Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Hobbies

I have always been someone who likes having something else to do outside of work. I'm also someone who hasn't quite found a hobby that I excel at.

I tried my hand at scrapbooking but I never really had the patience, money, or skill to put into this particular hobby.

I tried painting - but that was also quite expensive and something I wasn't talented at - the image in my head never quite matched what my hand was doing.

I tried decorating - super expensive. Woodworking - super messy. Sewing - totally disastrous. Knitting - not ideal with a cat.

I tried out the guitar - short fingers, lack of cash for continued lessons and apartment living didn't make this hobby one that was sustainable.

I like reading - though it's not really a hobby. I have spent a ton of money on this non-hobby, however.

Blogging has been a fun hobby - though expensive and hugely time consuming when I was blogging like it was a second job.

And of course now I have sailing. But that's a once a week hobby and also pretty pricey.

I'm sure there were a few more hobbies in the past few years, but I fear I've blocked them out.

So many hobbies, so much wasted time and money...

What I have learned about hobbies is that while they can be fun and serve a purpose, many of them are really just expensive distractions.

Instead of focusing on the things and beings that were important to me, or doing something meaningful with my time, I found myself absorbed with things that were random, unimportant, solo endeavors. Instead of thinking about what I wanted to pursue in life, I found myself shopping for distractions from thought.

The only hobbies that really meant/mean something to me are the guitar, reading and blogging, and sailing. I don't feel any of my time or money spent on these things was wasted.

I wish I'd realized that scrapbooking, painting, faux painting, furniture building, baking, crafting, sewing, knitting, photography, decorating weren't up my alley. They were passing fancies, whims, time wasters. I didn't particularly enjoy any of them, I have nothing to show for any of those hobbies as I'd purged every single thing I'd purchased or made.

It's taken me a long time to realize that hobbies aren't simply "fun" ways to spend your time. And I should have gotten a clue ages ago that they were actually quite costly.

Had I been as aware of all of this then, as I am now, I would have taken more care when choosing a hobby and asked myself some of those tough questions before going full throttle, like:
  • Why do you want to do this? Is it because you're bored or because you're actually interested in it?
  • Can you afford to sustain this hobby?
  • Is this hobby something you'd imagine yourself doing a year from now? Two years? Three years?
  • If you take up this hobby, will the things you need to purchase for it take up space you don't want taken up?
  • Does this hobby take up time you really can't afford or don't want to spend on it?
  • Will you have to hang on to the results of this hobby? And if so, do you want to have to keep these things?
  • Have you wanted to pursue this hobby for awhile or is this perhaps just a whim?
  • Is this hobby meaningful? Do you care if it's not?
  • Is there something else you'd rather do with your time? If yes, is it worth waiting to do that other thing?
  • Is there something else you'd rather spend your money on? If yes, is it worth waiting for the money to do that other thing?
So, before I buy that glue gun, that baking pan, that drum kit, I'm definitely going to think about the value of doing so, the impact it will have on my life, the things I'll have to sacrifice.

And I'm so thankful that my current hobby - sailing - is something that's very meaningful to me, it's worth the time and money, and it's worth the large amount of space the gear takes up in my home.

To be continued...