Hobbies: Are They Worth It?


My friend and I were talking about hobbies the other day and how they've enriched our lives. Sometimes though, we get the feeling that it's not good enough for an activity to be just a hobby. Like if you're not monetizing or furthering your self interests through an activity, then why do it? I know I've been guilty of thinking these things about myself and my kids. But hobbies are beneficial even if you don't become great or famous. Even if you try them and fail.

When I think of the value of hobbies, I often think of my mother. From my earliest memories, she was always sewing, quilting, painting, refinishing furniture, taking guitar and piano lessons, gardening, collecting and making dolls, cross stitching, and more. She didn't do all those things at once, but those are things I can remember her attempting, and often enjoying! Her example taught me that if I was interested in something, I should try it and see what happened.

Blogging is my newest hobby. I enjoy being able to express my thoughts and find out that others identify with them. I like having a digital space that's mine. It's fun to learn how to do something and experiment with it. Of course, I hope that the number of people that read it increases because it's always fun to reach a larger audience. However, it's also very easy for the joy in it to disappear when I start doing things for my blog because I should, rather than for pleasure.

I think it's okay to start and end hobbies. Others may consider it flighty, but I know there are several things I've thrown myself into for a season, but no longer have any interest in doing. Scrapbooking, anyone? So what if I only finished a fraction of the albums I started out to complete? If I enjoyed the creative process for awhile and learned something new, it was worth it. I've given myself permission to move on and make room for other things that look interesting.

I'm going to try and do this more with my children. I'm too practical sometimes, not wanting to pay for lessons they may not stick with or spend time on things they won't do long term. If they really want to try something and I can reasonably make it happen, I should. Sure, they may give it up, but how will they know unless they try it? I want to set the example of not being afraid to develop new skills, just as my mom set for me. I hope my children will always enjoy pursuing their interests whether they excel at them or not.

I'd love to hear about your hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Are you learning about anything just for fun?


45 comments:

  1. I really like your perspective on this - especially with kids. If we don't let them try, how will they know if something is for them? I do love to scrapbook, and have an entire room filled with supplies. But I'm loving blogging so much right now, scrapbooking has taken a backseat. I'm so glad I've found your blog - I really enjoy everything you write!

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    1. Thanks, Lana! I really appreciate that. Your blog is one of my favorites. Love your honesty and the way you approach life!

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  2. I recently made some new shopping bags, for the market, out of old tshirts. it's a fun way to recycle and it only takes a few snips and a few stitches. wherever I go, people rave about them and tell me I should open an etsy shop or sell them at farmers markets. at first I brightened at the possibilities, but you are right, Marie. when a fun activity goes from a 'want to' to a 'have to' it loses its luster. Think I'll just stick with making bags for myself and my friends. :)

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    1. Haha, Aly! I can totally see that happening. Those are really cute bags! :)

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  3. This was an interesting read and made me think about myself and my hobbies (or lack of). I have in the past had hobbies, and for some reason, they've gone by the wayside as my kids get older. It seems harder to pursue things for myself. I miss it, and at the same time, have changed so much over the years that I'm not even sure what interests me anymore. With the youngest in school now, I would've thought I would figure that out this year, but no, it hasn't happened. So, I'm actually going to focus on this very topic and really think about it - then I will call you! haha! With the kids, this is a topic that really bothers me. I really want them to try new things and experience all they want to, but sometimes they are not able to because they have not chosen to forsake all other life in pursuit of one thing. I want them to live and experience, but our schools and communities seem to be saying, "no". How do we raise our kids with a healthy balance in today's highly competitive world? I ask you these things, because I always appreciate your perspective!!! :-) Loved reading about your mom, she reminds me of my mom.

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    1. That's a really good point, Mindy! I do think it's harder for kids to try a variety of things, especially if they're a little older when they want to start. I guess that's where the activity has to be for the pure enjoyment of it. There isn't the chance of "being the best" to muddy the waters. Maybe that's sort of freeing?
      You're a very creative person and I know that when things settle down a little more, those juices will start flowing again. Sometimes life is so busy and stressful that I can't focus on a hobby or think of anything I like to do for enjoyment. But let me get some alone time and a few less obligations on the calendar and all of a sudden I can think again! Summer at home with four kids probably isn't going to be doing your creativity any favors though! :) I'd definitely aim for the fall!

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  4. Hi Marie:
    How's this for coming full circle?
    - You said you came over to my blog from Lana's and left a comment, so I decided to check yours out.

    - This article addresses a topic I have been thinking about since I began blogging.
    Getting ready to make a comment here, I saw that Lana already has!

    My hobbies have included horseback riding, piano lessons, reading, sewing, etc - and now blogging. I think it is good for our kids to see that we have interests beyond what just involves them :)

    - I LOVE what I have found here, and just followed you on Bloglovin, so I won't miss a post! (Thank you, Lana!)

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    1. Hi Susan! So glad you made it over here. I enjoyed reading your blog this morning and I'm following you on Bloglovin, too! I agree that it's good for our kids to see we have other interests. Definitely worth the time it takes to balance both!

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  5. Running used to be my things before I had kids. I was a hard core, marathon training, ten miles a day kind of runner. Then I had kids and well you know. That kind of died and it's been really hard to get it back. For awhile I was so engrossed in my babies because they were newborns and then another new born and then another but after awhile, I think when you find yourself doing stuff ONLY for others, you get a little lost. It's easy to feel down and like you have lost everything about how you used to be. I've been so much happier since I've branched out into the hobbies of photography, crocheting, and blogging. Because I feel good about myself when I see results I'm happy with. Being a mom is great and wonderful but sometimes we can get lost in it. We need to remember that before we were mom, we were us. Right?

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    1. Good for you, Leilani! It sounds like you're having a lot of fun with hobbies. A friend showed me some photography apps the other day and I could totally play around with those all day! :)

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  6. Thanks for sharing, love this post! My hobbies are, blogging, photography, running, and learning sign language

    -Jennie
    http://www.thediaryofarealhousewife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Jennie! I've always been interested in sign language, too!

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  7. Jennie, I just retired and now I have more time for my hobbies - quilting, reading, and going to the beach.

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  8. It's definitely true that different hobbies seem to come and go during different seasons of life. Right now, blogging and sewing are probably my two main hobbies!

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  9. Great perspective! I've done certain hobbies for a season like scrapbooking and others for all of my adult life like photography.

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  10. Great post. My OH has recently taken up Archery, something he's being wanting to do for ages. The change in him is amazing. Gone is my tired, stressed-out man and in replacement is a fun-loving chilled-out bloke - the one I fell in love with. Just a few times a week, and he's loving it and Lucas is showing an interest which is also fab - something they can do together. I think it's safe to say that I am loving Hobbies at the moment. Great post #magicmoments

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    1. Sounds like a great benefit for everyone! It's amazing how a hobby can relieve stress and make you feel so good!

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  11. It's true that blogging as a hobby starts feeling like it isn't worth the time and effort if you aren't making a little money. When you look at other hobbies (I particularly enjoy yarn/thread crafts like crochet, knit, tatting, and also quilting), and never expect those to make money. I wonder why blogging seems different.

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    1. You're right Shannen, blogging does seem different. I think maybe if you look at it like keeping a journal or scrapbooking, then it fits the hobby model a little better. I think it depends on the amount of enjoyment you receive from just the writing, too!

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  12. This post made me think of my Dad Marie, he has always thrown himself headlong into any chosen hobby, almost becoming an expert. I remember him being this way with chess, then photography and nowadays in retirement he has two allotment plots which he has tended for about the past decade and he's learnt all sorts about how to best organise and grown various veggies and flowers. My mum thinks he's a bit OCD but I think its quite inspirational really X

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    1. Your dad sounds very interesting and passionate about his hobbies. I admire such enthusiasm and love it when I feel that way about an activity!

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  13. I'm always having trouble if a hobby isn't obviously useful... Like blogging: I started blogging because it was fun, and then I started to use it to make money. I took up running to get some time for myself, and now I run to improve my health.

    I just can't seem to leave well enough alone!

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    1. That's a hard one! I don't like it when things that start out fun, turn into work. They're both giving you great benefits though!

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  14. I suppose gardening started as a hobby for me and now it is my chosen lifestyle with almost all the veg we eat coming from my veg garden. Other than that I would love to restart my family history research which I stopped when the boys were born, just because I find it all so fascinating and I have met so many interesting distant relatives along the way.

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    1. Researching family history is something my mom started last year. I know she enjoys it quite a bit!

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  15. Hi there! I'm stopping by from the Tuesday blog hop. I hope you have a great venture with blogging. It is fun & it'd also fun to meet new people too. I'm a new follower through Bloglovin.

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    1. Thanks, Leslie! I appreciate you following me! :)

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  16. How right you are - in this day and age of economic straits and our parental quest for better balance in life we forget to just enjoy our hobbies and look for ways to make money from them often or feel we shouldnt invest time in something if it's not helping to pay the bills. Saying this, I think it's a really positive thing to do something just for the sheer joy of it, and that's a great lesson to teach our kids - and ourselves! I love doing yoga and writing, and recently have dug out my old artist's materials from my university days, just because. Thanks for a great #AllAboutYou post, hope to see you back next Tuesday!

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    1. Thanks! Good for you for getting out the art supplies. It's fun to pick something up that we haven't done in awhile and see what happens! :)

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  17. I think your right, hobbies are great - I love trying new things and learning new skills and we all need something that relaxes us and brings us joy. My favourite hobby is scrap booking but I also love to write poetry, blog, knit, bake, pen pal, sing, play wii games and so much more. #MMWBH

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    1. Just realised that I have put the wrong # so sorry about that! It should be #sharewithme

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    2. I think hobbies serve their purpose well, if they're relaxing and bringing us joy. Your list looks like a lot of fun! :)

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  18. I completely agree with you, it's not flighty at all. I am prime example of this and so is my momma too. We are always trying new things, things that spark our interests and get us all excited to learn something different and challenge ourselves. I hope that both of my kids get this from me and gramma too. I am new to blogging as well and jumped into it head first and loving every minute of it. I love to get to know so many different kinds of people and their passions across the world all in one place. I think it's a great characteristic to have!!! I wrote about being the ultimate newbie at everything (http://www.letstalkmommy.com/2014/04/i-am-the-ultimate-newbie/) here if you like to peak. As I am not looking to be a professional at any of it but to try new hobbies and new things gives me a little experience with each one. Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I am loving reading your posts. #sharewithme

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    1. Nothing wrong with being a newbie! Good for you for tackling whatever interests you at the time! :)

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  19. I have had a wide variety of hobbies over the years. One reason I end up changing is because I run out of people to give the "whatever I'm making this year" to. Another reason is that I find that when I get good enough at something to consider making money from it, I am usually bored with it and want to learn something new. My current hobby, making pysanky and other types of egg art, has so many styles and so many different canvases I don't think I'll ever tire of it. I've occasionally sold a few things I made, but I thought of it more as a way to get stuff out of my home or to help defray the cost of my hobby than a way to actually make money. Viewing it as a way to make money would make it job instead of a hobby!

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    1. Love that perspective, that viewing it as a way to make money would make it a job! So true, that does seem to take the joy out of it. I looked up pysanky and it's very interesting and beautiful. You must be very talented!

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  20. I think that sometimes different hobbies can be better suited to different times in our lives. For the moment, I've had to set aside my quilting and go back to knitting socks because that takes less space and smaller bits of time. There are other things I'd like to try that will have to wait until my kids are a bit older. Just for the stress relief, both hobbies are worth whatever they might cost in materials. I'm a happier mother when I get some time to knit or stitch or whatever.

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    1. I agree that there are different hobbies for different times. Also, that hobbies are worth it for the stress relief. Creating something really makes me happy and gives me a great sense of accomplishment!

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  21. what a great reflection x

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

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  22. Blogging is my new hobby with reading really being the one I have stuck with but other than that I don't really have any other hobbies. I try to encourage my daughter to take up hobbies and she is currently wanting to try different out of school activities #sharewithme

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    1. Reading has always been my favorite hobby! Curling up with a good book always sounds good to me! :)

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  23. Hi Marie,
    I am visiting your blog for the first time from Thursday Favourite Things at Katherines Cornerand love your blog so am following by email and Bloglovin, the only two ways I could find to follow. I l,ove your blog it is really fantastic and the article above is really great, and your kids are going to get a vast knowledge from that outlook in life. I love my hobbies, and have done so many, and I still go back to all of them at times, but at the moment, my favourite is making cards from stamped aimages which I colour, not to good as it is new for me, but improving every time I try, some of my hobbies have turned into my usiness, and I now make stencils and wooden cut out's for crafters.
    I hope that you have a fantastic day.
    Love and best wishes.
    Anne

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    1. Thank you so much, Anne! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Your hobbies sound interesting. I love anything artistic like that! :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you!