Friday, September 14, 2012


My sister-in-law recently got very interested in photography. One day she was taking pictures with a point and shoot camera and the next day she was one of the most talented photographers I've ever met. I know it didn't really happen like that. I, first, attributed her new found interest to her wedding being over. No longer completely inundated with wedding details she found herself married and in need of something, a hobby, to fill the time that was once dedicated to all things white and wedding-y. Inspired by her own wedding photographer (who wouldn't be? The man is a genius), she picked up a camera. She took a class. She read books. She developed a real hobby. And she was good, no great, at it. It wasn't until later that I found out she had a clear plan for making it a profession for herself (what luck in life, to be able to do what you love as a job).

What she doesn't know is the effect all of this had on me. At first, it only raised a simple question: do I have a hobby? What do I do regularly in my leisure time for pleasure? I do a lot of things regularly. Is washing bottles a hobby? I love when my house is clean; does that qualify as pleasure? Cleaning cannot be my hobby! *Sad* Not to mention I hate the act of cleaning and only admitted to liking when the house is already clean. Laundry? Is that a hobby? Ok, honestly, the only consistent thing I do, in my leisure time, for pleasure, is eat and watch television. *Seething embarrassment* It's true, folks. Are eating and watching TV considered hobbies? I've always considered them to be addictions, the dark relative of the hobby. But, I am very good at those particular activities. And they don't have to go together either. When asked what I want to do when company is in town, or for a date night, I immediately rattle off restaurant names like an auctioneer (who is speaking my language!). As if eating is the only activity I can even think of to do. Craig has actually said to me before "Ok, that'll take care of lunch but what do you want to DO today?" My only reply to him being a confused look. No, eating and television CANNOT be my (only) hobbies.

I walk a lot! Ok, maybe we're onto something. But, I mostly do it as a low impact form of exercise and a way to kill some time with two kids who hate being inside all day (we've already established that I'd prefer to sit on my butt with a bag of chips). I wouldn't say I love to walk. Some days I have to force myself to walk so I don't hate myself later (when I'm watching TV and eating). But, I don't dislike it either... unless it's hot, or cold, or humid, or raining, or I'm tired, or it's hilly, or... ok.... maybe walking isn't my hobby.
Why won't these kids just push ME in the stroller?

I like to read. Let's be honest though, I've barely read a whole book since I had children (soul crushers). When my full day of catering to two kids, a husband, and a household ends I make my way up to bed, pick up my iPhone, frantically scroll through endless social media apps and blog sites, and before I know it 30 minutes have passed and I can't keep my eyes open. I do miss reading and I've attempted to rekindle our love numerous times in the last couple of years. It just hasn't stuck. Try harder? Move on? Moving on...

Arts and crafts. I even have a bin in our guest room closet labeled just that: "arts and crafts". But, the fact that it was written on a piece of computer paper with one color, dried-out, Crayola marker pretty much sums up my "arts and crafts" abilities. I blame Pinterest for my complete discouragement in this category. Any confidence I had in myself to decorate for my kid's birthday, dress myself, paint a bird house, or repurpose toilet paper rolls was shattered when I signed up for Pinterest. Sure, I did a handful of crafts from the site and they turned out great; but, every time I would log on I'd feel pressured to be less like me and more like Martha Stewart. That's not a hobby, that's stress!
Besides, my kid is already way better at art than I'll ever be.

Blogging? Remains to be seen if I can consider it a real hobby. This blog is exactly four posts old. I do enjoy it though. Maybe it'll have a fighting chance. As long as there isn't anything good on TV or food to be eaten.

Aside from asking myself if I have a hobby I found myself asking a scarier question: Am I a boring person? My sister-in-law wasn't married a month before she knew she needed a hobby to keep things interesting. For herself? For her husband? I say both! My husband comes home to a wife who mostly talks about kids, cleans the house, watches TV, eats, looks at her phone, and goes to bed. Repeat 7 days a week. *Again, embarassing* To be fair, he hasn't done much in the way of getting us active in a hobby himself. And he's really good at staring at the tube too. We recently cancelled cable. This... is gonna be interesting. But, he has golf and music and other things that qualify as hobbies. What did we do together before we had kids? Oh yea... go out, see friends, drink, talk about work, and just generally enjoy each other's company. I do, still, enjoy my husband's company; even if we're doing nothing. But, we are "bored" a lot. So, am I a boring person? Man, I sure hope not.

On the path to find something she is passionate about, my sister-in-law opened my eyes. I am painfully aware of my lack of hobby. I am left seeking to ensure that I am not a bore in this life! Once I am happily settled in with my pleasure-filled leisure activity I will be sure to thank her, more than she knows.

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