Does anyone know what a hobby is anymore? Bueller…Bueller?

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!

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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.


4 thoughts on “Does anyone know what a hobby is anymore? Bueller…Bueller?

  1. I have figured out that since Grad school started two years ago, my “Bethany” time has dwindled. So I have made it a personal goal to spend more time taking care of I can in turn take care of others. As a fellow therapist you can understand that one. I teach my kids at the foster home I intern at how important it is to take care of themselves and I’m not doing it too well. So, Here we go with my hobbies. These have either been hobbies of mine from childhood or hobbies that I have recently picked up on.
    I love coffee!! We love ordered coffee from all over the world. * My favs are ‘Camino Island Coffee Roasters- New Guinea. Money spent on their coffee goes to help the community build water filtration systems, etc. and Barnies-White Christmas. Yum! We love to go camping especially in the fall. We have recently discovered and purchased Double Nest Enos and plan to use them a lot!! Our next trip and one thing off of our life list is to camp at the beach. Umm. One hobby lost is scrap booking. Keeping and flipping through old pictures has been something passed down from my Mom and her Mom. (Secret- I’m finally gonna finish our wedding album: we’ve been married for 7 years). Another hobby I like to do in the fall and winter is Pinterest parties. I’ll invite over my girlfriends and well cook and make stuff Pinterest inspired. And last-cause I can’t think of any more but I will as soon as I post this. I enjoy make scarves and hats. I made my first baby hat on a loom last year and loved it.

    • Thanks for sharing, Bethany! I loved reading about all of your interests! Such fun activities and ways you enjoy life 🙂 the Pinterest parties sound like a blast! I might have to try hosting one in Aberdeen!

  2. Great post, Haley. This really sparks my interest as I used to (literally) spend zero time watching tv as a child and did more book reading and story writing. In recent years it’s just become so easy to slump over and stare into these “smart electronics” for hours on end. Recently, being pregnant I’ve tried my hand at making little girly things like headbands, sparkly shoes, and tutus. Your post has got me thinking more about getting back to reading, piano playing and spending time with myself (weird, huh?). Good luck with your knitting, I might have to try that as well!

    • Thanks for your comment, friend! I’m glad it got you thinking about things you might like to pick up again. Exactly where I’m at! Sounds like you’re creating some adorable things for your sweet baby girl 🙂 yay!

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