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!