Too many people assume that hobbies are for folks with too much time on their hands.
Nothing could be further from the truth, though. The famous actress and comedienne Lilly Tomlin gave us some good advice when she said, “For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” The fact is, the busier we are, the more we need a way to relax and refresh ourselves, and the best way to do that is to get a hobby.
A hobby is something that engages your brain, preferably involves your body, and has no object beyond your own enjoyment. Hobbies usually involve collecting, crafting, or some kind of sport, although some folks consider certain types of research or experimentation as a hobby.
Some folks are lucky enough to have shared a hobby with a parent or other relative while growing up, and in that event they can be said to have had their hobbies given to them. Other folks stumble upon new hobbies at county fairs or friend’s houses.
Then there are people like me, who realize that we need a hobby, but aren’t sure how to find a good one. I guess the difficulty here comes from having to define a “good” hobby for my situation.
After a little thought and a lot of discussion with my long-suffering husband, I decided that a “good” hobby for me would have to meet three criteria;
- It would have to be affordable
- It would have to be convenient – something I can do at home
- It should not have deadlines or inflexible schedules that will interfere with my family time
Of course, any new hobbies I consider should also be interesting enough that I would stick with them, so with these priorities in place, I was able to narrow my choices down to three; scrapbooking, gardening and playing the piano.
Considering the Options
- It’s a relaxing activity which will also result in my big box of photos being organized
- It’s relatively easy to do, and if I keep the materials properly stored, it won’t take up much space
- I get to decide how much to spend on my materials, and I can make up for a paucity of pennies with a profusion of panache.
I don’t have much experience with gardening, but I have plenty with yard work. I’ll assume that gardening is much more interesting that mowing or raking, and I anticipate other advantages to gardening, as well;
- It will be a great reason to be out in the fresh air and sunshine
- I’ll be able to decide whether my plants will require a lot of nurturing or just a little water
- I could either save money by growing plants from seed or I could choose to have fun while shopping for plants at my local nursery.
You see, I tried to learn the piano in high school, but soon gave up. Not because I disliked the instrument, mind you, but because the process of learning it was so troublesome. I seemed to be constantly rearranging my schedule to accommodate lessons, practices and recitals.
Fortunately, I now have an option that simply didn’t exist when I was in high school; I can now learn to play the piano online. This option offers me several benefits what might make this a “good” hobby for me;
- I’ll be able to make the lessons and practices fit my schedule, not the other way around.
- I’ll be able to work at my own pace, and decide how far I want to take this talent
- I could either learn piano sheet music by rote or learn piano chords and playing “by ear”.
- I’ll be able to decide when and if I perform, so there’ll be no scheduled recitals to worry about
Perhaps if these options had been available when I was in high school, I would now know how to play the piano properly.
Choosing My New Hobbies
After much analyzing, the obvious has finally occurred to me; I’ve been over-thinking this whole process. Why is it so important to find one “perfect” hobby, or even a “good“ one? I could have three hobbies as easily as one, so long as I don’t attempt to do each of them every day.
For instance, gardening is a warm-weather hobby, while scrapbooking can be saved for the cold, wet days when going outside is not fun. Once I’ve actually learned the piano, I won’t be playing it every day, or even every week. It will be a nice skill to have when we have company over or when I just feel like playing it.
So, if you’re compiling a list of hobby tips, you may want to add the idea that if you can’t find the perfect hobby for yourself, the answer may be to find two or three hobbies instead. It’s nice to have options, isn’t it?
Do you have a hobby that you might recommend to other readers? Do you have an interesting story about how you picked up that particular hobby? I’d love to read your responses!
About the Author
Melissa Cameron is a busy wife, mother and freelance writer who likes to research complicated topics and simplify them for the average reader. She makes her home in Austin, Texas with her husband and two daughters.