Hobbies are fun, but what exactly is a hobby? Webster says a hobby is “something that one likes to do.” So I would say that leaves the door wide open for anything to be a hobby. There may be a lot of things we like to do: reading, needlework, photography, woodworking, sleeping, people watching, hiking, sailing, or many other activities. When we give it some thought there are possibilities of some pretty bizarre things becoming hobbies and I will let that up to your imagination. Uh yeah, I killed three people today, just a hobby I have.

Good hobbies

I think here we will talk about those hobbies that might be considered improving ourselves even if it is only to keep us focused and relaxed. I’ve had several hobbies over my years. I loved a hike in the woods or anywhere really. I tried sewing….well no mom told me I was going to learn how to sew and I was going to take 4-H for that very reason. I had chosen ceramics. Ceramics was creative, and it involved gluing ceramic tiles on things like flower pots or recycled dish soap bottles.  Yes, I did make a vase using a recycled dish soap bottle with the top cut out. I gave it to my new sister-in-law. I don’t think I ever saw it again. She still seems a little skittish when I offer to make her something.  Mom always wins, and I took sewing. It was a practical choice she said. I was horrible at sewing, and I think mom took some pleasure in that.  Mostly I don’t like to follow instructions, and I didn’t like being inside on a perfect day for a hike. I think it was my third year in sewing when I accidentally sewed through my finger (probably dreaming of some great adventure outside) and THAT was enough to convince my mom it wasn’t the hobby for me. (Much to both our surprises I had a very successful drapery and décor sewing business for about 12 years until my eyesight became a problem.)

I lean more toward creative hobbies that don’t require patterns or instructions, or if they do I try to memorize them quickly, so I’m not dependent on something telling me what to do. A quirk I have probably because I was the youngest child and was always being told what to do. I tried photography once thinking it would be a great hobby to do with my husband. He is very analytical and right brained. He wanted to tell me how to hold the camera and which one of his 5800 lenses and filters I should use.  Of course, every good camera has a few features which I had to hear all about and how to use them. Remember the old Brownie Cameras? I lost my interest in photography immediately. I learned through one of my husband’s photography books that many good pictures are not just found so much as created, meaning you don’t just happen on the perfect image of berries and leaves with droplets of water on them. Many photographers create the picture by placing beautiful leaves by bright colored berries and then spraying them with water to create an effect. That sounded fun; I love being creative. We went for a hike in the woods with our cameras again. I saw a cluster of bright red oak leaves and some acorns. My mind started creating a picture. I placed the items near each other in what I thought was a great arrangement and snapped the picture. It was boring. I made some adjustments and took another picture. Still not what I was hoping for. I humbled myself after a lot of thought and asked my husband what was missing. My husband was far more enthusiastic about my question than I was humble and immediately I was sorry I asked. I could feel my resistance rising, and he said the lighting was wrong. Aaaargh! Really?

I don’t want to learn photography; I want to be good at photography and intuitively know what is going to give me the picture I want. So I told myself I would go on photography shoots alone and experiment. I never did.

Finding What’s Right for You

I am a knitter and taught myself to knit in college. A girl in my dorm had knitted her own shawl, and it was the 60’s, and it seemed very “far out” to knit my own wrap. I bought what I needed and started to knit. Somewhere I had learned the basics. I couldn’t understand the instructions, leave alone memorize them, but somehow I finished my first project. I never wore it because it was a mess, but I was determined to knit because I thought knitting was “cool.”

I’ve tried on several things considered hobbies and some became real hobbies if a hobby is doing something I enjoy and some of them were scrapped because they take too much patience or my husband decided to give me instructions when I never asked for advice. I am my own worst enemy about everything, but I have learned to work around that problem.

If you are a knitter, here is an easy to memorize pattern for a scarf.

          You may use any yarn you like just check the packaging for the size needles you need.

          Cast on 31 stitches

          Row 1: Knit 1, *Purl 1, Knit 1, repeat from * to end.

          Repeat this row until the scarf is as long as you prefer.

This stitch pattern is called a “seed stitch.” If you do not know how to “cast on,, knit or purl”  there are YouTube videos to teach you.