I’ve long struggled with the concept of hobbies because honestly, friend, I’m just not good at them.
Throw a ball in my direction and I’ll probably just duck and close my eyes. I’m the last pick for any kind of sports team.
My attempts at a crocheted scarf or washcloth really deserve to be unraveled.
I don’t dance. I don’t sing. I can’t draw. I am not a board or card game person because too many rules confuse me, and I get super self-conscious and embarrassed if I lose and would rather just watch from a distance.
Are you getting the idea?
Some people carry their hobby in a suitcase across the ocean. Others struggle to keep up with their go-to in a new homeland because resources might not be available or the setting isn’t the same.
I didn’t have a hobby of any kind to keep up when I moved overseas. I dove hard into language learning and free time was a luxury I couldn’t afford. Fun and life overseas? Those two are like oil and water- there’s no mixing them. Or so I thought.
I was wrong. If we are going to keep persevering for the long haul, joy absolutely must be part of the ordinary, everyday of our lives.
One thing I’ve always loved is reading. I’m ever so grateful for parents who instilled this devotion in me from the very beginning. Trips to the local library made Tuesdays my favorite day of the week. My mom sat in the rocking chair in the afternoons with a chapter book in hand, while my siblings and I vied for the best listening spot because apparently the acoustics were better in this chair rather than that one.
In the evenings, my dad opened more books and transported us to the prairies or the forests or on many an adventure as he read us on our way to dreamland.
For the first 9 months of my overseas life, I didn’t read a single book. Not a single, solitary one. For the first time in twenty-seven years of life, I had no book waiting for me next to my bed, no tale waiting to carry me away or fill up my brain with knowledge of a new topic.
That changed when I decided to join the Velvet Ashes Book Club for their discussion of Fieldwork and I haven’t looked back since. Reading is a hobby that doesn’t require much talent. I don’t have to be coordinated or creative or have access to a whole lot of supplies.
What do I need? Time. Intention. A little bit of planning if I need to make room in a suitcase for a few real-page type books, or margin in my budget for the e-version.
Making time to read has allowed my mind and body to rest and given space for joy.
I hope you are a bit more creative and talented than I am when it comes to hobbies. If you aren’t, maybe we need to simplify the definition or expand our understanding. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Are you finding intentional ways to step back, relax, rest and rejuvenate?
The work we do is so important. We want to keep doing it longer than next week, and that means letting go of a bit of our control. Yes, I think when we say we don’t have time for something as fun and frivolous as a hobby, it means we are gripping the reins of our lives a little too tightly.
So let go just a little bit. And find something fun to do.
Any other non-talented hobby seekers out there? Have you found a simple, lovely way to step back from work so you can be filled up and step back again?