By Kenyon Stronski
Westwind Weekly News
There are many different kinds of hobbies out there, covering nearly any type of interest you can imagine. Now a hobby isn’t supposed to be a job in the strictest sense. There are people out there that have turned their hobbies into jobs, and I think for many people that’s an end goal. “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” But I’m part of the sphere that believes you shouldn’t enter a hobby with the intent of making it into a job — that can come later as a bonus.
I have a few different hobbies covering an array of my interests, but at the end of the day, they’re all interconnected. First and most obvious is that I creatively write. Creative writing is a little different from journalistic or media writing, but it was something I began at a very young age, and my passion for writing has grown into the job I have today. I’ve always said I sound smarter on paper than I do vocally. Gaming is another, and that’s one that’s stuck with me until this point as well.
With a love of technology came computer building, and as it stands now I’ve built three of my own computers and I’ve helped multiple friends with theirs. I’ve also picked up miniature painting, and although it’s something I’ve sunk the least money into, it’s also one of the ones I’ve been enjoying the most recently. Computers at their core are attached to my job, so sometimes it’s a relief to look away from a screen and focus on something that doesn’t involve the use of a keyboard or artificial light. It’s probably the most time-consuming of any of my other hobbies, however, once I get building and painting I just can’t seem to stop and in the blink of an eye 10 hours have passed and I haven’t got anything else done.
According to Skilledatlife, having a hobby that brings us joy and enriches our life is important. “It gives us something fun to do during our leisure time and affords us the opportunity to learn new skills.”
Hobbies can help relieve stress in a multitude of ways, but for me, I think the main reason I have so many that I enjoy is because it keeps me engaged with something that I enjoy. I’ve always tried to find ways to keep my hands occupied, so building and painting things is something that just clicked naturally to me.
Skilledatlife also says hobbies can help you to become more patient, “In order to develop a new hobby, you have to learn how to do something that is brand new to you. The odds are there will be a learning curve, and you will need to be patient in order to build your skills.”
I completely agree with the statement. I didn’t wake up one day and was good at writing, or good at painting. Now there are some hobbies that may not need as much of a learning investment as others. Reading, for example, is something that we can all do, but painting and building computers were things I had to watch quite a few guides on, and then work on throwing everything together in practice.
There’s also a monetary investment in some hobbies. For example, if you work out, you may have to buy a gym membership or buy things to exercise at home with. Books cost money, and unfortunately, my hobbies require a relatively significant monetary investment. Buying model paints, model equipment and the miniatures to go along with it is not cheap, although I like to think it keeps me accountable and I always finish painting what I bought before I buy new ones.
Psychologytoday says hobbies can help us to promote flow in our lives, “Left to our own devices, we often opt for passive leisure – TV and web surfing are at the top of most people’s lists. And, sure, we all need to veg out from time to time. But we are so much more invigorated by active leisure. If you’ve ever lost yourself in a sport, art project, or other challenging, absorbing activity, you’ve experienced flow.”
From what I understand, a ‘flow state’ is a relatively new concept, but it’s a very, very elusive state of mind. When in flow, time flies and self-consciousness disappears and you become fully immersed in the activity you’re doing. It’s probably where the saying, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ came from.
Flow can be experienced by doing a multitude of things. I’ve experienced it when gaming, DJing and painting. I don’t think we ever fully realize when we enter a flow state, but we definitely realize it when we emerge from one.
I didn’t list many hobbies here, but there are thousands out there, and I’m sure there’s been one or two that have piqued your interest in the past. The best advice I can give is to not be scared to try new things or to take on a challenge. It may be frustrating at first, and you may want to quit, but if you’re truly interested in the hobby itself — the end result is always extremely rewarding.