there's no greater allure in this world than someone who is in love with who they are.

Remember who you are.

(Channeling major Mufasa vibes right now.)

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