Conlanging, E.I., and kendama are ones I wasn’t familiar with until now. Constructing a language to communicate with others, ironing clothes in extreme situations like on a rocky ledge, and performing endless tricks with a ball attached to a handle with a string…really? Who engages in such activities? Intriguing as they sound, I won’t be taking any of them up anytime soon.
Mine are more conventional like: blogging, book groups, bowling, calligraphy, cycling, community activism, cooking, creative writing, crafting, crossword puzzle solving, drawing, practicing feng shui, flower arranging, gardening, hiking, jewelry making, journaling, listening to music, visiting museums, origami, writing poetry, reading, sewing, sketching, tutoring, traveling, watching movies, weight training, writing letters, word searches, volunteering and yoga…just to name a few!
Hobbies, often referred to as pastimes, are simply ways a person spends their leisure time. Most likely you have a couple that you enjoy and do for fun without the intention of making a profit, or at least not expecting it to be your main source of income – aka a job. Once considered childish pursuits, they are now thought of as worthwhile ventures that are practiced on a regular basis.
From my journal: February 20, 2021 Newbury Park, California
“Nina sent me a quilling kit for my birthday – I love it! Played around with my new supplies…can’t wait to make some quilled cards…such FUN!”
My hobby enthusiast days began when I was old enough to comprehend words on a page and make legible marks with a pencil on paper. Reading and writing were my first fun time passions and quilling is my most recent. What I like best is that my hobbies take me to a place where my sole focus is on what is right in front of me, and my senses are engaged in the present. Whether that is planting seeds in our garden, figuring out the daily crossword, or tutoring a student in reading, I am there. Nothing else exists and there are no distractions.
Besides being totally in the moment, what I like about hobbies is that they don’t have to take a lot of time. I may work on an art project for hours or just fifteen minutes, so there’s always time to fit in some fun. My hobbies don’t cost much, except perhaps when initially starting something new. After that, I usually have everything I need on hand. If you’ve seen my craft room, you know I could set up a retail shop in there! Hobbies also help me hone my life skills. Volunteering with kids keeps my teaching techniques fresh, as well as my sense of humor. And another plus is if I take up a hobby and realize it is not for me, then I can simply find something else that is.
I love kombucha tea and so I decided to become a brewer. I read everything I could on it, bought all the supplies, but after six months of boiling water, dissolving sugar in it, steeping tea bags into the mixture, and adding my SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), pouring it into a clean jug, covering it with woven cloth and letting it ferment for 7 – 10 days, the result wasn’t ideal. First, I couldn’t keep up consuming the amount I made, so I tried smaller batches and offered it to others. But to preserve the SCOBY I had to keep making more and despite the cute labels I made for my bottles, I couldn’t give enough away. That was challenge number two. And third, no matter how careful I was, I always had to contend with fruit flies – ugh! I discovered I was happier leaving this hobby to true brewers and buying my booch at the grocery store.
January is National Hobby Month and if you have a hobby, it may be a perfect time to share it with someone new to it. It could turn out to be an activity that you can both enjoy together. Not long ago, I introduced the young lady I mentor to gelli plate printing. She has a knack for it and I’m amazed at her creations! Classes are usually terrific for trying out a hobby. Next up for me, a meditation class. With endless hobby options, everything from acting to Zumba, there is truly something for everyone to do – just for the fun of it!