Recently, when talking to a new acquaintance at the local playground, we exchanged the usual information: how many children and their ages, whether we worked and what we did, what our husbands did. And then came the surprising question: “Do you do anything else?” Anything else? I have 5 kids, a full-time job, and a dog. What else can I do? The woman kindly clarified.: “Do you have any hobbies?” “Reading,” I said, rather lamely. “I like to read.”
The question got me thinking, though. For years—decades—writing was my hobby. It was the thing I did to relax, how I used my down time. And then, over the course of the last seven years, it became my job. Having it as my job is a huge privilege and blessing—but it’s also brought the pressure of deadlines and providing income. So what do I do now for my downtime? What is my hobby?
Part of me rebels against the whole idea of hobbies. Doing something for the sheer (and mere) enjoyment of the thing seems… wasteful. Another part of me recognizes how useful hobbies are. We can’t be working all the time. Having something to help you unwind is a valuable (and enjoyable) tool. And what’s wrong with doing something just for pleasure? A lot of my heroes and heroines have hobbies, funnily enough, from piano playing to Sudoku to reading cozy mysteries. So what can my hobby be? I like to cook and bake, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a hobby. I’m not taking sugar craft classes or learning how to make my own chutney. I like to garden, but my thumb is merely greenish and I usually run out steam. It’s not entirely relaxing. As for exercise… best not to go there.
I’m not, I confess, craft-oriented at all. Anything involving sewing machines, following a pattern, or a glue gun usually has me trembling in fear. I did learn to knit a long time ago, and made precisely two scarves. So what can my hobby be?
Do you have a hobby, something you love to do, whether it is create or collect or something else entirely? What helps you unwind. Please share with me and give me some ideas!
Happy Reading (& Hobbying!),