As I mentioned in my previous post, and in a few others during the past 12 months, “the last year or so of my life has been strained at times”.
Things haven’t been horrible overall – but lurking in the background have been several sources of tension.
Work has been one source, for a few reasons.
Another source has been an ongoing financial situation that wasn’t a major crisis, but a drag nonetheless.
There has also been what I’ve thought could be my mid-life crisis. One of my life-long problems has been dwelling on my past and regrets, but recently it was especially intense and troubling.
As well, there have been other tensions like the relatively trivial (like most of the movies I’ve seen at the cinema this year being mediocre disappointments), the saddening (like one of my favourite long-time restaurants closing, as mentioned in my previous post), and the worrying (like the mercifully brief period where I found it difficult to read books).
Finally, there was something else that I had been aware of for some time but about a couple of months ago really struck me.
My social life and contact with other people had pretty much vanished.
I have been a loner for most of my life, but especially after mid-2007 I have become more social. As well, mid-2007 to mid-late 2012 was a socially rich part of my life.
But since mid-late 2012 several things have changed.
Most sadly of all, my pub-trivia friend whom I have known since 2001 has had a couple of small strokes since mid-2012 and is still recovering.
Also in mid-2012, my psychiatrist retired. A few times since, I have missed being able to talk with him.
As well, due to life changes, there are some friends I no longer see as much anymore.
Finally, since late 2010 I have worked from home. This has its advantages, of course, but during the past year it began to feel more isolating, especially as work got more on my nerves.
Most Tuesday nights I still go to the movies with friends, and I also still go to pub-trivia most Wednesday nights. They’re still good fun, but together they add up to only 5-6 hours of social activity each week.
So somehow I needed to find more social outlets.
One answer came through rediscovering a hobby from last year.
Long-time readers of Black and Blue Man may recall this June 2012 post where I talked about getting back into one of my favourite childhood toys – Lego.
For a few months after that post, I kept on building and buying and enjoying more Lego.
So much so that (as long-time readers may also recall) in October 2012 when I went to the next Sydney Model Railway Exhibition, I gave serious thought to joining a group of adult Lego builders who had a display there. I even took one of their flyers with their contact details.
And then…I never got around to it.
By January 2013, I had also stopped Lego-building. There was no particular reason why – I just drifted away from it.
Every now and then, I thought about getting back into Lego-building and contacting that group, but I never did.
And then two months ago I became fed up with the tensions in my life and its serious lack of social activity.
So at long last I emailed the Lego group and expressed my interest in joining them.
And in the days that followed as I waited for their reply, something else happened.
I got back into Lego-building.
I don’t build every night, but a welcome Friday-night routine that has developed during the past few weeks is staying up well into Saturday morning and building.
As well, a couple of times I’ve even taken Lego with me to one of my favourite restaurants, and after eating I’ll spend an hour or two building at my table.
Yes, it’s been great fun getting back into Lego.
Why did I ever stop? 🙂
A few days after emailing the Lego group, they replied and invited me to come meet them in person at one of the upcoming events they would be displaying at.
As it turned out, the next event I could go meet them at was the 2013 Sydney Model Railway Exhibition a few weeks away.
I let them know I could come meet them then, and as the weeks passed I continued building.
And finally, the big day arrived.
TO BE CONTINUED