Thought Catalog
March 13, 2017

Work Shouldn’t Be Your Entire Life So, Please, Find A Hobby

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I’m convinced that picking up hobbies that you dropped just before adulthood would be a great injection of happiness for anyone in their grown up life.

I was an only child who was constantly bored by the ‘reading’ and ‘relaxing’ my parents encouraged me to do on lazy summer afternoons in the English countryside where we lived. My parents would often be ferrying me out to after school classes and clubs in an effort to entertain me.

The majority of my weeknights were spent doing art classes, dance classes, learning musical instruments and doing after school sport — rounders, football, tennis, netball, windsurfing, scuba diving. You name it, I would’ve tried it.

When it came to my last two years at school, my hobbies were gradually in decline, I would tell you it was because I wanted more time to do well in exams, but in reality, doing an ‘after school’ activity was seeming increasingly childish and unnecessary.

By the time I had got to University, I had found that I was now rusty at many of my hobbies, or didn’t feel good enough any more, and searching for a club to join to meet new people, I came to a bit of a loss. So why is it that we go through a sudden shedding of the hobbies that we enjoy as children just to become more legitimate adults?

As adults, we are quick to excuse our lack of hobbies due to having no time after work, household chores taking up our free time, or even that we are too tired in the evening, especially here in the UK.

Friends of mine admit to having no hobbies outside of work and possibly the gym, and look at me strangely when I suggest taking up the after school activities they enjoyed as a child, such as team games, even doing art or playing creative video games.

I know my younger self would be puzzled and disappointed at the lack of activities I kept up, mainly because these are the things I looked forward to most in the day.

I would never just fill my life with what I did at school from 9am-3pm, so why should we do that as adults?

It is my belief that life is all about doing what you enjoy, and too many of us simply don’t do enough, or any of what we truly wanted to get out of life as children.

I have recently been spending time in Vancouver, Canada, and have been surprised by the number of adults who enjoy hiking, skiing, canoeing, camping, photography, and any number of indoor activities as well.

Canadians, on the West Coast at least, have far more time for themselves and their interests that make them who they are, and to be honest, make them more interesting people. I recently learned that asking ‘what do you do?’ in Vancouver, can refer to what hobbies you enjoy, rather than your work life.

If who we are is to be shaped by the interests we develop as children, then it says a lot about us if we never even kept up those interests. Those who develop their passions into adulthood are more likely to have a healthier work life balance, be more creative, and work in something which fulfills them.

Now I’m not saying you should start playing with Barbies or Lego again, but hey, if you were naturally so drawn to this as a child, then maybe it’s your true calling in life? TC mark

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