Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Shift In Hobbies and Perspective

#HAWMC Day 22:  Running and 3PM dance parties are some of our favorite hobbies at WEGO Health. Tell us, what are YOUR hobbies? Love to crochet? Can’t stop collecting rocks? Take photographs of everything? Share your favorite past times.

Whenever someone asks me this question, I start to answer, and then realize I must sound like I pretty much have no life. We established, two posts ago or so, that I love to travel. Which is awesome. But it's also kind of work. I run a travel planning company. So it's not really a "hobby" per se. And I love to blog and do mental health awareness, but to call that a hobby make it sound like it's something I do for fun when I have the time. I enjoy it, but not in the way you enjoy a hobby. I enjoy it because it's cathartic for me and helps others, but it's not the same as people enjoy, say, crocheting or running. So right there that's two big parts of my life that I "can't really count."

I'm not sure even how often you have to do something to consider it a hobby, and what makes something a hobby exactly. We also established, by way of the chemistry museum dance video, that I like to dance. I could dance to elevator music. I dance in the car. I dance randomly whenever I hear music and it's so second nature that I don't realize I'm doing it until someone points it out and we both laugh at me. So I guess, dancing, however sporadically and randomly, could be considered a hobby.

I like creative pursuits. Writing is the one I spend the most time on (just finished the very very rough draft of my first novel, woo hoo!). It transports me out of my messy mind, which is probably why I like it so much. Reading, similarly. I have the attention span of a gnat, but I could sit down with 400 page book and read it from start to finish, moving only for bathroom breaks and to get a cup(s) of coffee. I've spent entire days reading, literally. It's like I'm in some sort of time warp.

I enjoy outdoorsy things, like long walks on the beach. I'm kidding, this was just starting to sound like an online dating profile, so I had to throw that in there. I do, though, like outdoors activities - hiking, kayaking, going to gardens and parks. Nature soothes my soul, which is ever in need of soothing. I love photography, but despite having a DSLR camera, I pretty much keep it on automatic mode and just shoot, hoping the lighting is ok. My brother, who's a very good photographer and has sold some of his work, has tried to teach me countless times. But like everything else, the information gets jumbled in my brain and when a good shot comes along, I freeze trying to remember, so go back to my tried and true method of putting it on auto and hoping it works.

Does coffee count as a hobby? I think that might be more of an addiction. But I love to just sit and sip my coffee, whether it's in a cafe while writing, watching my dogs run around (read: sit lazily) in the yard, or just curled up under a blanket on a cold day. I guess anything you enjoy doing that you do routinely counts as a hobby, and therefore, I can consider coffee one.

Honestly, that's all I can think of. Pretty sad, I know. There are a lot of things I enjoy - music, festivals, playing cards and board games, the beach. But I wouldn't call them hobbies. They're situational activities I like, but not things I do routinely. (Though when I lived at home, my dad and I played cards every morning, so the line may blur there).

When I look at the hobbies above, chemistry dance video aside, they're mostly things I do alone. Things I want to do alone. Things I do because I can be alone. It makes me realize the shift in myself in the past year or two, and one of the reasons I find my life a bit more confusing these days. It challenges the, oh, 33 years or so that I lived my life as a complete extrovert, surrounding myself with people and, it seems, living vicariously through them, though I don't realize it then. But, despite the confusion, and I'll admit, the loneliness at times, I feel more true to myself with these new hobbies and this new perspective. There's no social standard to measure up to, no show to put on,without even realizing it's a show at times. No trying to fit in, but knowing you don't, even if others can't see it. Just me, and my book, or my notebook, or my camera, or my cup of coffee. (And my dogs). There's some inner peace in that, however boring it may seem to the outside world.

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