It’s good to have hobbies.
Something other than TV or Video Games. Something that you can either meet new people with or create something of your own.
Hobbies give you something to work towards or get excited about outside of your work life. They give you a way to escape or relax and let tomorrow’s problems stay in tomorrow. Yes, they can eat up time and money, but they are worth every penny so long as you enjoy it.
My number one hobby used to be writing. I loved it. Being able to create my own little worlds and people and tell a story. Writing was what I did late into the night when I probably should have been sleeping or studying or working. It took me out of my corner of the world and helped me let go of the day behind or in front of me.
So when I started writing professionally and I no longer got that therapeutic response from writing, I was concerned. I felt like maybe I didn’t like writing as much as I used to. I wasn’t getting the same enjoyment out of it as I had previously so maybe I didn’t like it at all anymore? I had no idea.
But time moved on, and I kept writing. I had to now. It was my job. And I found myself getting stressed all of the time, unable to sleep, and worrying more than was healthy. I had fallen into the same system I see so many people around me fall into. My work consumed me, and any free time I had I was still worrying and stressing about all of the problems I may have to face the next day. Relaxation time was the time between getting in bed and falling asleep.
A friend of mine had me come over to his house one afternoon, and I had probably slept 2 hours the night before if that. I had a deadline coming up at work, emails to reply to, phone calls to make, and a lot of writing to get done. But I went over. He talked me into the idea that a weekend can be a break if it has to be, so I decided I’d try and put work out of my mind. He had me sit down and build these little plastic miniatures for a board game he had bought. When we had them all built, he brought out a paint set and we painted the plastic. As monotonous as painting these little figures can seem, I didn’t think about work or sleep or stress through the entire process. Three hours passed with laughter and focus as my mind was otherwise occupied with what I was doing.
So the next week I went over again. And let the world melt away as I played with these little plastic figures. And again the week after that. Until I got my own little paint set and one or two cheap plastic figures of my own. And now I have a full new hobby. It’s a hobby that is once again able to take me out of my world and help me cope with whatever is on my mind at the time.
Of course, I’m a nerd, so now It’s expanded from just DnD and board games to wargaming and Warhammer 40,000 but still. It’s those small actions and little bits that bring me back into it. My writing was once my escape and hobby, but now that I have a new one my writing has picked back up and been fun to work on again. My life feels like it has a balance again for the first time in a long time. All because I found something to give a couple hours a week to and take my brain off of whatever else may be happening.
It’s good to have hobbies.