I grew up watching my mom fill most of her spare time with work, so I assumed that was the way people operated.
I thought hobbies were for people with too much damn spare time on their hands. I also thought that if you microwave fancy china with gold trim it won’t blow up. My point being — I’m smarter now.
This past year, I finally had some spare time on my hands. I’m a happier more fulfilled person now that I have things I love doing outside of work.
Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re in a place where you are happy and looking to fill some space in your life with something fulfilling, or you are looking for something to inject some happiness into your life.
Finished my last day as an intern at The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce yesterday -aka the last day of CreComm EVER. I decided to take some time off to figure out if I have hobbies (???) and eat breakfast on my steps in my slippers a whole lot. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who supported, encouraged and helped me on my journey throughout my degree, and believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. When I come back, I'll start as the events and communications coordinator for @nbwpg and @mbculturedays. Very excited for whatever life after school is gonna look like 👏 #welcometotherealworld #sorryforthesappypost
HOW TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR HOBBIES ARE
Here’s a good article by Bustle that was helpful to me, but that’s kind of a cop out, so I have some other suggestions.
Basically, if you are looking for cues, think about…
- This one was huge for me: when you are on Instagram and you feel yourself getting jealous of a certain person, what are they doing that you wish you could do?
Side note: You’ll never know how they developed that hobby until you send them a DM or ask them to get a coffee (oh yeah, I’m gonna keep coming back to this “getting coffee with strangers” thing. Just…trust.)
- What do you value? If you are into social justice, join an action group or sit on a board. If creativity is important to you, learn a new art form. You get the picture – your hobbies usually will correspond with your values.
- If there was no Netflix/television/social media, what would you do with that time?
- Imagine you had a day free, every week, for only your hobbies. Let yourself think about this as if it was a real thing and see what bubbles up.
- What’s that thing you keep saying you’re going to do, but never ever do? Maybe you never have money, or time, or both. This might be the hobby that you’ve been robbing yourself of.
- What would you do as a hobby if it didn’t cost anything? Sitting naked on a yacht eating ice cream isn’t a hobby FYI.
HOW TO ACTUALLY PURSUE SAID HOBBIES
OK, SO HERE’S THE PART YOU GOTTA DO SHIT OR THIS WHOLE THING FALLS APART.
From personal experience, I would argue that 85% of pursuing a hobby is building up the mental capacity to start. Whether you used to paint and it’s picking up the brush again after years, or going to that first spin class, you are allowed to feel terrified.
Feel the f*cking fear and do it anyway.
If you can’t get past the fear, find the most supportive person in your life and get them to hold you accountable. If they aren’t enough of a hard ass, use stickK.com.
If you do finally get out there and its ROUGH and you’re no good at first, that’s all part of the process my little Pringle. Sucking is half the fun! If you go to that spin class and can’t finish it (or you puke – that happens too) that’s still not a good enough reason to quit.
Pursuing a hobby is a journey, not a destination. Keep truckin’.
Stop saying “I’ll start when…” because you won’t. The timing will never be perfect to learn Japanese. Why? I don’t know, it just probably won’t be the right time because there’s always a new show on Netflix and more memes.
Here’s a sobering equation I’ll leave you with: the average American watches around five hours of television a day (which has probably changed greatly with the rise of Netflix and other streaming services). If you were to study an “easy language” five hours a day, give or take, it would take you about 96 days (three months and change), to develop basic fluency. In exchange for 6 to 8 seasons of your favourite show, you could literally learn to speak a different language.
HOLD ONTO YOUR HOBBIES FOR DEAR LIFE
When the shit hits the fan, your friends aren’t free, and your mom is busy pursuing her newfound hobbies (GO MOM!!), you’re going to be glad you have that go-to thing that you know makes you feel good.
I’ve also watched a few of my close friends move away and experience serious loneliness and isolation – it’s super tough moving somewhere you don’t know anyone! When you don’t have as many people to call upon and spend time with, hobbies will be your life raft. Not only do they introduce you to new friends and communities, but they consume some of your free time in a very constructive way.
Look, I get it. You might not have time today, but you will one day. And on those days where you are in a bad mood and you just want to zone out and forget about everything, those are often the times you probably need a hobby the most. It’s easy to numb our feelings, it’s harder to get off the couch and do what will really and truly make us feel better.
Hobbies are healthy, good for boosting self-confidence and in some cases, they will introduce you to some awesome people. I wish I had known that sooner and stopped glorifying busyness and crushing my soul in work.
Resources + Links:
Six reasons to get a hobby – Psychology Today
17 Hobbies To Try If You Suck At Hobbies – Buzzfeed
How to find a hobby you love – Oprah.com
I’m going to take my own advice here and actually get my butt to The November Project by the end of November. I’ve been meaning to go for way too long.
What new hobby are you hoping to break in? Let me know!