Everyone Should Know How to Sew!

June 9, 2015 | Leave a Comment

by Polly Abbott, CVRT

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I write the title somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but the point I wish to make is the importance of having a hobby that stimulates you beyond listening to the latest podcast or talking book.  Voltaire, the French writer and philosopher, once wrote “il faut cultiver son jardin,” which literally means “one must cultivate one’s own garden.”  As humans we need productive work as a way to cope with life and to find fulfillment and satisfaction. One’s inclination might be to sit still and vegetate, but there are many benefits to a little exertion.

Working away at something you enjoy keeps away the voices in your head.  “If only” or “I wish”  can lead to a downward spiral of depressing thoughts about living with vision loss.  During the activity, you are making choices and deciding what to do — exercising control.  The end result is entirely a product of YOU.

Cooking food, knitting a scarf, or buying a great deal off eBay exercises many skills that a person needs in order to live independently with vision loss.  Most hobbies and activities also use auditory, tactile and spatial skills that need to be developed to successfully perform the essential tasks of daily living.

  • Good knitters usually make good braille readers due to all the practice using the sense of touch and fine motor skills.
  • Cooking reinforces planning skills, organizational skills, time management and spatial concepts that are needed for success in school and work.
  • Using the computer for creative writing or online browsing reinforces your computer skills and stimulates the brain.
  • Creating a personalized gift for someone else brings a sense of equality back to relationships.

When all else seems to be out of your control, your hobby is your oasis for independent decision-making, self-expression and creativity.  When you create something that no one else around you can, imagine how they will see you then!

Polly is the Director of Rehabilitation Services at Second Sense.

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