I realized something…
I was at a downtown Austin restaurant with Nate last week and he asked if he needed to wait to eat the food until I took my pictures and I said, “no I’m not photographing it tonight. Just enjoying myself.” At one point, eating out at restaurants was a hobby (it’s one of my favorite things ever!!) but now it’s also linked to my career. It’s hard to keep a hobby a “hobby.”
Do you have any hobbies? True hobbies. The types of things that you do just for yourself and your enjoyment, or maybe for a small audience (like pursuing baking and sharing those goodies with friends, or learning to play an instrument and performing at a local nursing home.)
It’s difficult to keep pursuing a hobby “for pleasure or relaxation” when it seems like it’s so dang easy to monetize things these days. Can you relate?
If your hobby is traveling, you can become a travel vlogger (the good ones do this as a full-time gig!), or if your hobby is crafting or home decor, you can create a DIY site and monetize that. Someone who reads a lot can start a podcast about books and maybe even land a book deal.
It’s inspiring to think about taking a hobby and turning it into a career. Do what you love and all that, right?
With social media platforms and views and shares and likes and affiliates and the myriad of ways that hobbies can produce an income, I find that for many of us, it’s hard to do something for internal validation, growth, or enjoyment. (I remember listening to this wonderful podcast episode about Delight. I love the idea of a hobby existing simply for delight.)
A few hobbies that I enjoy right now:
Eating out at restaurants. After running this blog for 5 years, there have been a lot of times when I’m not enjoying being at the restaurant and I just have to “check it off the list.” So I’ve been intentionally trying to eat out more and not photograph myself or the food for instagram or the website. It’s really fun to simply eat out and and taste the food, talk to my dinner date, and appreciate the experience without wondering how I can share it later.
Meditation. One of my favorite personal growth hobbies! I started it after reading this book in 2017. I love how meditation makes me feel, and I love that it’s just for me – I don’t use any social apps. (For a while I used Insight Timer and Headspace, but I don’t like how they validate the number of days in a row you meditate…it was bringing out my inner competitor, and I really just wanted to do it for calm and enjoyment, not competition.)
Reading. For sure my favorite hobby right now is reading! I enjoy reading a good book more than almost anything. Fiction is fun because it transports me to amazing places. (Psst: 27 fiction books I love.) Personal growth books are fun because they change me. One of my favorite things about reading is that I can’t scroll through my phone while I’m reading a book. (How many tv shows have I started only to have to re-start 20 minutes later because I missed the story line due to googling one of the actors? Lots.)
I read in the evenings after the babies are asleep. But I also love blocking off an hour in my calendar as “reading time.” I feel proud of myself whenever I do that, because I’m taking a break to read when I could be doing something productive, and that’s hard for me. Reading brings me joy.
Some hobbies I’m thinking of starting:
Playing the piano. I took 12 years of lessons before college, but I haven’t played much lately (except for accompanying my violin students in my twenties. I only own a keyboard right now, but I’ve thought about buying an upright piano for my home.
Running. Could I possibly do this in a way that helps me enjoy the journey, not the destination? I get soooo competitive with myself. If I run, I want it to be for joy and not only for goals.
Sketching. (This is comical.) I am soooo bad at this and have nowhere to go but up. Also, I like the idea of an art form that doesn’t require too many materials.
Do you have any hobbies? I’d love to know what they are.