When was the last time you lost track of time?
I don’t mean those times you get so caught up checking your Facebook feed, mindlessly clicking it to load more because you can’t seem to tear yourself apart and now you realize an hour of your evening is gone. (Unless you truly love looking at your Facebook newsfeed…hey, we all have our guilty pleasures!)
I mean when you were so into what you were doing that time seemed to fly by. You were in your zone, your element, a state of such blissful happiness that when you finally turned your attention to the time you saw that hours has passed.
Yeah, now we’re talking.
Lately, I’ve been having those moments in my jewelry metalsmithing classes. Every Monday afternoon, for several blissful hours, I am in the jewelry zone.
I’m sawing metal. I’m soldering. I’m setting stones.
But it didn’t always used to be this way.
I took my first jewelry metalsmithing class in February 2011. It was something I had dreamed about doing for years, but I could not muster up the courage to take the financial plunge to enroll. Finally I decided I had made excuses for long enough and to just go for it. For an entire weekend I learned the basics of jewelry metalsmithing.
Feeling pretty confident having finished the class with my first ring (which I wear all the time) and a pendant, I decided to follow up with the advanced beginner class. And you know what? I sucked at it. I kept making mistakes. A stone improperly set. Broken saw blades with nearly every stroke of my saw. Poor soldering.
I was in a class of people who studied art in college and really seemed to know what they were doing. Me? I had studied psychology and the last art class I had taken was when I was in high school.
To make matters worse, I have a bit of a perfectionist complex. I hate failing at things, and I started to dread the class.
I mean, it’s hard to enjoy something you feel you’re truly bad at. Then my wedding came, followed by my extensive trip to South America, so metalsmithing went on the backburner for awhile. While I was away, a class that I had wanted to take came up for the summer session, so despite the self-doubt that had bloomed during the previous class, I decided to give it another shot.
And it was fantastic!
I signed up again for another session, and after taking the entire 8 weeks to successfully complete one project I had set out to do, I realized that I had fallen in love with the art of metalsmithing.
Image by Mauro Cateb
I continued signing up for classes, and before I knew it the skills that I had once found so tedious and challenging I was getting pretty good at!
Now whenever I go, I’m totally in the zone. I finish projects faster. I know what I’m doing. I can now set an entire stone, from start to finish, completely on my own. (Well, with the occasional assistance once in awhile.) It seems like every time I look at the clock, another hour has whizzed by.
It’s a truly deliciously exciting state to be, to know that this skill-set that had once seemed so daunting, I have begun to flourish at. To be in a place where time flies by because I’m having so much fun.
What gives you the same exhilarating rush of happiness and makes the time blissfully fly by for you?