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How Hobbies Can Save Us

How many times have you had to answer the question “so what do you do for fun?” Probably a lot. Whether it be first dates or interviews, we often try and get to know new people by asking them what their hobbies are or what they do in their free time.


My answer to that question usually has something to do with “what free time” or “I love my work, so I do that for fun.” But truth be told, I do have hobbies and things I like to do when I do have some down time. And I love leaning into those as a reminder that you can do things just to enjoy them and not always for a purpose.


It’s actually funny, because I was planning on doing a blog post about the importance of maintaining hobbies and setting aside time to practice your own creativity for the past few weeks. And now that we’re all respecting social distancing and staying inside during this weird time in the world, it seems only fitting to talk about this now.


How many times in your life have you wanted to learn something new or master a new skill, but you just didn’t have the time? We live in a world that keeps us crazy busy. We run around from work to friends to kids activities to church to all the other things we fill our life with, we rarely get time to be home and pursue anything just for fun. Well good news, we have all the time in the world to do that now!


Hobbies are vastly important, now and always. Hobbies are this little reminder that in a world that always demands productivity and perfection, we can do something just for the joy of it.


I’ve spoken before about my tendency to always work to be the best at everything I do. In my work or my relationships, this is definitely a cornerstone for me. With one exception. I strive to appear perfect, except when it comes to my hobbies.


I do a number of things just for fun. Playing guitar, my Chinese yo-yo, coloring, writing, crossword puzzles, and jigsaw puzzles. These are some of my favorite things to do with absolutely zero pressure. Could I work harder at guitar and eventually try and make money at it? Yes, I could, but I don’t want to. I love that I have an area of music that isn’t my job. I love that I don’t have to e perfect at guitar. I love that no one looks over my shoulder if I can’t finish a crossword puzzle. I love that I can throw my Chinese yo-yo up in the air a few times and have only mastered one trick.

For those who don't know what a Chinese yo-yo is...

Hobbies are done for fun and for a release, they don’t need to be anything more.


I even say that about this blog. While I would eventually love to monetize and make a little bit off of this, I write more for the people I am reaching and for myself. This is a great outlet for me. It’s a great way for me to get my thoughts out and also stay committed to something.


Hobbies can get difficult to keep up with when life gets in the way. I’ve missed blog post days before because of things in life that have come up. I give myself grace for that. But I also love that I have set days that I like to publish these. Whether you rush to your computer on Tuesdays and Fridays to read or not, it’s still a good reminder to me to do something creative on those days.


Using your brain in a creative way throughout the week is so important. Sometimes we don’t get time to do that because of our work or our schedules. The next few weeks, you have nothing but time.


So I encourage you to dig into a hobby or something new you’ve always wanted to learn. And I challenge you to let yourself be as good or bad at it as you want to be. No one expects you to master the flute or knit a whole sweater after one day of social distancing. But if playing a few notes and knitting a few rows makes you feel better, you accomplished something hugely important.


This is a scary and weird time for all of us. I understand that the instinct is to cuddle up in a ball, watch cartoons on Disney+, and buy a 2 liter of grape soda and drink it straight out of the bottle. I understand that this is the instinct, because that is literally what I did two nights ago. The instinct is to cower and numb ourselves to what’s happening. But rather than thinking of this time as a waiting period until we can act normal again, think of all the opportunities you have for creativity and learning. Think of how accomplished you’ll feel if you finally take the time to finish that puzzle or you actually read that book you’ve been wanting to finish.


Then think about how you can continue to pursue that interest throughout the months after. How are you going to rededicate time to yourself and your specific interests even when life starts back up again.


Hobbies are important to get your creative juices flowing and give us something to pass the time in an enjoyable way. They’re important everyday, but over these next few weeks they’re saving us. They’re helping us cope and giving us an outlet. And that doesn’t have to stop when the gates open back up. Prioritize yourself and your little moments of joy, right now and for the future.


Sending love and light to everyone. Stay strong, and go do something that makes you feel good.


-ACB-

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