hobby mind map

You’re never too old for a hobby.

Did your mom ever say, “Well, if you’re bored, I’ll find something for you to do’? And the ‘something’ turned out to be folding laundry or looking after your brother, or the WORST one ever, weeding the garden?

My mom did that, and I had to move quickly to get out from her laser-vision, but I found a solution early on. I had a ‘hobby’. If I was bored, or was just moping around, or was home sick for the day, I knew that my saving grace was to go dig out my hobby stuff. My hobby was sewing clothes for my Barbie dolls. I could spend hours designing them, finding fabric bits, going through the trial and error of making the creations. I could do it alone or with my best pal Darcea Robinson. If I was working on my hobby or reading, I was off-limits for the Mom-delegated ‘You look like you need something to do’ chores.

I learned a bit about design, I learned about fabrication, I used my imagination –I made up stories for each outfit. I learned how to work on a project from design to completion by myself. I also learned how to share the project and tasks with someone else, and shared in the glory of accomplishment with them, too. My other doll-clothing aficionado friends and I traded ideas and showed off our creations. If we’d had Facebook we would have had a very active page.

I still have hobbies. They allow me to escape to another time and place if I need that, just exactly as they did when I was 10 or 11. I didn’t know, then, that I needed a break from reality, but children just do that instinctively, I think.

They keep me grounded if I need that. They relax me when I need that. They keep me out of the fridge at 7:30 at night when I’m looking for a ‘lil sumpin-sumpin’.

They keep my brain active through problem-solving and learning new techniques and I meet people I wouldn’t normally meet through my day-to-day activities.

I had put away a very cherished hobby about 15 years ago and just recently resurrected it. Holy Moly have things changed in 15 years — lots new to learn. I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when I had to do some tricky math, and I realized that it had been a while since I’d exercised THAT part of my brain.

I’ve had to do similar tricky math things since then, and I swear it’s getting easier. I know it’s true — if you exercise your brain, it acts just like any other muscle and gets stronger and more agile, but it’s interesting to actually experience that.

So, the educated poo-ba’s also say that hobbies can keep you in better health, whether they are physically active hobbies or not. Hobbies can open up your world. What about a hobby that takes you on virtual walking tours of the world? And reading is a universal hobby.

But there are two benefits of hobbies which I think narrowly out-weigh all the others. In this era of almost a global obsession with self-care and clutter, hobbies are close to perfect practices that allow us to do some guilt-free self-care AND keep our brains (and therefore our homes) more clutter-free than without them.

Keeping a home organized and clutter-free is the result of a general wellness in a life. If a life is out of balance — for any number of reasons — it is typically increasingly difficult to put and keep just one area in perspective, and in the plan of that wellness-centered life.

For example, if the home is filled with unwashed laundry, too many children’s toys, and an explosive kitchen, it could, obviously, be difficult for the owner to start and certainly practice a hobby successfully. But if it’s something they really want to do, if there is even a tiny bit of passion there, if they CAN get involved in a hobby — particularly one which requires some organization — the skills they develop will, naturally, spill into the other areas of their life.

For example. If the hobby is making jewelry, it’s really difficult to be successful at this if the components are in several locations around the home and the tools in several other locations. The hobbyist soon realizes that just a bit of organization will lead to more success. Of course, we assume that the hobbyist WANTS to be successful.

So, they may organize a small area for their hobby. It could be as simple as a chair, lamp and a table in a corner of a room. Being successful with that one small area could very easily be a door opening to a more organized, clutter-free home.

Isn’t THAT a good reason to find a hobby if you don’t have one?

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