The Key to a Balanced Life; Find a Hobby
I need to get a hobby.
I’m pretty sure I’m doing all the right things – eating right, exercising moderately, sticking to my budget and trying to keep up with the vacuuming. The problem is, I do all of these things because I should do them, not necessarily because I want to.
More importantly, when I do finally find something I “want” to do, it usually involves empty calories or a gossip magazine or a combination of both. As you can probably tell, I could use a little more balance in my life.
I actually compiled a list of hobbies to consider, which was very long. Then I eliminated anything that would require excessive travel (archaeology, big game hunting), expense (antiquing, buying an NHL franchise), or physical exertion (mountain climbing, triathlons), and now have a much shorter list to consider.
I think that either gardening, scrapbooking or learning to play the piano would suit my needs at the moment. Granted, laying out a scrap-book page won’t offer the same bragging rights as scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro, but if Bertrand Russell is to be believed, “Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.”
Scrapbooking for Sanity
I tried my hand at scrapbooking before motherhood and laundry began to dominate my schedule, and I was able to put together a couple of family books before I stopped altogether. It wouldn’t be a problem to pick it back up, particularly as I now have a large box of pictures that need organizing.
Scrapbooking would give me a much-needed creative outlet, and compared with antiquing, it’s fairly inexpensive. Of course, the practical application is that my pictures would get organized, so I’ll be ready ahead of time for graduations, weddings and any other occasions that call for photo displays.
Gardening with Gratitude
For centuries, gardening has been considered a noble and particularly healthy pastime, for people of any station in life. Growing flowers from seed is a wonderful exercise in patience, and buying plants from a local nursery can be an enjoyable shopping trip.
Just as importantly, gardening will give me a reason to spend some time outside in the fresh air, which is good for anyone. Finally, having some pretty flowers to look at all summer will remind me to be grateful for the little things.
Playing for Pure Pleasure
Learning to play an instrument could potentially be more challenging than scrapbooking or gardening, if I wasn’t already familiar with that particular instrument. You see, I did learn how to play the piano a little in high school, so picking up that hobby again won’t be so overwhelming.
I stopped playing for two main reasons; I didn’t have enough interest and I thought I didn’t have enough time. Being older and wiser, I now have the interest, and because I live in the 21st century, I now have more control over the time.
I’ve searched for and found some programs whereby you can learn the piano online, and I am seriously considering it. I could schedule lessons and practices to suit my schedule, and because I won’t be dealing with a live teacher, I will be able to progress at my own speed this time. I’ll even be able to choose my practice pieces from a huge online library of piano music for beginners.
How Complicated is it to Get a Hobby?
This whole exercise is focused on allowing me to get a hobby to cut down on my personal stress level. Unfortunately, I found myself stressing out over which hobby to pick. They all have some very compelling advantages;
- Scrapbooking is easy, portable and not dependent on the weather, and it will help me to organize the pictures I already have.
- Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and will reward me with some pretty flowers to look at.
- Playing the piano is something I can do at my own pace, and eventually I’ll be able to share it with my family and friends.
However, each of these hobbies has a particular disadvantage, as well;
- Gardening won’t be much fun during the winter, but
- Scrapbooking won’t happen on a beautiful summer’s day, and
- Piano practice really should be consistent, so I shouldn’t be taking seasons off from that.
Maybe I’m just over-thinking this. There isn’t a rule book that says I’m only allowed one hobby, right? Nor is there any authority to tell me that I need to spend a certain number of hours every week scrapbooking, right?
Perhaps the best thing to do is try all three hobbies. I can garden when the weather is warm, scrapbook when it gets cold, and play the piano whenever I feel like it. This way, all of these activities will feel more like fun and less like another job.
Have you recently decided to get a hobby, and if so, why? Did you actually go out and search for a hobby, or did you just return to an old one that you pursued years ago? I’d love to read your replies.
About the Author
Melissa Cameron’s mission as a freelance writer is to provide consumers with practical and simple tips for saving money and enjoying life. Her mission as a working mom and wife is to spend as much time as possible with the people she loves best.