I read a post about having a hobby while coming back from a quick trip to Baton Rouge. (I wasn’t driving obviously.) It struck a bit of a cord with me and also explained a bit about how I’ve been working to redesign my life lately. It put some things into perspective and gave me the permission I needed to do some things differently.
The post talked about how necessary it is for everyone to have a hobby. I’m sure most people would agree with that without really thinking much about it. The post took it a bit further though. A hobby should be something we do just for fun, relaxation, or personal enjoyment. It shouldn’t be a side job or anything that’s done to enhance a resume, make more money, or accomplish any larger purpose. Talk about perspective. You see, I feel like I have to have a reason for everything. I feel like every minute of my day must be used in a way that accomplishes some goal. I often even feel guilty about having downtime. I should be working towards something.
After reading this post, I decided to cut myself some slack on that. This blog currently falls into the hobby category. I started it as a hobby and an excuse to write and if I’m not careful, it could easily turn into something much different. Right now I’m still writing and sharing posts based on what I want to write about and share with readers. However, I can so very easily switch to creating content that’s more pinnable and shareable. I can so easily feel tempted to write things for the sole purpose of adding numbers to my analytics. If I’m not careful, this blog could very easily switch from being a hobby/outlet for me to another business venture. Over the last few months I’ve felt guilty about not wanting this space to grow exponentially and be the biggest and baddest blog of all time. I’ve felt like I’m selling myself short for not carefully selecting my content and only sharing magazine-worthy photos. I’ve felt like I had to want to make this blog a business (or at least a funnel to my other businesses) and it’s just now that I realized that I don’t have to do that and I certainly don’t have to feel guilty about it. My Neck of the Woods can continue to be just a hobby for me and that is 100% ok.
I can also play tennis. At times since starting this tennis journey, I’ve felt insanely guilty about the time it occupies. There are times that I play or take lessons early in the morning, making my work day start a tad later than usual. I’ve felt guilty for that. Some days I schedule other activities around tennis and I’ve felt guilty for that too. Matthew and I have adjusted our evening routine a bit to play together in the evenings, and I’ve felt uncertain about changing our schedule around. After reading this post, I realize that the reason I’ve felt so uncertain (and slightly secretive) about this tennis adventure is because it’s not accomplishing anything. I’m not doing it with a big goal in mind or a plan of action. However, I love to learn new things, really enjoy the game of tennis, and absolutely want an active lifestyle. Tennis is purely a hobby for me and I deserve that.
My husband is one that attempts (and often abandons shortly after) many different hobbies. When he becomes interested in something, he tries it. He does this with no agenda in mind. He attempts something new and once he feels he’s explored it enough, he moves on to something else. While the details of this approach on hobbies are one of the main things that drive me crazy about him, I’m also a bit jealous of his approach. He tries new things regularly and simultaneously abandons them when he’s no longer interested. As we’ve talked about his hobbies numerous times, he’s mentioned that I should try a hobby. I thought that I had plenty of hobbies. However, I’m realizing that most of the items I considered a “hobby,” actually had some sort of hidden agenda or intention.
Since stumbling upon this post, I’ve given myself the freedom to do things without a greater purpose in mind. Not all of my activities have to propel me towards a greater goal, and I can benefit greatly from giving myself a bit more freedom. Tennis is a current hobby and so is this blog. I can and will continue to do these things just because. I don’t have to justify them to myself or to others. If you don’t have a true hobby, I encourage you to think about what sorts of things you’re interested in. Find something to do that’s not done to make money or accomplish any sort of goal. Spend some time doing something you’re interested in, just because you want to. I deserve it and so do you.