As I write this, it’s a Saturday, and I’m working (well, not currently, because I’m writing this post, but you get the idea). I’m sitting in my living room, looking out at the beautiful summer day and thinking about how nice it would be to hang outside or do anything besides work.
I’m kind of a workaholic. It’s hard not to be when you have your own business. And last week, my husband also went back to work (a change from his role as a stay-at-home Dad) so our lives are in a bit of an upheaval right now. So as far as hobbies go, I’m struggling to find time to fit them all in.
What is a hobby?
I’m no dictionary, but to me, a hobby is something that you enjoy doing. Something that relaxes you, that inspires you. A hobby makes you feel happy. Bottom line: hobbies are different for everyone.
Making time for the hobbies we love
I don’t have a ton of spare time. If I’m not working, I’m teaching. If I’m not teaching, I’m taking care of my children. And then there is the matter of spending time with my husband. So “alone” time for hobbies? Right now, that’s kind of laughable in my house. However, there are a few things I try to do to keep my “me” time (and time with others) a part of my crazy, hectic life.
Here are some examples:
- I multi-task to the extreme. Working out is something I enjoy. It relaxes me and is one of the few times during the day where I’m able to shut off my mind and just breathe (albeit heavily since my heart rate is up). And so, I became a fitness instructor. Not for the money or the career aspect, but for the time it would allow me to learn a new skill, feel good about myself and have no excuses for why I was continuing to put exercise lower on my priority list than it needed to be. Yes, for me, exercising is a hobby and, something I can also make a little money on part-time.
- I schedule dates with friends. I love scrapbooking. I’m one of those people who captures every moment, writes religiously in my kids’ baby books and tries as hard as I can to keep everything updated (my oldest is 7 and I’m already thinking about the awesome photo boards I can make for his graduation party). So a good friend of mine who also loves to scrapbook (and works at a scrapbooking store–score!) and I try to set up a time every month (sometimes every other month) to scrapbook together. It’s not typically spur-of-the-moment (what can be these days?). We set a date, stick to it, and count down the days until it’s “our time”. A change of pace from our college days when we could literally just plan something minutes before it happened, but for us busy moms, it works.
- I beat the pants off my husband in Dr. Mario. Some couples go out for romantic dinners. Some carve out weekend stays at a nice B&B. My husband and I play Dr. Mario on our Nintendo 64. And it’s competitive. For real. One night, we made it the rule that we couldn’t go to bed until someone hit 50,000 points (or until the clock struck Midnight). My point is, for us, in our stage of life, we do what works when the kids go to bed. We don’t have a ton of resources for babysitters and nights out on the town. But we do have things we can do at home together that are mindless and fun at the same time.
- I take my family on walks. We don’t have a dog and taking walks as a family of six can be daunting (can’t anyone seem to remember to get to the bathroom before we leave??) but we do it anyway. Regular walks after dinner helps my husband and I reconnect after our day. It reminds me to stop and watch my children get excited about birds, airplanes and other things we, as adults, now find trivial. Walking may not be a hobby for some, but it’s a nice family routine that we’ve developed as a way to stay close and connected.
It doesn’t matter what you consider your hobby as long as you do something. Remember that it’s healthy to take time for yourself and do things that make you happy. Sure, sometimes I hear friends talking about the great new photography classes they’re taking, the book club they’re in or the latest vacation they’ve booked and I feel a slight tinge of jealousy. But I remind myself that for me, for my family, for where we are in our lives, the hobbies we’re able to take advantage of now work just fine.
We’re happy, we’re healthy, and even if it means I’m working on a Saturday, I know that come 8 p.m., it’s go time against my husband in a little Dr. Mario battle.
Now, what hobby will you make time for today?