I realized as I sat down today that I have lost my favorite hobbies. Not just lost them, but lost my love for them.
Then it struck me.
With all the stress of trying to normalize life from a major move, and working through the issues, there was no time to breathe.
Now I can breathe.
There are so many hobbies that we have between all of us. It is important that we unwind doing something we enjoy between stresses.
Some are expensive hobbies, like Amateur Radio or motor car racing. Others bring joy and peace, such as kayaking or taking a walk with a dog in the woods.
There are those who take up knitting and crocheting. Others like playing cards.
The simple hobbies are the ones that use the mind, but don’t have to be complicated.
Gaming is something I have never understood as relaxing, but to someone else, the challenge of figuring out how to beat the system is their method of enjoyment.
If one looks at the great grandparents’ generation, television and video games weren’t even invented yet. For them, the local town dance, playing music on the front porch with their families and friends, sipping mint and honey tea in the late afternoon on a hot summer day, and taking a walk down the country road were typical ways to relax.
Life was filled with chores, so they figured out how to work in relaxation every day. Especially Sundays.
Family dinners and listening to someone play the piano were fun times.
Card games, like Gin Rummy, Hearts, Black Jack, Penny Poker, Pinochle, and my all-time favorite, Cribbage, are easy to use, but challenging in nature. Tricks, adding, trying to figure out your opponent’s strategy all add to the fun.
And they draw friends and family together by using something as simple as a card deck. Easy to carry, and easy to store.
Painting and artwork has become big business. So has photography. But the real art of doing it without computer technology is all but lost on most people. The machine can replicate what is desired, so why bother?
Because innate skills need to be honed and nurtured to become good. And the tactile feel of the paintbrush, pen, or pencil actually connects the human mind and body together as one. What is created is something that comes from the mind to the paper through the left side of the brain.
With photography, the talent of a real artist is one who can look at a scene, decipher what they see into a picture of beauty, and capture it on film. Yes, film. Not an smartphone or digital camera.
Talent and skill are necessary to create real art. And art imitates nature. It has a form and a function.
Something us right brained people are not adept at figuring out.
Another type of simple hobby comes in the form of collecting things from nature. Everything from rocks to sea shells, plants to bird feathers, the every act of collecting is both an intellectual and creative challenge. Gardening is the ultimate prize for an enthusiast who enjoys flowers or fruiting plants.
Sorting them, creating artwork out of them, and sitting back enjoying the feel of the natural substances in the hands is not replicated by machinery or technology.
Then there is silence. Most would not consider this a “hobby”. And, in reality, it is not.
But I added this one because it is the only things we have in common that all can enjoy.
Sitting on the porch and listening to what is going on around you. Shutting off the mind and letting the senses take in the environment is difficult.
But 10 minutes a day can become one a favorite addition to any hobby lover. The enjoyment of discovering the birds in the area, their songs, colors, habits, can become a bird watching hobby. If in the city, perhaps the sounds of different car engines, the style of vehicles, colors – which is the most popular or the latest fashion? – all can lead to a love of the automobiles. And grow into a hobby of collecting, building, or sorting cars.
You never know what sitting with the mind on silence can bring.
Enjoyment of life…
Hobbies and simplicity bring out the enjoyment of life. It doesn’t mean that the conveniences of current life, like running water and refrigerators need to be eliminated. But even the use of these things can lend themselves to enjoyment of life.
Making a creative meal or dessert can become just as much a hobby as listening to the airwaves on a HAM Radio just to see who is out there.
The goal is simple. Find something that is enjoyable to do that gives the space between the turmoil of everyday living, to reset your perspective on the meaning of life. It isn’t all negative, even with this world turning every on its head.
Your space is your own. No one can take that from you.
Find something that will give you the small, simple goals, easy to reach, so that you find an accomplishment still within your grasp.
It doesn’t have to cost money. It just costs your time.
Find a hobby. Enjoy it. And see the pleasure it can bring in this darkening world.
We all need a little bit of light. God gave us the ability and right to relax by virtue of the Natural Law.
Even God rested on the 7th day.