Though we all have different levels of obligations, we each have some degree of free time to manage. Sometimes we let our free time slip through our fingers without really noticing. We spend too many hours watching TV or on social media. We hang out with uninteresting people out of sheer boredom. We engage in unhealthy activity just to fill up the time.
But if we are bit more purposeful and intentional with our time, we can get much more out of it. In a lot of ways, time is like money. We spend so much of our limited resources on obligations and frivolous things, but we should also remember to save and invest a little for ourselves.
I personally think people greatly undervalue hobbies. A hobby is any activity or pursued interest that brings you pleasure and enjoyment for its own sake. Hobbies can strengthen our intellectual, social, and physical abilities. Hobbies also give us the opportunity to connect with others, learn new skills and give us a way to focus on something besides our problems. In these ways, hobbies help us improve our overall quality of life and self-development. If you find yourself frequently bored with your everyday routine or just plain restless, a hobby may be especially helpful for you.
In the event that you don’t already have a hobby or two, I thought I’d share some of my hobbies to help you brainstorm some things you can do with your own leisure time.
My first love is reading. This is a hobby passed along to me by my parents. Growing up, my house was filled with floor to ceiling bookshelves because both of my parents were avid readers. Over the years I’ve developed an extensive library myself. My book collection ranges from novels, biographies, architecture, and spirituality, to name but a few. I can get lost in a good book for hours without even realizing it. That’s one of the best feelings in the world to me!
2. Stained Glass
Most of you have seen this beautiful stained glass window at my office. It’s one of the details that made me decide to choose the space for my office in the first place.
I have always loved and appreciated the beauty of stained glass even when I was a kid. Maybe it’s from all those years of Catholic school! So I decided to try my hand at making it myself and found a class.
I ended up really enjoying the process and now I have a new hobby. As most creative people and artists will tell you, there is something really gratifying about making something interesting out of nothing. It really was thrilling taking separate pieces of glass and creating something new and beautiful with them. Can’t wait to get started on my next piece.
3. Nature enthusiasm
There are tons of ways to be a nature enthusiast and it’s super cheap. Being among trees, sun, water, etc. always calms my spirit. I really feel most alive when I am in natural spaces. In the summer time, I am frequently at the lakefront of Lake Michigan. I find every excuse to be there. Each autumn I look forward to going out to the countryside to pick apples. In early summer, I pick berries and fruits. All year round, I enjoy gardening and tending to my plants in the comfort of my own house. When I’m having a hard day, I get my hands dirty in soil and leaves. It works like a charm.
Travel is awesome! Its a wonderful way to gain some perspective on the way you live your life. Travel promotes introspection because you encounter new ways of living, and new people. It gets you out of a rut too. I dare you to try to think about the same old small stuff you sweat when you have jaw-dropping sights in the background. Go ahead, I dare you!
My personal goal is to visit 6 out of the 7 continents (I don’t have any desire to visit Antarctica), and each of the 50 states. I’ve already visited 4 continents; I only have South America and Australia to go! And I’ve been to 27 states already, so I only have 23 left.
But travel doesn’t have to be extravagant or take you to far off lands. Road trips are great too and something that can be done in one weekend very inexpensively. And if that’s too much, travel can consist of a bus ride to the other side of town, or a neighborhood that you’ve never visited. It’s all about that sense of adventure and exploring new things.
5. Urban Exploration
So I happen to live in a city that has tons of rich history. The southside of Chicago has gone through a ton of changes in the past 50 years. Some neighborhoods that once thrived have since been depopulated and have seen better days. But that history is fascinating to me. And I frequently happen upon reminders of this rich past. These pictures come from a block of vacant lots on 63rd St. I’ve read that this street used to be a bustling shopping center. Unfortunately, I’ve only known it be one of vacant lots. Its super cool and interesting to see the remnants of this past that I’d previously only saw in books. I have tons of photos like this.
Ok. So those a few of my hobbies. I also have plans to take up more hobbies in the future as my interests continue to change and I outgrow some.
Maybe your hobby is photography, or baking, or weight lifting, or intramural sports, or bowling, or skating. Perhaps my hobbies/interests bore you to tears, or maybe you even share some of them.
Whatever the case, I’m eager to hear about your hobbies in the comments below. Or if you don’t have any just yet, I’d like to hear what hobby you plan on pursuing with your leisure time.