Note: The following is a guest blog from my wife, Andrea.
Hi, me again.
In my previous post, I described why I want more hobbies, what my current hobbies are, and how I did some research and crowdsourcing to come up with some new ideas and considerations.
I made a rather long list of possible hobbies, and organized them by my level of interest. Obviously, I’m not going to be doing all of these things at once! Maybe you’ll see something here that interests you too.
Things I want to do in the short term (1-2 months):
- Making photo books: I have made a few photo books in the past, including one for my mom (and me) from our trip to Italy last year. I really enjoyed making it. But Paul has done most of the photo books for our family since he’s the one who processes the photos and he’s been inspired to do them. Now that I’ve expressed an interest in this, he has handed the photo book making to me. I have a flash drive on my desk with my first set of photos, from 2005. I’m looking forward to this!
- Blogging: I’ve never had any theme that I wanted to blog about. And I don’t think that blogs should just be about anything and everything or people won’t follow them. So, when I was putting together these ideas about hobbies, I thought – hey, I could blog about my process for exploring new hobbies! That got me excited (as you can maybe tell from the length of this post). I don’t know that I want a full blog to myself – what if I don’t feel like posting very often? That’s not going to be interesting for people. So for now, I’m borrowing Paul’s platform. We’ll see what happens.
- Exercising / yoga:
- I like yoga, but I’ve never been into doing it at home by myself. Maybe if I started doing it, I’d get more into it. I’ve even subscribed to a YouTube channel that was recommended to me by a few people (Yoga with Adriene https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene ), but I haven’t done it. I did a bit of yoga at a nearby community centre last fall, but then it interfered with one of my other activities, so I had to stop. I’ll go back to that once my skating ends in March.
- We need to reorganize our basement so we can use our weights and exercise bike. We may consider replacing the bike with an elliptical, which we would probably enjoy more.
- Finding new recipes / cooking / baking: We (at least I) tend to treat meal planning as a chore. But maybe if I or we did it in bigger chunks but less often, it would be more enjoyable. I like the idea of looking for new recipes. As for cooking and baking, they are things we tend to do together, which is how I prefer it – I don’t really enjoy cooking or baking by myself. I do it (cooking), but I’d rather do it with someone. One friend suggested bread making, which would definitely be a good thing to learn. I could look into this.
- Financial planning: We need to get our investments in better order. I may reread some of the financial planning books I’ve read before.
- Trip planning: After my trip to Italy last year, I am inspired to do more travelling. At the moment, we’re planning a family trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in the next year or so, so I have some travel books to start looking at. Jacob will be involved in this too.
- Reading/watching news: I don’t pay attention to the news as much as I would like. When I do, I read it online, which is fine, but I’d also like to get into watching news on TV.
- Discovering new music: I love listening to music – it makes me happy and relaxed. I tend to listen to “retro” music and am not really up on many current artists. Since we use a streaming service (Apple Music), it’s easy to try out new artists. I can do this while I’m doing other things.
- Calling / writing letters to friends: I definitely want to do this more! I generally keep in touch with people through social media i.e. Facebook. Aside from that, I’m not good at being in touch with people. And I can’t imagine the last time I wrote an actual letter.
- Knitting: I have hardly done any knitting since Jacob was born. I need to find a pattern to make! I think that is my main barrier.
New activities that I would like to start soon (3-6 months):
- Home improvement: I’d like to learn how to make or fix something around the house. Some sort of project where I could say “I did that!” I’m not yet sure what this will be. It might start with replacing toilet seats (ooh, exciting!).
- Singing in a choir: I don[t think I’m a great singer, but I like singing for fun. There are informal, drop-in choirs around that I am interested in, but haven’t attended yet. This seems doable, with no commitment required.
- Journaling: I think it would be a good idea. I haven’t yet decided whether this will be in the short or medium term.
- Making videos: I’ve been inspired by some friends who have been making videos about their children recently, and I would like to learn how to do that too. (Not the 1 second a day one though, I’m not that committed!)
- Scanning photos: I’ve been wanting to scan “old” photos (i.e. from when I was younger) but haven’t gotten around to it. I will then make them into photo books.
New activities that I will consider doing, more likely in the medium term (6-12 months?):
- Learning to crochet: Since I know how to knit, it would be interesting to learn to crochet too. Maybe it would be easier and I would do it more often? At least it would be something new to learn. I have also thought of doing felting with knitting, which is doable.
- Volunteering: I like volunteering, but I don’t necessarily want to commit to doing something outside the house at a certain time on a regular basis. I’ll look into finding something that I could do more sporadically and/or from home.
- Scrapbooking: I’ve never been interested in scrapbooking, however, I do have a bunch of souvenirs from trips, especially Australia and New Zealand, that could benefit from being organized in a scrapbook, so I’d like to think about options for that.
Things I’m interested in that are lower down on my interest list:
- Playing in a band (like a wind ensemble, not a rock band!): I loved playing in the band when I was in high school. I have been thinking of doing something like this (a very casual informal band) once Jacob is older and I have more evenings free.
- Learning a new instrument: maybe guitar? I could definitely see myself doing this.
- Taking online courses: There are so many options out there. This is definitely something to consider.
- Self-improvement books: I think there is lots of potential here. I will look into some interesting ones, maybe start with some I have already read, like The Happiness Project. It has somewhat inspired this idea of trying out new hobbies and reflecting on them and finding ways to increase my happiness!
- Podcasts: I like the idea of podcasts, and I know there are MANY interesting ones out there. But I’d have to listen to them while I was doing something else, I can’t just sit and listen or I’ll fall asleep. I’ll have to think about options for doing this.
- Watching more movies / TV / documentaries: I tend not to watch TV, especially late at night, because I usually fall asleep. Also, all the shows I had been watching ended a few years ago and I haven’t gotten into new shows. I’m sure there are shows that I would like and maybe I could stay awake for. And I’m sure watching documentaries would be interesting.
- Learning a new language / sign language: I enjoy learning new languages, but I don’t think there’s much point if you don’t practice and use them. I’ve always wanted to learn sign language, but again, I’d need somewhere to use it. Putting this one on hold until I have a good reason to do it.
- Handstands: I feel like learning to do handstands would be difficult but possible. It could be an interesting thing to train for. I’m sure my friend Amy could help me with this. But it would be better to get in better shape first.
- Investing: Maybe it would be fun to take a little bit of money to play the stock market.
- Genealogy: I did a DNA test last year but haven’t really done much to follow up on it. Various people in my family have done some of this work, but more could be done.
- Improving my chess skills: I know how to play chess, mostly thanks to Jacob, but I don’t know anything about strategy. That could be fun/useful to learn (so I don’t always lose!).
- Learning Rubik’s cube: I think this would be interesting to learn. Jacob has been learning this lately – I didn’t realize it was so formulaic. It seems doable.
- Doing puzzles, crosswords, sudoku, brain teasers: I do some of these on my phone, but could maybe do some different kinds and I have some in paper form I could work on.
- Playing online trivia: Maybe.
- Joining online groups: I’m in some online groups, but I mostly don’t follow them because I find there is too much activity. But if I found one that I wanted to engage in, that could be interesting.
Activities I’m not interested in (different strokes for different folks):
- A lot of crafty things that involve visual creativity: I don’t have that, e.g. painting, drawing, doing things with flowers, making jewellery, card making.
- Other crafts: One friend suggested thecraftersbox.com, punch needle, making polymer slab jewellery, making broaches with miyuki beads, weaving wall hangings with a lap loom, using a template from Hapticlab.com to hand sew something (like a world map) onto a quilt, simple screen printing kit from BobbinHood.com., needle felting. I don’t know what any of these are, but in general, it seems like they might be above my level of craftiness. There are other things that interest me more at the moment.
- Making things that I would then need to do something with: such as, candles, soap, pottery.
- Collecting things: I have too much stuff already.
- Things that require good vision: like sewing. (Not a preference, but a restriction.)
- Writing a book: Although I used to enjoy creative writing when I was a kid, I haven’t done it in a REALLY long time. I definitely don’t have any ideas for a book at the moment and I’d need to be really inspired since that is a big commitment. However, I have enjoyed writing this blog post, so we’ll see if that satisfies my desire for a writing outlet (somehow, writing memos at work doesn’t really cut it). I would be interested in helping Paul edit his book(s).
- Working through a list of movies, books, TV shows etc.: This doesn’t really inspire me at the moment.
- Interior design: I like the idea, but I doubt I’d be any good at it, which seems kind of important for this type of thing.
Now that I have a better sense of what my hobby options are, I think it will be easier to manage my time to focus on these. I can ask myself questions like “What do I feel like doing today?” “What haven’t I done in awhile?” “What is something new I’d like to learn or try?”. I’ve made a tracker that I can easily refer to and use. This is not to make myself feel that I “have” to do these things, but to remind myself of the things I “want” to do, with some specifics to keep me on track so I don’t struggle with figuring out “what” to do for each one. And to remind me of things I’m looking forward to doing. The tracker is more for curiosity – how did I spend my time each week/month, are there things that should be moved around on my priority list, etc.? I’m not going to feel bad or guilty if I don’t do the things on my list (I tell myself now). Here are the tracker column headings:
Monthly Objectives (1-2 for the month)
Jan 26-Feb 1
I expect to have more energy once I start doing more things I enjoy, to be happier/ more mentally healthy, and have more interesting things to talk about than I do now. On the other hand, having too much fun could be “dangerous”, as I’ve currently stayed up way too late working on this blog post and my tracker (because they’re fun!), when I should be going to bed! I’m sure I’ll still partake in my current time wasters, but hopefully much less than I do now! I plan to blog about my progress once in awhile to see how I’m doing and share what I’ve discovered about my hobbies and my tracking.
I’d love to hear your reactions to this post, to my hobby and tracking ideas, and anything else you’d like to share.