Thursday, June 26, 2014

Five Ways to Get a Hobby...And Keep It

A hobby: what's that? Who has time for a hobby? Work is my hobby. My children...are my hobby.  Keeping my life together is now my hobby. Please, no.
Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully.

I get it: I'm not one of these 30-something single women who travels the world and schedules her time as she pleases. Three children, a husband, a job, and volunteer obligations dictate my time...for the most part. Some whine, I don't have time to read, paint, cook, photograph, play that instrument, or [fill in the blank with your hobby choice], but, I'm sorry, it's simply not true. Do you watch at least one movie a week?

Before children, hobbies dominated free time, and even school was consumed with what I loved: writing, painting, and cooking. Is it harder now? Sure. But it's certainly doable. If you don't have two hours a week to do something outside the worldly demands, then you need to modify your lifestyle.

1. Assess your time. Some people honestly don't know where their time goes. Managing tasks or people leaves them overwhelmed, stalling out their ability to get done what needs to be done so they are free to do what doesn't. If this is you, try writing down everything you do in a day. Keep a notebook by you and write down your hourly activities.  How many times do you check your email or Facebook? How often do you finish what you start? Are you focused? Assess the situation and see where things can change.

2. Write down some things you do that make you feel free and joyful.  For someone who has more hobbies than energy, I don't have to think for very long. But I knew some people who needed a hobby but just couldn't come up with anything. The desire or money wasn't there. Don't give up.

3. Don't know? Take a little test. 
  With the internet, almost any personality or work assessment test will help you analyze your specific bent.    Yes, they have them for hobbies too. See what it brainstorms.

4. Schedule it in.
    Even if it's only once a week, make time for your hobby. Hopefully you take time to shower and exercise, meet with friends occasionally, go on dates, etc. Schedule a personal "date" each week where you can check out of the temporary and mundane and do something that sparks life in you. My hobby time is often done during nap time or in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. It's only once a week, but it's enough for now. And it helps me remember that there's a meaningful significance to this time.

5. Remember, it's more than superficial. Having a hobby reminds us that life isn't all work, acquiring money or merely keeping our heads afloat. There's a beauty and purpose and joy in life found through our own specific passions. Maybe your talent isn't especially creative; still, your hobby points to a deeper dimension to your personhood--who you were meant to be. You aren't just a robot created to work, sleep, and go through the grinding motions of life. Your hobby points to this higher calling, finding the beauty beyond the must-do tasks of life. Aside from perspective, hobbies give you a breather. And everyone needs that.

A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints

Still need some prompts? Here's a few.


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