Making Moments and Origami Stars

I remember the first time I tried doing origami, I was in the fourth grade and my art teacher at the time tried their best to get a room of excitable children to sit down and fold this thin paper into something else. I could not wrap my brain around how making a few folds and creases was going to create a box, a dog, or any shape really. Flash forward to me now. For some context, I work at the information desk for my university and as one would expect, it has been rather quiet lately. Between avoiding readings and deadlines, I found myself on Youtube, looking up “How-To Origami Star.” I do not remember why this particular craft stuck out in my mind, perhaps it was oodles of paper in my present surroundings or the longing to do something not behind a screen. The irony is not lost on me that my first response was to immediately head online to cure my workplace boredom, though. Regardless, there I was, watching someone make delicate folds and speaking softly and I found myself ready to jump in and try for myself. What is more, these were termed “Lucky Stars”, and as someone who delights at seeing little synchronicities throughout my day, I figured a little luck could not hurt. (If you want to try for yourself!) 

Shifaaz Shamoon / Unsplash

The link above shows the process of making your own if you find yourself in a similar position. While the art of origami is not something I am in any way qualified to discuss in its entirety, I think the patience one needs to have with themselves to see this paper project through to completion helped me to relax in a multitude of ways, It became a habit that when I could feel the zoom fatigue and deadline stress creeping up and sinking into my shoulders that I would take some strips of paper and ease into the gentle process. Perhaps, making origami stars is not your thing, but I think there is something to be said for finding little habits throughout your day that do not take much time but exponentially improve your overall concentration- or your relaxation! I dusted off an old mason jar -that likely lived its previous life as a pasta sauce jar- and began filling it with these stars. I noticed that watching the accumulation of these teeny paper crafts that did not exist for any deadline or anyone else’s benefit made me move a little easier when making my coffee in the morning. Each time I added a star, I smiled to myself and thought, perhaps childishly, 'another piece of luck'.

poetry book & tea Pexels

These times we are living in make it difficult to prioritize activities that are “just for you”; there’s always a creeping, sneaking deadline around the corner, but life is not about deadlines or performance, at least I hope it is not. Life can exist in the little in-between moments, and these paper stars are a pretty darn cute way to visually remind yourself of the in-between moments, where you may have been stressed, happy, or just existing. Maybe this sounds absurd, at the end of the day it is just folded paper and serves no purpose, but maybe that is just the point. I did not think about how many or how few stars I was making or for who, or why, this was just something silly I could do while taking calls at my desk job or during class time. So, if you happen to be looking for something simple and relaxing to add to your day, maybe add a little luck- I heard it goes a long way.