On Wednesday, a new chef was hired for my work. And that’s a great thing because the head chef works like crazy and definitely needed a go to person so he could have some days off. Everyone deserves that. I was talking and getting to know her when she asked me, “What do I do?” I looked dumbfounded. “Like for fun?” She clarified. And I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t think of a hobby I had.
Yeah I walk in the morning on the weekends, but then I walk 16,000-19,000 thousands steps a day at work, so I don’t do walk on the weekdays. So I didn’t want to say “I enjoy walking.” I was going to tell her about how much I love to read. In college, I read one book a week for fun. Over the summer too. But over the last couple months with a new job and a new city and the LSAT, I hadn’t finished a whole book since September. I’ve started 3 and halfway through. And as I was standing there looking at her, I realized something.
Social Media and Netflix had taken over all my free time. The little amount that I have. The time that used to be filled with hobbies. What happened to hobbies?
I asked my friends about this, they all could name one hobby or maybe two, but when I told them my “light bulb moment in the senior living home’s kitchen,” they agreed.
Facebook is by far the worst of the things I get sucked in on my free time. I end up getting sucked into pictures, videos, and buzzfeed articles. I knew to avoid Facebook in college because I would end up taking 2 hours on an assignment that should have taken an hour. As soon as I let my guard down, I’d be on Facebook. Pinterest and Instagram too.
Now though because once I get home from work, I don’t have as much of a time pressure on me to get assignments done. I had LSAT prep or I have law school applications, but in my head, I still have time. So a couple of hours of mindless social media, with work on applications in between, then an hour or so of Netflix, then bed has become my nightly routine.
That’s not good. I need hobbies.
When I asked what my friends do instead of doing hobbies, they said they worked/went to school and then we’re tired to do something that could be traditionally called a hobby. It’s easier to just mindlessly relax. And I’m not saying that mindlessly relaxing is a bad thing, it’s great! It’s just not something that needs to happen every single night after coming home from work. Too much netflix is not a good thing.
And the time I spend on social media and watching Netflix does not even make me that happy. It’s something to do without having to commit to anything. It doesn’t fulfill me. It doesn’t make me feel passionate and happy. Yes, seeing the cute pictures of my friend’s baby makes me happy, but I can check it all once or twice a day and still feel happy about the cute babies on my newsfeed.
So getting back to the new chef’s question, “I’m a blogger and I am a reader who doesn’t have a lot of time.” And I want my answer to be different. I’m going to pursue the things I want to do when “I have more time.”
I’m going to start paying attention to my free time, what am I doing during this time and is it actually making me happy? Then use that time to actually pursue something. A hobby. Whether it’s an extra half hour a week or five hours a week. It’s the 30 minutes I spend checking into social media in the morning before I get up in the morning. Or the hour I spend before bed messing around on Facebook.
And here are some suggestions for you if you feel like your in this kind of rut like me!
- Move around! Get moving. Signing up for a local yoga class or dance class would be cool. You could even put it on social media afterwards and show us your cute outfit.
- Read. I’m going to try to read for the half hour before bed that I’m waiting for Kevin to get ready for bed. Usually I watch netflix or look at Facebook and Pinterest. It’s gonna change!
- Create. Get some inexpensive art stuff and make something. I am by no means an artist and I bought an adult coloring book today. And I love it. It’s so fun and cute. It’s relaxing but I have created something that I can send pictures of to my mom and ask my boyfriend if its pretty. (He always says yes by the way, such a good guy).
- Gardening. I’ve always wanted to try this but have no idea where to start. I’m even afraid I’m going to come downstairs tomorrow morning and the poinsettia we bought at Costco today is going to be dead. My mom loves to garden.
- Volunteer. Find a non profit with something you like, whether it is women’s rights work, environmental, political stuff, or with animal shelters. Homeless shelters, church, veterans. The list is endless. This is something that you can do and is so fulfilling. I love my work with Planned Parenthood and back in college with my local clinics and political organizations like NARAL.
Let’s give ourselves the time to be interested in something we’re actually interested in. Happy Monday!