Monday, September 6, 2010

What the fuck is a hobby, anyway?

I've been thinking, lately, about how I spend my time.  Particularly after this long Labor Day weekend, where I was offline and off Twitter for most of it.  I thought about the time I spent doing things this weekend and the time I spend doing everything I do during regular days.

A lot of it is looking for a full-time job.

Some of it is dedicated to volunteer work.

An even smaller amount is dedicated to paying work.

Some of it is dedicated to parenting.

A bit [not enough] is spent taking care of the homefront.

And then there's the other stuff I do.

I like to take pictures [but I do not do it enough, I think]:

Taken at Art Prize in Grand Rapids, MI

I like to knit.  Or at least I used to.

I like to write.  Sometimes I LOVE to write.  And sometimes I HAVE to write.

I like to blog [duh].

I have fun reading blogs.

I even like to Twitter.

I like to cross stitch:

My very first cross stitch.

As an adult.

My mom taught us to cross stitch when we were little kids.

I still have the table runner and decorative doily placemat things I made.

They are not as awesome as this.

I LOVE to read.

I cook a lot.  And sometimes I even like it.

But I got to wondering, which of these things is my hobby?  And why do I never feel like I HAVE a hobby?

I want to get back to swimming and doing yoga everyday and playing my flute.  Those things I guess I would consider hobbies.

But why don't I consider anything else I do a hobby?  It seems like it's just part of my life.  Like calling it a hobby would make it too much of something or simultaneously denigrate what it is I do.

Do you have hobbies?

What do you think makes something a hobby?  The purchase of a pattern or the pieces of a set to be made?  The dedication of time and energy and focus to a project?

Ignoring your family and your very hygiene to spend time relentless on your project?  Oh.  Wait.  That's obsession.

I really thought about this with cooking.  How is cooking a hobby for some people and not others, even if both people are cooking?  Is it the pleasure gained in doing the task?  Is it the - well, yes - obsessive dedication paid to the project?  Is it simply deciding that you like it and saying it's your hobby is an easy way to categorize what that activity means to you?

I guess ultimately categorizing what I do and why I do it isn't that important, but I feel sometimes like I need to justify myself or even have a hobby or two at the ready to prove that I'm a well-rounded individual. 

Christ.  Or maybe I could just read a book and go to fucking bed.


  1. I'm not sure what I do that would be considered a hobby unless you consider judging people a hobby. :)

    I love that cross stitch pattern. I need it for my foyer.

  2. Oh, Cecelia, you are a woman after my own heart. I think if you judge people wittily, it can be considered a hobby.

    I reframed the pattern in an old fashioned frame and hung it in my hallway. People LOVE IT!

  3. Hmm, I must be a hobby junkie. Anything I do to avoid housework is a hobby. I have lots of them. Hubby dear just sighs and shakes his head. And sometimes accuses me of being a hoarder. All because I have a room full of yarn. I need that yarn! For...stuff!

  4. Renee, I like that, a hobby junkie. I also completely understand the room full of yarn - you never know when it'll come in handy.


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