scissors cutting paper

Make Something!

scissors cutting paperSome people are creative, others are not.  I would say I’m mostly not creative.  Just look at the layout of this site!  Designing a PowerPoint presentation or website is not my strong suit.  I’m fine with creating the content, but the visual story is difficult for me.

But part of taking the Happiness Plunge is swimming against the stream and challenging yourself.  Whatever formula you concoct for your Happiness Plunge will surely involve making difficult decisions and pursuing something challenging.

Thus, it’s always good to challenge yourself to give yourself an opportunity to grow.  This could be learning a foreign language, playing a new sport, acquiring a skill, etc.  What I propose is that you make something!

If you have kids, then maybe you are always doing arts and crafts things with them already.  This may not apply directly to you, but it still can.  I never do arts and crafts.  Never.  However, something I really enjoy is coming up with practical, cheap solutions for everyday problems.

During a recent trip, I broke the screen of my Amazon Kindle.  I had just started falling in love with it, as I read quite a bit, and I had only had it for about a month.  But it broke.

I called Amazon’s customer service and they were truly amazing.  They sent me a new one as quickly as possible from the US even though I am living in Denmark.  Amazing.

Anyway, I vowed to take care of this new Kindle as if it were a baby.  To avoid breaking the glass the way I did last time (my elbow hit it while it was in my coat pocket), I needed some kind of cover to keep it in while transporting it.

Looking at the options for such cases on, they were all very expensive.  They looked amazing, and many even came with a reading light, but they were more expensive than I wanted to pay.

I started thinking about cheaper solutions.  I bought a small notebook from the Danish equivalent of a Dollar Store a few months ago.  I wasn’t really using it and it had a hard cover.  I realized that it was just a bit bigger than the Kindle, so it would be perfect to use as a case!

I thought I would just cut out the insides of the pages and let the Kindle sit inside the cavity the way prisoners hide things inside big books.  But that was proving to be way too difficult.  So I ripped out all the pages and then cut pieces of paper thin enough and stacked high enough to form a barrier at the top, side, and bottom. You can see what I mean in the picture.

Yes, it is ugly.  Very ugly.  When I am on a train or in public settings, I subconsciously make an effort to shield my creation from on looking eyes (who are probably just interested in seeing the Kindle and don’t even pay attention to the ugly box it’s being kept in.

But the night I make my Kindle case, I really felt great.  I felt like MacGyver, stopping a bomb with a rubber band, chewing gum, and shoe lace.

It’s important to harness your creativity.  As kids, we are full of creativity and imagination.  It’s not surprise that for many of us our happiest times were as kids!  Ultimately, unlocking your creativity might help show you the way to a happier you.  You have to let your creativity out though.  The example I gave is a very basic one, but in my case, I love the idea of reusing and recycling so my solution, though ugly, was beautiful to me in my own way.  It is something I feel proud about!

When you set aside some time to create something with your hands, whether something practical like I did, or a gift for someone else, or a decoration piece for your house, I think you’ll finish the project with a sense of accomplishment and confidence.  Both are important feelings to draw on when taking the plunge!

What do you think?  Do you have a similar “I made something” story?  Share it in the comments below or submit your story clicking on the link at the top of the page!

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