When I was 15, after a sleep-over at my house, I watched my best friend prepare to head off to her weekly netball game. I watched her put on her runners, and I pondered the long, seemingly infinite afternoon ahead, wondering what on earth I was going to do with myself all day. I asked her what her plans were after netball; she said she was going to catch the bus out to where she kept her horse. At that moment, embarrassingly, she must have sensed my desperation. She told me I needed a hobby.
Recently, ashamedly, my boyfriend said something similar, as he packed his bags for a weekend golf trip, and (yes, I admit it) I was whining that I would miss him. Still, I told him I did have hobbies. For after all, a hobby is merely an activity or interest, done for pleasure or relaxation. I spoke of my interest in cooking and reading, but he implied that I wasn’t passionate enough about them to be hobbies. It was true that my enjoyment of reading didn’t take me on weekends away! I realised that I needed to find a way to turn my interests into passions.
And so began my search for a new hobby.
I identified my field of interest through formal tests.
You can do this online; there are a number of websites that offer free tests that can help narrow your search.
CNN has a good one
I got ‘Food’, and yes this is pretty apt! I often sit browsing recipe books at home, and love food, drink, cooking and eating out. But I agreed with my boyfriend; these weren’t hobbies. Yet.
I identified my reasons for wanting a new hobby
I knew this would further help me narrow my search. Did I need an activity to help me spend my time? (Yes). Did I want to make myself more interesting? (I suppose so). Did I want a creative outlet? (Yes, actually). Did I want to meet new people? (No – not because I’m a hermit, it’s just that this was not my motivation behind finding a hobby). Did I want a way to relax? (No again). Your reason(s) will likely influence your choice of hobby. If you are revealed as ‘creative’, but you’re looking for a hobby because you think it might be a way to meet single men, perhaps knitting is not the ideal hobby for you.
I found a list of hobby ideas by googling ‘list of hobbies’
and found this website https://www.notsoboringlife.com/. I went through the list, one by one, making note of any in my ‘area’ (i.e. food), as identified in the quiz. For me, the options I identified included: homebrew making, cake decorating, cooking, eating out, kitchen chemistry and writing (i.e. food writing). I also took note of learning a language and bicycling, even though they weren’t in my ‘field’, as they simply appealed to me.
I researched my options for a
First, I googled each one, to find out a bit about them. Homebrew beer making, cooking, learning Spanish and long-distance biking all sounded great. I have always loved writing, and writing about food sounded ideal, so I put a few asterisks next to that one. I was very interested in kitchen chemistry, particularly as I’d watched a documentary on Heston Blumenthal recently. I found his book on Amazon.com but the reviews warned his recipes – though wonderful – were likely to be costly and time-consuming to make. Although I’d be interested in learning more about kitchen chemistry (and believe Blumenthal’s cookbook might be a good starting point), I couldn’t see myself pursuing this as a hobby. Likewise, although I have decorated a few cakes in my time, I couldn’t see myself doing it regularly enough to be called a ‘hobby’, and so I disregarded it. I already list ‘eating out’ as a hobby so I disregarded this one, too.
I researched my hobby options in my local areaI looked in my local phone directory and found out there is a homebrewing shop in my town, where you can buy all the equipment needed to brew your own beer. I also located a few bike clubs that meet regularly to go on long rides. In my local paper, I noticed an ad for French lessons (no Spanish, though, although I remain on the look-out). Those in smaller cities, like me, might find it difficult to find a group specialising in their area of interest, and if it’s something you’re really passionate about I’d recommend trying to form your own group, or even advertising for it. I’m considering putting an ad in the paper for a Spanish teacher. I found a local writers group, that meets monthly, and, having explained my search for a hobby, and my interest in writing, a friend put me on to this website. I found a local cooking school which sounds lovely. I must admit, I’m interested to further explore whether cooking really does contribute to happiness.
I started sampling my hobby options
I’ll be heading to my local homebrew store next weekend; I’m also booked in to join in a bike ride next Sunday morning. I’ve put my name down for Italian cooking lessons at the local cooking school. And, as you can see, I’ve started writing, and having identified ‘food’ as being a real interest area of mine, I plan to start writing about it in the near future. Although I believe each and every one of these could turn out to be my hobby, I also think that situational variables like the people in the groups I join might lead me to enjoying some more than others.
I will make my new hobby…my hobby!
Once I’ve found something I enjoy, I plan on becoming passionate about it. If I choose to brew my own beer, I vow to tend to this regularly; to join online brewing groups; to have regular ‘tastings’ with family and friends (if they agree to it!); to read books about it. I already know writing is an interest of mine, but I plan to write much more regularly than I have been. I also plan to link in with the local writing group when it next meets, and to learn more about food writing. Do like I have – if you’ve just taken up tennis, start watching professional tennis matches on tv, get tennis lessons, join tennis groups (in real-life and on sites like facebook). Talk to people about your hobby and let them know it’s your passion!
Already, my boyfriend (you remember him, he told me I needed to find a hobby) is complaining I’m spending too much time researching and not enough time with him (*sigh* it’s a balancing act).