I’m an avid reader. I journal. I’ll walk my dog or meet a friend for lunch. I volunteer with women’s organizations. Are these hobbies? Hmmm… Kinda lame.
I used to think I liked cooking but years of making family dinners have sucked any pleasure from it—and don’t get me started on cooking for two. I exercise regularly but that’s for my health and my favorite part is being done.
I watch favorite TV shows and follow the news, listen to podcasts, and surf social media, but those are pretty passive endeavors so I don’t think they qualify. I love to travel and can get lost for hours researching and planning a vacation, although Covid has put a lot of that on the back burner. I do love to dance but haven’t found any early dance clubs, i.e. ones that don’t expect you to start your night out at 11pm.
I think of a hobby as something you do actively for pleasure and challenge, on a regular basis and with near-daily access.
Am I a hobby dilettante?
I have friends who are avid about baking, crocheting, restoring furniture, training for marathons, playing guitar, learning Spanish. I am envious.
It’s not for lack of trying. I took knitting lessons but found anything more complex than a plain scarf too frustrating. I learned how to play MahJong but Covid shut our group down. I used to play a little Texas hold ’em but nothing serious (it was more of an excuse to socialize!) and the ladies have since scattered. For a while I got into jigsaw puzzles, but that didn’t last. I even rented an upright piano to see if I could get back into playing, but it honestly felt like a chore. Ditto with meditation. I did take pickleball lessons last month and may try it again this summer.
The latest? I just bought a ukulele! I so want a creative outlet and it’s such a cute little instrument. And it’s supposed to be more manageable to learn. I plan to teach myself via YouTube. I’ve had the ukulele for two months and so far I’ve only learned how to tune it. Uh oh…
YOUR TURN: Have you developed or renewed hobbies in midlife? Tell us what you love to do and how you recommend we get started. I could certainly use your ideas!
Birdwatching is a hobby you can enjoy alone or with others, so when Covid hit, and groups were not encouraged, it was a solitary hobby that kept me in touch with nature, but away from others. You can jump right into it by getting yourself a good pair of binoculars and a birdwatching book like Stokes or Kaufman’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Or, you can sign up for an on-line course through the Cornell School of Ornithology or your local Audubon chapter. Both suggestions can also point you in the right direction for bird walks and events that may be taking place where you live. Spotting the bevy of beauties that reside in your backyard or on a field trip is exciting and connects you to nature which is so beneficial for you.
Thanks so much for this great info Catherine!
I think of my writing as a hobby/vocation since I make no money from it. But I know what you mean. I’m on the lookout too for something, but nothing writing-related. Making reels on Instagram has filled that need somewhat.
You get it!
I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I have TOO MANY hobbies. 😉 Jewelry, sewing, glass mosaics, gardening, canning, photoshop, DIY lotions and potions, candle making… Should I go on? But I’m not sorry about it.
I’m so jealous!!
I would say that you have at least one steady hobby – your writing. While it is related to your business, it seems to also be something you enjoy and do regularly, with skill! I appreciate that you’ve dabbled into many things, even though they didn’t “stick.” I am also a “jack of all trades” type person. In 2021-22, I finally tried tap dancing, and now I’m starting drum lessons. Good luck with the ukulele!
Love that! I’ve been wanting to try tap dancing too!
Great post. I guess I think of my daily activities as a life of hobbies, as I no longer work outside the home. I garden, my garden is big and requires a lot of time. I write EVERY DAY…but is it a hobby, I like to think it is much more that that, it is the ability express strong feels, search for ideas, connect with the world. In the past, we needed hobbies to meet others. Now we do it here. Thanks for your post.
Gardening is a hobby so many love. I don’t even like to get my hands in the dirt. Thanks for sharing your perspective on writing. I agree it’s more than a hobby for me too.
Hmmm…I have to think about what my definition of a hobby is… I love writing. Reading. Puzzles. Dancing (I teach line dancing classes…) Sewing costumes. (I’m especially excited about the Civil War era!) But my passion (for the past 60 years) is Lego. Sadly, it’s an expensive hobby and I have to limit myself to a couple of big sets per year. The good thing about it is that one can dismantle and start again! Or just make something entirely different!
Those are some wonderful hobbies Diane!
I am the same, Hélène. I don’t have any hobbies and am worried about retirement. What will I do? I enjoy exercising, meditating, traveling, and meeting up with friends and family. Is this enough to keep me occupied and satisfied during retirement?
However, I do love partnering with and empowering women as they step out of their comfort zone to research and start their businesses. Is this a hobby? And how long can I do this?
I’d love some guidance!
Exactly! We are kindred souls!