It's that time of year again.
It's the time when the local fresh fruits-strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apricots, etc., are coming into or just going out of season. That means it's TIME TO MAKE JAM!
Last year I got a tad carried away with canning and pickling. I found out that my office manager worked for a Michigan farmer at a local farmer's market on the weekends. She convinced me to try the strawberries from Kenny's farm.
The difference in the flavor and color of farmer Kenny's strawberries compared with the (now I know) CRAP from the grocery store was incredible.
So, I made strawberry, blueberry, apricot, peach, peach melba jams, bread and butter pickles, refrigerator pickles, dill pickles, lactose fermentation style pickles. It got ugly.
Hobbies keep me sane. Okay, sort of sane.
Alright, they keep me busy.
So here is the thing I've noticed:
When my patients retire, if they don't have a hobby or any interests outside of work, they get depressed. Their spouses, who DO have hobbies, get mad at them because the new retiree is looking to their spouse to keep them entertained. They follow their partners around the house saying things like, "Whatcha' doin'? Can I help? Want to go do something? Can you make me lunch?"
There is resentment, anger, and divorce or at least, miserable retirement.
Here is my advice:
Get a hobby. Make cakes. Go camping and hiking. Start fishing.
It's important to your mental health, and your marriage/partners/friends. It makes you more interesting to be with and talk to. It keeps you busy.
Set a schedule daily. Get up at the same time every day and go to bed at a reasonable hour.
Don't watch TV or play computer games all day.
I (obviously) make jam. I quilt. I write. I procrastinate on all of them, but when I finish, I have an amazing sense of accomplishment. I also have a sense of the past and of the future. When I make a quilt, or a photo-book, a novelty birthday cake, or write a story, that is something that will be left behind when I die so no one forgets me--for a while, anyway.
(Okay, they won't have the cakes or jams left behind. I don't want people to save those. Maybe they can remember how I made those and keep the traditions going for future generations-instead of getting ptomaine poisoning from eating decades old jam)
My ego feels better when I know that I've left a legacy of memories/objects/recipes/stories/quilts behind.