Some Hobbies Are Better Than Others #RABlogWeek

4 pics, left-right, top-bottom; 1) blue background with white text "Some Hobbies Are Better Than Others"; 2) a dark wine bottle on a wooden table; 3) three paintbrushes against an orange-pink watercolor background; 4) blue background with white text: "#RABLOGWEEK" and "Not Standing Still's Disease"
It’s RA Blog Week! Since I wanted to get the word out about CHIP funding issues, I’m writing about yesterday’s prompt today: Hobbies – Hobbies are healthy or maybe they are not? What is your hobby and how does it help you with your autoimmune conditions? 
One of the things I do regularly is go to Target. It’s not a glamorous hobby, but it’s something that keeps me moving. Whether I’m stopping in to get prescriptions or OTC lidocaine patches, it’s an easy way to get some walking in while protecting myself from the ridiculous weather we’ve had lately.
I usually go at least once a week. Sometimes I find fun things, especially now that it’s Halloween season.
selfie of me and T, only he has on a brown horse head and I have on a white unicorn head with rainbow hair and a golden horn; white text at middle bottom: "[screaming internally]"
I taught myself to play the uke. It was something I wanted to get into because I knew a bit about the guitar, but a guitar was big enough that it was hard to play. Playing songs from Nirvana, Beyonce, Carly Rae Jepsen, Rihanna, and more contemporary artists is something I enjoy. Some songs sound great and others… not so much.
me playing the ukulele; my ukulele is light blue and I am wearing jean shorts, a tank top, a jean jacket, and a hat; in front of me is a music stand and I am sitting in front of an apartment complex
The only real difficulty I’ve encountered is that there are some chords I just can’t play. They require weird contortions of my fingers that I just can’t do. I try to work around it, skipping those chords or using another nearby one.
The uke has been gathering a lot of dust. I keep telling myself that I need to get back into it. That said, I’ve been dealing with enough health stuff and work that I just haven’t gotten back to it yet.
Playing with the piggies, though, is something I always try to do.
4 photos from left-right, top-bottom; 1) Gus Gus - black guinea pig with white nose stripe - is laying on my chest and I am laying on my bed; my grey shirt, blue pillow, and brown headboard are visible; I'm making a duck lip face and he just looks adorably into the camera; 2) picture of Jaq - brown and white guinea pig - in his house; he has My Little Pony fleece, a dinosaur for snuggling, a pigloo, and various toys/snacks within view; he's looking at the camera; 3) Gus Gus leaning on his food bowl and looking at the camera; 4) an up-close photo - like, can't even see his nose - of Jaq; he is on my torso, which is clad in a burgundy shirt, and you can also see my legs; we are under a quilt that is grey, yellow, and white
I know spending time with essentially my children shouldn’t be a hobby, but ya know. Growing up in an abusive home means that I know you don’t always spend time with people you should, right? Even when I can barely move, I try to hold them or get on the floor and play with them. They help me so much.
Taking care of them really helps me. It gets me up and moving, regardless of what time of day it is. I have to make sure that they’re cared for, happy, and clean. They’re very snuggly, too, which helps me rest throughout the day.
It was actually a big deal last week when I had rash all over. I couldn’t hold the boys for very long because my rash is so painful and itchy. As soon as the rash had dissipated, Gussy kept begging for snuggles throughout the day.
It was very similar to how they react once I return from a trip.
Oddly enough, other patients have chided me for this – for playing on the floor. We all do things that may not be the absolute best for our joints, especially when it involves other beings we love. For me, playing on the floor with the piggies is a way that I stay myself and tell my arthritis to eff off.
I guess that’s why I see it as partially a hobby – it’s something that helps me to normalize my life. We all need those things, whether it’s walking around Target with a pumpkin spice latte, playing music, or spending time with loved ones.

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