It’s time to reframe my life.
I’ve stumbled across a lot of stuff about hobbies lately. A post by a person who wants to find a hobby but is afraid they will be bad at it, articles about why hobbies are good for you and how to cultivate them, a blog by a writer who is learning to focus on the ONE thing instead of spreading themselves thin, and more. The more I read, the more I realize…I got this.
I used to lament that I didn’t have any true passions, no hobbies or interests that I wanted to totally immerse myself in. I even struggled (not particularly successfully) to find ways to keep the daughters from this fate. The story of my life is that I know a little about a lot, and I do a lot of things very averagely. Now, I finally realize that I am really good at one thing and that the story of my life will be titled “The Hobbyist.”
Note: A quick search for books titled “The Hobbyist” came up with two hits. Both books are about sex addicts. If I’m naive about some slang meaning of the word ‘hobbyist’ then I’m just gonna claim a kavanaugh. Impeach me.
It’s been a long time since I had a job that contributed anything financially significant to my life. Certainly raising the daughters and keeping the household running (well enough) was/is a legit job, but I am often asked, and was in fact asked just last week, “what do you do all day?” I never have a good answer. I say that I play racquetball and that I volunteer at a school sometimes, but I hate feeling like I have to defend myself and account for 8-10 hours a day that other people aren’t asked to account for. Enough I say! This is how it’s going down the next time:
Unsuspecting Someone: What do you do all day?
Me: Oh, I have lots of hobbies.
Unsuspecting Someone: Such as?
Me: I’m a reader. I don’t read huge numbers of books and I read across many genres. I’ll talk to you about books, but I might not remember titles, authors, or plots with any detail. I think books are essential home decor. I’m a writer. I have no aspirations to create anything greater than my little blog. You’re welcome to read it, but you probably aren’t interested. I don’t write about anything in particular. I’m a racquetball player. I’ve been playing for a gazillion years but I never practiced enough to get better than average. It’s fun and I have no desire to play more often or with stiffer competition. I’m a gardener. You might not realize this by looking at my yard. I enjoy puttering with plants, watching them live and die. No, I don’t want to hire the neighbor boy to cut my grass, I actually kind of enjoy mowing the lawn. I’m a knitter. Sweaters are really hard, it’s much easier to buy one, it will probably fit better. I do make things for other people, but not necessarily what they want me to make for them. Lately I’ve knit scarves and blankets and stuffed animals. Sometimes I knit things and just put them in a donation box going to the thrift store. I’m a birdwatcher. I watch birds, I don’t keep a life list of birds I’ve seen. I put birdfeeders and birdbaths in the yard and I watch them get used. I can identify some birds by sight, no birds by song, and there are many that I still refer to as LBJ’s (little brown jobbers.) I am a puzzle and game enthusiast. I do jigsaw puzzles and word puzzles. I play computer games and board games and card games. I’m not necessarily out to discover new games and puzzles, I like playing the same ones over and over. I’m a dog owner. You might not consider this a hobby, but it is something I enjoy and that I have chosen to do and that can take up a lot of time. Is it a hobby if I called it being a dog trainer? I’m a sports fan. Specifically I follow the Houston Astros, the Dallas Stars, and Purdue basketball, but my casual fandom seemingly knows no bounds. Those are most of my current hobbies. How about you? What are your hobbies?
You don’t have to be good at a hobby. You don’t have to achieve goals with a hobby. You don’t have to create anything lasting with a hobby. It doesn’t have to be the only thing you do, and you can start and stop doing it whenever you want. It isn’t something you have to get better at, it’s just something you should enjoy. From now on, I’m saying it loud and I’m saying it proud: I am a hobbyist.