Nathan and I are back in the Prius, out on the open roads. This time in rain and colder temps. We will stop for a couple of days in Nebraska, en route back to Denver, and then we’ll be into our last week in the states before departing for Aberdeen.
While we spent recent days with family in Oklahoma, I got to thinking about hobbies. We toured through my aunt’s gorgeous quilt room, next to the room where my uncle ties flies. Then I quizzed my grandmother about her knitting, her tatting, her needle point, her sewing, her smocking, the crossword puzzles she does, and the many books she’s reading. And all around us in the house were intricately and beautiful pieces of furniture that my grandfather hand made in his wood shop while he was still alive. They have never been strangers to hobbies and juggling several creative projects at a time…just for FUN!
So I began wondering and revisiting this idea of hobbies. Google defines a hobby as “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure,” synonymous with pastimes, avocations, side interests, diversions, and so forth. I got to wondering if my fellow Millennials have hobbies. Do we have the time? Do our work schedules or types of jobs allow for time to enjoy recreational activities? Are the hobbies of our parents and grandparents being passed down? Do we want to carry those on? Do we consider some things to be hobbies that are really more obligatory activities we wouldn’t opt to do with our free time, if fully honest with ourselves? That last one might be a leading question (ha).
I really have no clue or research to support a soapbox speech. I just know what I’ve observed in my own life and in the lives of those I’m close to, and I’ve arrived at my own conclusions; that a lot of people my age and in my generation struggle to have hobbies, and more specifically, they struggle to have hobbies that aren’t technology related. Meaning something other than surfing Facebook, shopping online, or tweeting their latest thoughts. Though those things are surely enjoyable ways to spend leisure time, I am more interested in finding out if our generation knows how to enjoy hobbies that are creative and engaging ways to spend down time. Hobbies that are more than swiping, tapping, and staring into lit screens. And yes, I’m well aware that I am doing that very thing at this moment while I type! So this post is not intended to bash our technological advancements and smartphone culture, but to rather ask about what we’re doing, in addition to utilizing technology, in order to enrich our lives.
I came across some entertaining posts on the web about Millennials and their lack of hobbies. One article on Ask Men.Com really resonated with me. Many of the writer’s points spoke exactly to what I’ve been observing. Yet, I found another article whose author feels we are already a well balanced generation that is active and involved in diverse activities. So it’s definitely a topic up for debate!
I have observed that we may be involved in many diverse activities, but perhaps overcommitted and spread too thin. I also tend to think that we select activities and get involved more out of an obligation to satisfy peers’ expectations than to satisfy our own personal interests. And perhaps we don’t even know what we enjoy or what our interests are in the first place? I definitely feel quite shallow and unexplored when it comes to knowing what my personal interests are. As a girl, I enjoyed a lot of assorted hobbies, but as an adult, I really haven’t had a pastime activity that I would call a hobby. I do enjoy jogging outdoors, being a coffee connoisseur, playing the piano and singing, writing music on occasion, reading assorted novels and devotional writings, traveling, writing on this blog, watching movies, creating good playlists, and some other random things. But nothing that is an art I can really have fun with and perfect over the years. Nothing that requires me to keep learning, to keep gathering, collecting, or exploring. At least not in a way that I feel a hobby would.
So I’ve been contemplating options. I feel it’s a perfect time to try out some new things. While we enjoyed time in Tulsa, I decided to try my hand at something I’ve considered for a while–knitting. I follow the neatest blog about knitting, and I have for months. All before I ever picked up a set of needles and yarn. I loved seeing the pictures of what they were making! I just didn’t have a clue how to begin, until I sat down and tried it. My grandmother showed me the basics and helped me work out some quirks in my stitches, and then I discovered a fun and lively tutor on YouTube with her own amazing knitting site and yarn business!
Granny and I made our way to a knitting shop in Tulsa. We picked up some new German made wood needles and 2 hanks of gorgeous hand painted merino wool in a burgundy-rust. So as Nathan and I have cruised through the open countryside of Kansas and Nebraska, I’ve been working along on my first official knitting project. A wool infinity scarf!
Wish me luck on this project and newly selected pastime! I’m enjoying it. Now, I’d love to hear from YOU! If you’re a Millennial with a laundry list of various hobbies, I’d love to know about them! You can prove my conclusions wrong on what our generation is up to, or not up to. And otherwise, I’d love to hear from whomever might like to share about what hobbies they do in their spare time for fun.