“To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must be real.”
Winston Churchill, British statesman, army officer, pilot, writer, painter, bricklayer, collector of tropical fish
This would seem to be a good time to discuss hobbies, perhaps even start a new hobby. We’ve just celebrated a holiday of giving thanks, and now Christmas is on the way and the start of a brand new year. The official start of winter is in three weeks. If it turns cold or rainy, one would want to have some indoor activities to pass the time in a way that brings enjoyment. That could be a hobby.
A hobby is defined in Google’s dictionary as “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” I remember a time when I worked two jobs, not considering the jobs a homemaker does and other needed activities that were neither leisurely or necessarily pleasurable.
In those days I would envy Sam for his love of fishing. He never tires of it. He can fish from five in the morning to five in the evening. He could probably fish every single day if the elements cooperated. When he’s not fishing or cleaning fish, he can be found watching fishing videos, while I might be found whining, “I have no hobbies.”
Gladys Taber in her book “Stillmeadow Daybook” writes, “There is no doubt everyone needs a real hobby, something special and interesting, and pursued for amusement. It eases the stresses and strains of our competitive living and also it increases the interest in something other than the daily grind. People are more fun to be with, if they have a lively hobby. It sparks their conversation.”
While we might be somewhat homebound this season, sharing gifts and ideas for hobbies might be a good thing. Last year we gave the gift of a wooden puzzle to a puzzle hobbyist. I was told he spent the whole night working on his puzzle. A month or so ago I mailed a bird puzzle to a friend who loves birds and is confined at home. She started on it right away, leaving some for another day. When she resumed puzzling, she asked her son, “Do you see a bird in this puzzle?” The son responded, “Oh Mom, last night Dad and I changed puzzles.”
Another friend emails me pictures of his counted cross stitch creations. I had never heard of counted cross stitch. The fabric has no stamp on the cloth so the embroiderer counts the threads to form the design. My friend creates with thread extraordinary representations of birds and animals.
Once at a social engagement I met a fellow who said he was in a “sewing” group. I was quite surprised and impressed, only to discover he said a “soaring” group which was even more impressive.
Another friend has scads of hobbies. She engraves designs on Yeti cups personal to the recipient. She sews, she knits, she makes cards and invitations, she cooks; she’s a voracious reader.
Some of my former chores have melded into hobbies this year — gardening, pets, cooking. My cell phone captures beautiful nature shots I love posting on Instagram.