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Making my own balance

Time is...sure happening, isn't it?

I know I'm not alone in experiencing a heck of a year in 2020, and allllllll the transitions that happened because of it. Some of it awful, some of it wonderful, and...nope, mostly those two categories. Life is always a spectrum, but whew 2020 felt like a year of extremes for me.

More to come on some of that, but this blog is about the hobbies that are helping me find some measure of balance in wild times. Are you ready? They're nerdy as heck, and I'm beyond delighted to share two big ones.

Birdwatching! We have a little bird feeder out front, and I am obsessed. There's a little woodpecker who chirps the entire time he's there. I'm sure he's warning off other birds or letting his buddy know where he is, but I've decided he's going "yum yum yum" to himself the whole time he's eating and he is my favorite.

I've also learned to identify at least eight types of birds I didn't know before (this is potentially less impressive than it sounds given the starting place of my bird identification skills, but the joy is the important part). In fact! Because I now know the difference between hairy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, red-headed woodpeckers, and downy woodpeckers I won a mug from when they did a 'identify this bird' challenge. Who even am I?

Someone who creepily stares out her window at birds and wins mugs about it, I guess.

I have not at all mastered taking pictures of these birds, so I won't make you look at my three hundred blurry shots of woodpeckers, bluebirds, and all their friends, but I imagine it's only a matter of time...

Ahem. Given the utter insanity of recent life, I made a commitment to spend more time outside, hiking, staring at trees, stalking birds, and! Collecting rocks, and shells, and assorted outside amazingness. All of these are hobbies that keep me balanced, but that last one...

My husband might not agree that it's "balanced" per se. But here's the thing - when I was a kid, I was all about finding rocks (shiny rocks, rocks with fun patterns, rocks that I could smash open with other rocks to find they were entirely different inside, rocks that wrote like chalk or peeled into layers, or, you know, were just shiny), and at some point in growing up I stopped doing that.

I am thrilled to say that my habit is back with a vengeance (again, my husband loves that I'm happy, but might want me to stop squirreling away shiny things that are, ahem, adding up), and because we're staying close to the coast, my never-lost-the-habit-of-it-just-moved-far-from-water-habit of beachcombing is also back, and I just have a lot of treasures, ok?

No wonder I love dragons.

Are you finding ways to your own balance? Any childhood loves you've rediscovered that are bringing you joy? I'd love to hear about them - finding joy in the face of chaos is a way to keep pushing forward, and I'm committing to it.

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