Monday, June 12, 2006

Making Time for your Hobby

By Christina VanGinkel

Spending time enjoying our hobbies is not always the easiest task to accomplish. Work, family, and the daily grind called life more often than not intrude into any time that we might actually have. Sure, we might be able to carve out five or ten minutes here or there, but that is usually not enough time to accomplish anything beyond starting the most basic aspects of almost any hobby, surely not enough time to take part in any of the enjoyments that we so often search out a hobby for in the first place. Sure, there are always a few exceptions, where five or ten minutes of time is enough to enjoy a hobby, but more often than not, it is just not enough time. My favorite hobby, listed below, actually is one of the exceptions, as it can be accomplished in very short bursts of time.

Before you just chuck all your hobbies to the roadside though, take a good look at what you do enjoy doing, and give them levels of priority. Consider how much time each does use up, and take a realistic look at your schedule and see if any of your top priority hobbies can find a place in your hectic schedule. If you just are not coming up with any time to devote to them, then either you are not taking the job of relaxation seriously enough, or else the hobbies might not really be all that important to you. Maybe it is time to seek out a hobby or two that will provide the enjoyment aspect that should be a priority towards the use of your time.

To help you reconcile the differences of what is important to you and what is not, you must consider the fact that hobbies are good for people. They can help people lower their stress levels, or get people who might spend the majority of their time in a sedentary position, say sitting behind a desk, up and moving. Look at your hobbies of preference and ask yourself what they mean to you. Consider what they provide to your daily existence that nothing else does.

I have so many hobbies, that for me, this task was a bit difficult; in comparison to if I just partook in one or two outside activities, but I was still able to associate aspects that I considered benefits of almost every hobby I could list. I have listed a few of them below for you to see how I consider I have benefited from a few of my favorites.

Reading (my favorite hobby) provides me with quiet downtime that is pure pleasure. I am able to kick back and think about something that has absolutely nothing to do with my life. It can be accomplished in short bursts of time, so even when I am overly busy, I can still sneak in a few minutes of time that is devoted entirely to me.

Playing with my beadwork, working in one of my scrapbooks, crocheting, or cross-stitching, each provide an outlet for my creativity. They offer the opportunity to fill my mind with colors and textures, to create something that may be around long after I am not. The thought that a future grandchild of mine might someday enjoy something that I made myself fills me with pure joy. Each of these hobbies is somewhat self-fulfilling, as the best hobbies always are.

Time spent working on my writing falls somewhat into the realm of the hobbies I just listed, but is on a somewhat different level. Self-fulfilling for sure, my writing also provides something that no other of my hobbies ever could. I consider it my second favorite way to spend any free time that I have, proceeded only by reading itself.

Ask yourself what your favorite hobbies are and what you feel you gain from them. How much time do you devote to them, and if the answer is not enough, maybe it is time to either find a hobby that will prompt you to make sure you do find the time to take part in it, or else, figure out how to spend more time on the hobbies you are already have.


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