Whenever I need to do a questionnaire, I would always stop and stare at the block that says “hobbies”. Does Netflix count? Sleep? What about shopping?
I felt like a failure when I would lie and say ‘hiking’ because what type of well-rounded adult does not have one single hobby? An adult that doesn’t do much, that’s who! I never had a means of escape from my life, because I never really needed to escape from my everyday life. Looking back now, I realise that my whole life was a hobby. But ever since then, the place on my plate has become smaller and smaller and now that I actually need time for a hobby, there really isn’t much time left to do it.
But hobbies are great, and they are so necessary when you lead a stressful and busy life. They teach you new skills and enrich your life and you might even get the opportunity to meet some new people. The reason I never had a hobby was because I never tried doing something new and I always had this idea that hobby = scrapbooking. Anyone else thought this too? Of course, all of us are unique so our interests and hobbies will be unique as well and if you really like scrapbooking (and have no idea how to store your images on the Cloud) then go for it. You do you.
Hobbies and special interests make you more interesting and even if you don’t want to share your hobby with everyone, at least you won’t feel like a failure when you fill in questionnaires. They add value to your life and it’s a great way to destress and detach from for a little while. It takes your mind off things and having a special skill in one area of your life can actually improve your performance in other areas as well.
I never saw myself as a creative person and if you had told me a year ago that I would be painting, I probably would’ve laughed at you. Listen, I might not be Rembrandt or Salvador Dalí, but I can certainly make a splash of watercolour paint resemble some sort of indigenous flower if I try. And that has become my first official hobby! Whenever I get the chance, I make a cup of tea and try and paint something pretty in the hour or so that William is sleeping. And when I’m done I feel calmer and more relaxed. I feel like I’ve accomplished something that isn’t related to wifeing or mothering or writing or teaching and it just makes me feel good about myself.
I’ve also realised that baking has become some sort of hobby. And that this hobby brings joy to people, whether those people or friends or strangers or just my own toddler licking out the bowl. It’s something that requires focus and patience and the more I bake, the better I get. But that’s what it’s all about. You have to find that one thing that causes you to become a better mother or wife or lawyer or student. It’s part of self-care. Look for something that makes you happy and brings you joy and is something you do for you. Always remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup.