Working as a Recreation Therapist in a retirement community, this is one of the top five questions I ask my residents upon admission. What a person enjoys doing in their free time (i.e. hobbies) speaks volumes about who the person is, what kind of personality they have and what makes a person tick.
Our hobbies often evolve as our seasons of life change. For example, I’ve always been obsessed with printing my pictures and putting them in photo albums, but when Paul and I started dating my hobby became scrapbooking. Fancy paper, stickers, and embellishments galore adorned my photo albums. I kept up with that hobby until probably a year after we were married…realizing that already being 17 scrapbooks deep and only four years into our relationship, my wallet and our storage space would never be able to keep up.
Maybe you have one major hobby that occupies the majority of your free time. Maybe you have a bunch of little hobbies in which you devote equal time. Maybe you haven’t quite figured out what your hobbies are yet. By definition a hobby is an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. Which also means, as an adult, you may have limited leisure time…especially if you have children. Therefore, your time for hobbies is precious and that makes them that much more sacred. Also, I’m fairly certain that if you do have children, wine drinking is a perfectly acceptable hobby.
Almost 10 years into our marriage and still being childless, for us, this means an ample amount of leisure time for hobbies. (**Please know this sounds more luxurious than it is for a couple struggling through infertility. Empty houses and lots of down time are actually somber, daily reminders of what is missing….***if you choose to see it that way.)
A little over five years ago I picked up cookieing. It started innocently enough, but now it’s grown from more of a leisurely side hobby to a scheduled-must do-order filling activity. The joy I get from baking and decorating is still there, but I feel my season of life shifting. This means I’m working hard at taking limited (and more fulfilling) orders and trying to satiate a need for other hobbies (and time for them) in my life.
Because our hobby time is limited as adults, they probably fall into one of two categories…things we’re good at or things we’re passionate about. One night it could be curling up with your favorite book or flopping onto the couch to watch a favorite TV show…for me those things happen on days where I can’t even….(adult for one more second…think about one more thing.) Let’s be honest…if it doesn’t interest us (or more realistically-we can’t afford it), we don’t make it a hobby. Luckily for me, things like skydiving, rock-climbing, white water rafting, or any other high-risk, high-adrenaline activities don’t interest me, because #safety. Unfortunately for me, my creative brain tends to work in overdrive…making the ease and accessibility for me to engage in a plethora of hobbies readily available, because #Michael’s & #Hobby Lobby (much to my husband’s dismay). Add a new house into the mix and my brain is yelling at me to turn off the oven, put down the icing bag and find time for new things.
My two newest creative outlets, or things that I’m trying find more time for so they can become actual hobbies, are lettering and gardening. If you know me well, the first one probably doesn’t surprise you…the second one may. I’m a self-proclaimed flower hater. As in, please don’t waste your money on buying a bouquet of things that will eventually die and I’ll be stuck throwing away nasty flower water. But, the new house (or the original homeowner) has flipped a switch inside me. She had a beautiful garden planted and in the two short months we’ve lived here we’ve had the most gorgeous hydrangeas, irises, day lilies, Rose of Sharon (or hibiscus-verdict is TBD), Calla Lilies, Coneflowers, daisies, peonies, hostas, lamb’s ear, succulents, mint, creeping jenny, veronica icicles, cactus and several other things I’m desperately trying to decipher between weed or flower.
The first surprise was the hydrangeas and the second was the blooming Rose of Sharon tree. Our neighbors behind us told us the big bush planted in the middle of our backyard was an overgrown weed. Luckily we never got around to cutting it down because it bloomed with some beautiful flowers. I’ve spent countless google searches trying to decide if it’s a true Rose of Sharon tree.
It should be noted that prior to moving in, I probably could have only identified the hydrangea, mint, Calla Lilly and cactus. Everything else has been learned since the beginning of May. And if this previous flower loather can learn, so can you.
My sister and her best friend have this lovely community outreach program called Grace in Bloom in which they repurpose gently used blooms from (mostly) weddings and provide them to areas in need (nursing homes, Ronald McDonald house, etc.) Consequently, I will occasionally get a few blooms that didn’t quite make the refurbished bouquets. Last week I ended up with some bud vases. Those simple flowers have led me to the first thing that I want to actually plant in my yard. Ranunculus. They’re gorgeous (and quite fun to say.) I’d love to sprinkle in a few Iceland poppies for some more color, but I’ve still got a lot of learning and reading and studying to do.
Now for my second newest obsession. Britt mentioned last week about Dream Big Printables and if you look around anywhere, you’ll notice brush script fonts (or variations of it) are highly popular. I’ve always been a little obsessed with handwriting. I grew up in the age where elementary school teachers still had time to critique it. My 1st and 2nd grade teacher (the same lady) was notorious for putting a piece of paper under her letters to keep her lines even and inevitably every assignment was returned to us with parts of our letters circled where they had drooped below the line or gone above a line inappropriately. Needless to say, some of that was engrained in my brain and I always love practicing with different styles. My current obsession is based off the new trend and it’s been fun experimenting with different mediums.
If you have any ideas how to find more time in the day for things like hobbies, let me know! Do your leisure interests tend to be more physically active, socially engaging or of the creative genre? Is there one hobby you absolutely cannot live without?
P.S. If you feel like coming over to weed out these massive garden areas at my new house, let me know!! Better yet, if you have a knack for deciphering what’s a weed and what’s a flower, come on over!
Side note: That Rose of Sharon tree surprised me yesterday morning with adding a few purplish/pink blooms!