Cornwall, England

I realized the other day…

…that I don’t have a hobby. There are things I enjoy: reading books, watching TV shows, riding my bike, hanging out with my kids… but I don’t know if any of these count as a hobby. And on those long days when work and worries are filling up your brain, it would be nice to have a fun, relaxing place to gently put down your thoughts and say, here you go, have a good time, and I’ll pick you up at 6!

My grandmother embroiders pillows.
My friend Matt bakes a cake a week.
My friend E. is on a kickball team.
My friend Courtney plays guitar.
My friend Anna is obsessed with puzzles.
Naudia has a vegetable garden.
Linda collects shells.
Jessie cross-stitches her family’s portraits.
Nicki goes for long runs.
Gisela takes a ceramics class.
Moriel climbs mountains.

Linda Rodin

The one thing that everyone seems to say about a hobby is how calming it is.

“I have this thing about the sea,” Linda once told me. “People do yoga, but I collect shells to relax. Just give me a beach and a bucket and I’m happy.”

“Running helps with my anxiety and with transitions,” says Nicki. “If I’m not breaking a sweat a couple times a week, I feel too high strung and wound too tightly.”

Moriel mountain climbing

“Mountain climbing routes are like puzzles,” explains Moriel. “After I finish a tough route, all the little things I was sweating at my job or in my personal life don’t seem that hard after all.”

“Every Sunday, I go to a three-hour ceramics class, and it takes me to another place,” says Gisela. “It’s very grounding to work with your hands; you’re touching earth and matter.”

Cake baking hobby

“Baking is a huge stress release,” describes Matt. “I bring a cake into the office every week. People say, oooh, next week, you should do pecans! It feels good to bake for other people. I never thought I’d get into baking, but I watched The Great British Bake-Off, and then I got a book, and now I’m all about it.”

“I do a lot of knitting, sewing and quilting,” says Jessie. “I once got asked what I want to be when I grow up and I said, I want to be a grandmother.”

It feels great to have a project you’re excited about, right? And pssst there’s something nerdy I’ve been getting into lately: card tricks. My friend taught me one a couple weekends ago, and it blew my mind. Since then I have learned a few more that actually feel like magic. For example, I can have you choose a card from a regular deck, and then I’ll ask you to go to the front door, and the card will be waiting outside for you. BOOM! (Maybe I’ll make a video to prove it:) Who knows? Maybe that will become my new hobby.

Do you have a hobby? I’d love to hear…

P.S. The hardest tongue twister, and how to give a high five.

(Top photo of my grandmother. Shell photo from Linda. Rock climbing photo by Moriel. Cake photo by Matt.)