Hobbies – They are just good!

“What did you get up to at the weekend?” “Not much, hung out, met some friends, you know just kinda chilled”. Riveting stuff hey! For many people that is another weekend past where time just ebbed away waiting for Monday and with it, not a great sense of fulfilment or excitement. Maybe the biggest sense though is lack of overall growth in every aspect. “What am l doing with my time?”

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 I can personally relate.  I have spent many weekends and weekdays just floating.  During these times l feel l have forgotten that part of this journey is about exploring, learning, challenging yourself and just feeling a sense of feeding the soul. How do we get excited for free time?  I guess, in theory, it’s about making the free time, the opposite of that, fill it with great stuff.

What about a hobby. Hobbies though are also about creating good habits.  If it’s easy, or we make it easier, we are more likely to do it.  There are so many cool things to explore, do, see, feel, join, experience and learn.  Many of which are free or don’t cost much to start or try. 

I think l need a hobby.

What is a hobby? Loosely defined, it is an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. 

That sounds worthwhile.  Anything that can help us decompress, smile, relax, laugh, create adrenaline, learn, grow and often spend time with others seems worth the effort.  Of course, depending on the pursuit it will dictate the end result, downhill mountain biking for most isn’t relaxing, but it will give you that rush you may be craving to feel freedom, conversely, burying your nose into that great book can offer a different type of escape, all of which are hobby worthy.

My 30 minutes cardio in the gym twice a week doesn’t count as a hobby, not to me at least – While l enjoy it, I’m not doing it for pleasure.  To me, that’s like saying, eating daily, is a hobby.  Often, l see people in my hood getting ready for a weekend by throwing the kayak on top of the car or heading to the record store to buy some vintage vinyl to play at home on their retro player – That seems more like a hobby,  however, l’m not here to say what does and does not constitute a hobby in terms of activity, just that we should have at least one – Try it, l hear it’s fun and breaks the routine.  You don’t often hear people saying their weekend was drab when they are engaged in their current passion.

Three reasons to find your Hobby

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Moments of being present

Many of us are distracted, whether at work, family life or just day-to-day, bills, errands and to do’s!  It can be relentless brain static on the daily.  Getting into a great hobby can give moments of just being focused, present and in the moment – Going back to the mountain biking example, it may not be the best idea to be thinking of your taxes when hurtling down the side of a large hill – But of course that is the point, doing a pursuit that keeps you right there.  It can come in so many shapes and forms, looking at the ocean, seeing which wave has your name on it or delving into the next chapter to see if “Enoch will find the hidden scroll which has a map to the 5th realm” – (l did make that line up as you may have guessed – But maybe “Enoch and the 5th Realm” could be in your bookstore soon)

We are so distracted with social media, smartphones, responsibilities, cost of living, social survival, the list goes on.  Find something that gives you the opportunity to be right there – remember, just like climbing the rope in gym class – it was hard to be anywhere else mentally when you got near the top!

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Feel part of a group

Sometimes we can feel stuck, mired in routine, this can include the people we see each day at our places of work or because we feel alone. Getting into a hobby can bring new vigour and inspiration to you as it opens you up to a new group of people, social engagement and commonalities of the pursuit you are about to share.  Many hobbies simply offer this by default. Joining a softball team or dragon boat team for example can give instant exposure to new friends and networking opportunities.  We are such social creatures, but we are at times being led down a very insular road. Technology is great, but it is replacing friendships and human contact.  We are working longer hours and spending more time alone.  Getting out finding a good hobby can really break this malaise and help us hit a reset on what type of life we want.

Individual hobbies offer this social outlet too, book clubs, knitting clubs, fly fishers talking over a pint about their favourite lures and rivers.  These are individual pursuits but it’s the shared passion or interest that brings us together.  It’s truly about finding out the things that bring us together and not the things that separate us.  I know it sounds a stretch, but I wonder if many conflicts of the past whether big or small may have been avoided if the protagonists learned that they each loved to collect stamps?

So, get out there and share your passions and hobbies with others.

Time to reflect on the journey

Above, l extol the virtues of being in the “moment” and how hobbies can keep us 100% present, which is certainly valid.  The opposite of this and a huge benefit is that following a hobby can give us reflection time and moments to “take stock” of where we are at?  This is often not afforded in daily life, we are “just too busy”.  It’s often when we detach from the routine of daily life can we create the space to reflect on where we are, what we have achieved, where we could have done a little better and where we are heading?  Space with which a good hobby provides for our psyche is a perfect cocoon to look inward.  Sometimes this is done with the actual hobby itself, it’s tactile nature, it’s the process of how our minds work during the activity, other times, it’s just the moments in-between the activity that let us exhale.  So, exhale, reflect and reset if you need to through the mechanism of following a beautiful passion.  Your spirit will feel a sense of liberation when you are doing something regularly that you love!

 Have simply fun

I know l mentioned “three” reasons to find your hobby, but I’m throwing this one in quickly, find something that adds layers to your life. Hobbies can change with the seasons, perhaps as weather dictates or as grow into a new interest, whatever you try, simply have fun with it, follow more passions and keep trying new stuff.

Spencer Bromley

Martha Pandelo