I’m coming out today as a serial hobbyist – someone who chooses a hobby, learns absolutely everything about it, speak of nothing else, devotes every moment of free time to it and then reduces its place in life to a very small one as something else grabs the attention. Right now, for example, my pressed penny collection is neatly organized into a space of about 3 feet by 3 feet and covered with a drop cloth that I only just noticed is falling off.
Pressed pennies have almost no place in my life at the moment.
Over the past several years, I’ve gotten deeply involved in geocaching, a geolocation game called Munzee, Pokemon GO, photography and pressed pennies while dipping a toe or two into drawing, LEGO, wooden games and more. Each still has a place in my life that varies in size depending on my mood. For the last few months, I’ve spent most free moments reading, something that never interested me before.
My confession brings with it four thoughts that you may find interesting:
Being a serial hobbyist is OK. Since it’s a hobby – an activity done in leisure time for pleasure – you can try out anything you want, drop it when you like and pick it up again when it suits you. It’s your hobby, if only for a little while.
Hobbies make the rest of life bearable. Whether you choose a hobby and stick with it or try lots of things, the mundane aspects of life and work are easier to tolerate if you have a hobby waiting for you when the work is done. Hobbies can also fill the times in life when you don’t have anything else to do.
Hobbies should contribute to your goals. Hobbies require going places or least doing things, and that means you’re exercising your physical and mental muscles – even if only a little. If you don’t feel a hobby is contributing to your overall wellbeing or somehow advancing your life’s goals, it’s probably time to give it up.
Hobbies should provide relaxation, not stress. If, say, digging in the dirt for hidden Sterilite containers isn’t fun for you, maybe you should forget about geocaching. If, on the other hand, you find it satisfying and de-stressing to gather and organize your collection of Tonka trucks or Cracker Jack toys, then maybe you’re on the right track – for today.
So I’m Gip. I’m a serial hobbyist. And that’s OK. I know that each of my paused hobbies and a world of new ones will be there for me when I need them again, and, I hope, so will the community of people who also enjoy one hobby after another and never settle for just one pastime.
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