“What I really want to tackle next is to get a hobby. My aunt and uncle were visiting on Sunday and my aunt was like, “so Laura what do you do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?” and I was like “UHHHHHHHHHHHH IS TELEVISION NOT A THING?” My other fake-hobby though, is white collar crime: aka using work office supplies for personal use.” – My friend, Laura
After this conversation with my dear friend earlier today, I started thinking about hobbies. What are hobbies? What counts as a hobby? What are MY hobbies?
It’s easy for Brad. He has a lot of hobbies: cooking, carpentry, gardening, running, working on cars, watching football/hockey, baking, DIYing…the list goes on.
My hobbies are: getting brunch with friends, making tea, doodling and writing in notebooks, going to concerts…
See the difference? Brad’s hobbies (with the exception of watching sports) are all things he does consistently, is getting really great at, genuinely enjoys, spends time on and invests money in. My “hobbies” are so fleeting and vague…they are more just like spontaneous moments of pleasure rather than things you can get better at. Like how much better can I possibly steep tea?
When I hear the word HOBBY, I think of passion bordering on fanaticism, commitment to a craft, skill and expertise. People like stamp collectors, or people who dress up for Comic Con, or who love restoring old cars. People who are married to their craft. I just feel like how fanatic can I be about reading on the couch? Sorry self, but the Hunger Games does NOT count as a hobby.
I enjoy a wide variety of things like writing poetry, reading, making playlists, shopping, Instagraming, scrapbooking (shut up). But I just wonder; are these even hobbies? With my commitment to these activities spotty (at best) and none of them requiring much skill…they just don’t measure up to Brad’s one million hobbies. I’ve TRIED to develop hobbies. I wanted to join the rollergirls, but the time commitment (3 times a week!) was just too much for my 60-hour-a-week-sometimes job. My free time is so sparse…so special…that instead of trying to ACHIEVE MORE (get better at sewing, singing, soccer, WHATEVER) I really just to try to enjoy myself.
This reminds me also of a study that I saw on the Atlantic this week about how Americans with different education levels spend their leisure time. It’s actually a really interesting article.
How important is it to have a hobby anyway? Isn’t the point of having a hobby to have fun? So why do we (or maybe just me?) put pressure on ourselves to have hobbies?
So perhaps my hobby will be NOT having a hobby. I’ll get very good and be very committed to not worrying about how I spend my free time. I will simply spend my free time listening to the wind and my whims: sometimes sleeping late, sometimes being ambitious and working out in the morning, sometimes hostessing and sometimes hibernating. Just doing what feels good and right. And always writing. Writing, writing, writing.