Why You Need to Indulge in Your Hobbies More Often

Recently, I was reading a post by Laney (Love Laney) titled, "How My Tinder Date Taught Me A Huge Life Lesson." The main idea of the post was about how Laney found herself at a Tinder date trying to talk about all the things that she is interested in. She says, "All the while, I'm sitting and thinking to myself, when was the last time I did any of these things?"

The idea that she put forward really stuck with me: neglecting all of the things that we supposedly enjoy. And it occurred to me that as we grow up, there seems to be a loss of those hobbies and those sources of enjoyment. So why is that?

Sure, we all have hobbies. They're the interesting little tidbits of information that we love to put in our social media profile bios to make us seem intriguing and cultured. They're the fun facts we like to drop when we make small talk at parties, when we enter interviews, and like Laney mentioned, when we go on dates.

However, if you think about it, it seems that as we grow up, hobbies become facts and information to be talked about. Instead of being things that we actively engage in, they just become words. We speak of them, but we never seem to follow through with them

Life is a routine. 

Wake up. Eat breakfast. Go to class. Come home. Do work. Maybe blog. Watch Netflix. Go to bed.

And within that routine, there seems to be no room for hobbies and leisure. Yeah, you could say that leisure might be watching Netflix or going out to brunch with your friends. And those are great ways to step away from school or work. However, beyond those activities, there doesn't seem to be a huge focus in any of our lives on other things that make us passionate and that we do just to enjoy.  

I remember when I was little and I had all kinds of interests and hobbies. I went to piano lessons with my sister and when I was waiting for her to have her lesson after mine, I would pull out a sketchbook and draw: not because I had any ulterior motives, not because I had a goal to get better, but just because I enjoyed it

So why are doing things just to enjoy them so neglected today?

I recently decided to participate with some friends in a dance performance. For me, I was participating not because I loved dance, not because I was aiming to improve and become an amazing dancer, not because I wanted to prove anything to anyone, but just because I thought that it would be fun to try it out as something new

However, when we got to the dress rehearsal, people were taking it so seriously, almost treating it as a competition, which surprised me, because it was a school club, not a formal dance class. Some people participating had never danced before in their lives and a lot of people were just there to have fun. But despite that, we noticed that some others were being very strict and insisting on perfection. 

While I could completely understand that mentality in situations that are meant to be taken more seriously and used as vectors for improvement, I was surprised by it because to me, the dance was seen as something to just be enjoyed and to take seriously enough that I could really commit to it, but not taken so seriously that it caused any stress.

Hobbies shouldn't be centered around ulterior motives from personal agendas and used as fun facts to flaunt around. They should be things that you do for enjoyment.

I think that as we get older, we find that we each have our own personal agendas. We're fixated on growth and productivity and finding the next route to success. And that's great. However, in the process, we find ourselves viewing things with a certain mindset: always calculating the risks and benefits of what we do.

Sure, I could take the time to play something on the cello, but why bother when no one is going to hear me play it and I could spend time instead writing an essay for a writing competition? We prioritize the things that give us success, glory, money, and other rewards. However, we don't prioritize the personal rewards that hobbies and cultivation of interests have to offer

When was the last time you did something for no other reason besides your own personal enjoyment?

Honestly, it makes me a little disappointed that I don't allow myself to indulge in as many hobbies and interests that I would like to. Sure, there are things that I like to do, but I rarely ever do them unless I have some time off for an extended period of time.

According to Oscar Wilde, "life is too important to be taken seriously." 

I guess that I partially find myself agreeing with Oscar Wilde's quote. Sure, we should definitely take life seriously in some aspects, really working hard to achieve what we want to do and focusing on our goals and aspirations. However, at the same time, we shouldn't take everything so seriously to the point that we only do things for the sake of an ulterior motive.

Do things because you enjoy them. It doesn't mean that it has to be something that you're aiming to improve on, use to grow your career, namedrop in an interview or a date, it just has to be something that you genuinely want to do and you relish in.

One quote that I like is "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time," which I think applies perfectly to the topic of hobbies. Although we are always stuck on productivity and getting the next thing done to further our success, it's okay to sit back and spend some time doing things that you really enjoy, even if it doesn't seem like it'll "help you" in the long run in achieving your goals. Goals are one thing, but they're not everything.

Life doesn't have to be a series of accomplishments, it can be a series of happy and enjoyable moments as well and be just as rewarding.


Why You Need to Indulge in Your Hobbies More Often

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