UNITED STATES—Has anyone ever told you, “You need a hobby”? If so, it was no doubt said in jest. Nonetheless, it was probably good advice. Alright, then. Let’s humor whoever it was who spoke these words to you. Now what? Most of us have been workaholics the last few years, or juggling family and work, or incessantly interviewing for the next job. It seems like a hobby would just take up time that we don’t have available in our schedules.
Well, that all depends on what you consider to be a hobby. Dictionary.com defines “hobby” as, “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.” This definition tells me that a hobby should be a stress relief if nothing else. It should take up less time than what you do to put food on the table. And last, but not least, it should be interesting to you.
In my leisure time, I buy neglected modern classic cars and bring them back to life. In other words, I drive around in complete clunkers that gradually turn into halfway decent runners as money and time permit. I would certainly consider this my hobby but not a stress relief most of the time. Quite the contrary. Strike one. I would say that I spend more time studying parts diagrams, watching youtube D-I-Y videos, and reading service manuals than I spend at my 9-5 gig. And that doesn’t even include the time spent actually wrenching on the car. Strike two. To say that I find cars “interesting” would be a drastic understatement. I live and breath them. I have since birth. Homerun! One outta three, ain’t bad, I guess.
I guess, if I took another look at my “hobby”, I could find a few more benefits. For one, I generally spend a lot less money than other people do on vehicle maintenance albeit at the expense of time. Another plus is that I am slowly but surely raising the value of my rides, which, by the time I’m ready to let them go, are old enough to be considered appreciating classics. I guess the most appealing aspect of my “hobby” is that it is quite easy to show off the fruits of my labor without looking like I’m going out of my way to do so. I just need to go run some errands and let the compliments pour in. I could be in a grocery store parking lot…Alright, that’s a bad example. I hate grocery shopping. Let’s say I’m pulling into a Best Buy parking lot. It would be a bad day if I didn’t get at least a few inquiries about whatever “Pinto” I rode in on, so to speak.
The take away here is that no hobby is going to fit the definition exactly. So, unless you are one of the lucky few who make a living doing the thing you love the most in life, don’t be afraid to take some time out of your TV-watching schedule to try something new. You never know, it could start out as a hobby, but become something more significant in the future. Feel free to share your latest hobby in the comments section.