Monday, March 16, 2015

A Big Move: Maintaining Your Hobbies

When we moved, one of the first thing that seemed to disappear for both Zach and I was our commitment to our hobbies. While we both struggled to establish some sense of normalcy (and adjust to having two boys), the personal things that we found joy in seemed to disappear. This was really hard and strange. So many of the things that defined us before we moved were now gone, and I think this added to our overall sense of "who are we?" in this new place.

Which is why, if you're facing a big move, I think it is so, so important that you do your best to hang onto your hobbies. Sometimes that means that you need support in a way you never expected.

Here's our example. When we lived in Oregon, Zach home-brewed a lot. Probably once or twice a month. It was not only something he enjoyed but part of his identity. But when we got here, things were so stressful and busy and crazed that he just didn't brew. And over time, years passed. And I could tell that he felt sad about it- that he was beginning to think of himself as someone who used to home-brew versus someone who was a home-brewer.
It's not that Zach didn't try. He even went to a few home-brew stores out here. But in many ways, they failed to meet his expectations, and that left him feeling more discouraged. So it took a push to get him back into it.

That push came in the form of me. Isn't that the best part of marriage? How sometimes, when we aren't capable of doing something ourselves, our spouse does it for us? And so it was with brewing beer again. I asked- no, I told- Zach that we were doing this. Together. And we researched online brewing shops and wrote a recipe and ordered supplies online from Northern Brewer (cruddy Western Mass brew shops be damned!) and we did it.

We brewed Zach's first beer in 3 years. And we did it together.

Our beer was finally ready to drink this weekend! And it was not only delicious but more importantly, so, so satisfying for both of us to get to enjoy the results of our hard work. For me, it was powerful to see how happy Zach was that this part of himself had been reinvigorated. For Zach, I think he felt like he got a tiny bit of himself back.
I think that during a big move, the more you can hold onto your hobbies, the better off you will be. So much feels new when you've made a big new- finding ways to keep the familiar is so important.

And to that, I raise my beer glass and say "cheers!"

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