Relationships

Do You Have a Hobby? (I Need One)

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.)

  1. Ayme Torres says...

    As a medical profession , I needed a hobby to take my mind away from everything in this hectic world. So Every fridays and Sunday’s I take up horse back Riding . It’s so soothing and therapeutic to hang out with these graceful creatures. My mind clears up when all I’m thinking about is connecting with these horses and riding … very peaceful.

  2. Adiya K says...

    My grandmother taught me to knit when I was 12 and over 20 years later I’m still addicted. Not only does it help me bring me out of my head but it makes me think (you wouldn’t know at first but a lot of math and brain power can go into it!). I’ve recently gotten into embroidery and that’s a lot of fun. I’m thankful to find a husband who not only supports my hand crafts addiction, he wears and wants my creations. And now that I’m 8 weeks away from giving birth to our first baby (a girl!), I imagine us all crafting (just being together), in front of the wood stove in our cozy Vermont cabin in the winters, and listening to vinyls (like I did with my family). Hobbies can be anything, anything that transports you into a place of relaxation… a mentally calm state. The more our lives are overrun with technology and stimulation, the more important it is to have something that connects us back to ourselves. Go card tricks!

  3. I definitely have a hobby. Well multiple. I could never say I have just one hobby and Ive always wondered if my hobby should be my passion or if something I see as a career counts as a hobby anymore. I’m into fitness but I don’t know if that is still a hobby or more something I have engrained in my life. I am also into journaling and music.

  4. It made me a little sad to read this post, wonder for a moment, and realize that I don’t have true hobbies anymore. Everything I do in my spare time is to make money or save money. Knitting, cross-stitch, sewing, blogging… I love them all, but I’ve worked as hard as I can to make those pursuits lucrative as well. I don’t do anything purely for pleasure anymore. I simply can’t afford to!

    Sort of sad, but also makes me think of my grandmother’s (maybe great-grandmother’s?) generation, using their hands and any extra time to further provide for their families. Mending clothes, making cheese, trying to coax vegetables out of the ground. These are enjoyable to me, and help my family thrive, too.

  5. Tracy says...

    First of all, that magic trick would BLOW MY KIDS’ MINDS.

    Secondly, I joined U.S. Masters Swimming after a 15-year swim team hiatus and it has really changed my entire day. I go to the pool (or the ocean) at 6:30 a.m. with about 20 other swimmers (some of which are former Olympians, while others are beginners), do whatever workout the coach has planned, and just enjoy the cool water. The best part about swimming is you have to focus so much on counting (the seconds on the clock in between intervals, the meters you’ve completed, or the laps you’ve taken) that everything else is REQUIRED to leave your brain for an entire hour. It’s amazing, and I highly recommend it to swimmers new and experienced! https://www.usms.org/

  6. Jo says...

    Hi Jo –

    I’m Jo and I’m what you might call a renaissance soul/scanner/polymath.
    I’ve got a zillion million hobbies and interests!! Can’t keep up with them all! Here goes – *intake of breath* – Art, writing, travelling, wild west (www.kitty-le-roy.co.uk), boating, digital photography, social history, medicine, history of photography, paranormal, space research, architecture, archaeology, mudlarking (digging for objects on beaches and rivers), interior design, films, reading, family and local history, fashion and fashion history….

    I’ll stop there… Oh, not forgetting blogging.

    It all goes into my blog, which talks about my recovery from thirty years of depression and anxiety.

    Jo, Hampshire UK
    Creating My Odyssey

  7. Omg I thought I’m a weirdo that don’t have any hobbies. Well, I do love reading books, watching movies, sometimes trying recipes in the kitchen, but I feel that I don’t have a proper hobby like everyone else. And its kinda surprised me because now being a mom, to have a hobby is one major problem LOL

    I’m glad reading this post. Maybe I shud go out and try something new!

  8. Omg I thought I’m a weirdo that don’t have any hobbies. Well, I do love reading books, watching movies, sometimes trying recipes in the kitchen, but I feel that I don’t have a proper hobby like everyone else. And its kinda surprised me because now being a mom, to have a hobby is one major problem LOL

    I’m glad reading this post. Maybe I shud try something new and find out what I’m actually enjoy doing it!

  9. clint says...

    My most important hobby is visiting the dying and their families as a hospice volunteer. It always upgrades my own GQ (gratitude quotient). I took the training 18 years ago because I was afraid of facing my parents’ deaths. Before long, my outlook began to change. I look forward to comforting others now.

  10. But you sort of do have a hobby! Cup of Jo started as a hobby and now is this incredible publication that for connects people around the whole world…that’s not to minimize your desire to try something new. Just to remind you (which I’m sure someone has already done in one of the 500+ comments) that your once hobby transformed into a thriving career. What a cool story! Do you still get time to write for fun on the side?

  11. Erin says...

    I’ve recently gotten into genealogy! I barely know what I’m doing, but I’m surprised at the amount of progress I’ve already made, thanks to helpful folks on genealogy forums. It feels exciting every time I find a new piece of information or confirm an ancestor.

  12. Michaela says...

    Joana – I’ve got a lot if hobbies, but one that has something to do with your blog! I saw that huge ficus lyrata in your living room and looked for that kind of plant for about one year! They’re very uncommon in Germany and I couldn’t find one. So my husband ordered one for my birthday! There was ONLY ONE available in the size I wished – and I got it as a birthday present!!! Since then, it’s an evereyday joy to care for it! I love it so much!! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that, michaela!

  13. Franzi says...

    Since I work in nature conservation every day, I don’t like my hobby anymore. I used to love planting trees, counting birds or looking for super rare plant species during my free time. Now, nature not relaxing anymore. I just see the problems.
    You can really destroy your hobby if it gets to much job related. Time to get a new hobby! :)

  14. Christi says...

    I have lots of interests and dabbled in creative things like pottery, sewing, crocheting, etc., but I am not consistent enough in these activities to call them hobbies. Sometimes I’ll get a wind of inspiration to try something, and then I come home from work or the weekend arrives, and I don’t end up doing it. It’s so much easier to sit in front of my laptop and browse the web or watch a show but also so much more unsatisfying at the end of the week. I wish I could be more focused and motivated when it comes to hobbies. I think hobbies make life more fulfilling and meaningful, and so far I’m not satisfied with the way I have chosen to spend my time.

    • Same here Christi! I love writing, and fashion, and knitting/sewing/drawing. But am I consistent?– Nope. Oh how I wish I was. Instead, I read crafting blogs, wishing I were creative enough to do the same thing! I relate to your comment on a spiritual level lol.

  15. Autumn O. says...

    I crochet granny squares and stitch them together to make blankets. They’re repetitive, you make the same square 80 times, in the best possible way. After the first few, they don’t require much thought. And every time I finish a square I feel a small sense of accomplishment. Plus it’s super portable and doesn’t take up much space. I’ve made blankets for almost everyone in my family and now I donate them to fundraisers for charities I care about.

  16. Melissa says...

    I just moved from CA to a little town in OR where it snows a lot in the winter. So I’m prepping for cabin fever and learned punch rug hooking. I am not a patient person, and this craft is easy to learn and goes quickly. I LOVE it! I suggest following @punchrughooking on instagram. Christine has a great beginner’s kit and has been super helpful with all my questions.

  17. Linda Z says...

    I love reading all these comments! It’s so fun to hear about what lights people up!! I love to sing! I have been involved in choirs in the past, but last year, I starting taking a Broadway performance class at the local community college. It’s been so fun to get back to my acting/performing roots and I’ve met some great people! I also love photography and editing… it’s relaxing and helps me think creatively. :)

  18. Julia says...

    About 2 years ago, I asked my then 3 and 6 year old kids: “What do you think I adore doing when I’m not doing “Mum” things?” I was sure they knew at least one thing I really like (like playing the piano, the guitar, doing figure skating or reading a book). Instead, I got a quite shocking response from my 6 year old son: “You love tidying up, and cleaning!” He was totally serious about this and I realized that time had come to make my kids actually SEE enjoying any of my hobbies instead of always waiting for my kids to be out of the house before starting to play the piano!

  19. I make fun cocktails as my hobby. I make different infusions, simple syrups, collect fun bitters, etc. Then i use my creative side on styling the cocktail and posting on instagram for my friends to see.

    • Grace says...

      This is so cool! Do you have a specific blog or website that you use for cocktail inspiration?

  20. Knitting. It’s endlessly creative and therapeutic. And when you’re done, you have something gorgeous and unique to wear. Check out Brooklyntweed.com and see what I mean. They have wonderful patterns. And trust me, you can learn.

  21. Ida says...

    I tend to go through phases of interests. Nothing has been a steady hobby so far (besides my love of reading and listening to music and podcasts). But ones that I have enjoyed doing over the years include: watercolor painting, handwriting, having a nail polish blog (almost 4 years!), going to concerts, making jam and preserves, hiking.
    Currently I am resuming my jam making hobby with the plethora of summer fruits plus weekly hikes and volunteering at my local animal shelter to be a dog walker. Really, just trying to soak up the summer season.

  22. Hannah says...

    This may have been posted already… but has anyone else considered reading this blog a hobby? Because I swear it’s one of mine. Whenever I have a few indulgent minutes to myself or after a busy week there’s nothing like having a few CoJ posts to catch up on 😂❤️

    • Same for me! With 2 kids under 4, this is the only thing I make time for :)

    • M. says...

      I always joke with my sister that my main hobby is reading CoJ reader comments but it isn’t something I can bring up on a date when asked what I do for fun lol

  23. Lulu says...

    I make my own scented candles (very soothing and so fun to enjoy), and (this is a nerdy one) I meal prep every Sunday and it is so nice to have something ready for rushed breakfasts, and dinner when I’m too exhausted after work. It challenges my creativity.

  24. Dennie Raviv says...

    I quilt and play the harp. Those 2 hobbies are both constant and evolving. I now play the harp for my grandaughter and have sewed all her baby quilts and now a quilt for her bed, and a carrier and quilts for her dolls. Both hobbles have been an important part of my
    Iife, in addition to a family and career. I have recently bought a small harp and want to volunteer in a hospice. My hobbies accompany me where ever I am and where ever I go.

  25. I’m a pretty naturally creative person, so in addition to my job as a graphic designer I also started a magazine on the side, taught myself photography and I play the piano (took lessons for 12 years as a kid and now I just play for fun/to blow off steam). While the magazine blends my love for design and photo, it’s an ambition of mine to make an album. I like curating creative skill sets. One day I should actually try something that is not immediately intuitive to me for a challenge.

  26. Alli says...

    My new hobby has been taking care of a whole host of new house plants! I’ve traditionally had a very black thumb, but when my partner and I bought our first home a couple of months ago I made it my goal to turn over a new leaf (pun very much intended). Every morning I get up and mist the plants that need to be misted and water those that need it—it’s been so cathartic! And seeing them grow and thrive has been so fun. I even took one of my more fragile little ferns on vacation with me a couple weeks ago because I wanted to make sure it didn’t die!

  27. Oh yes! I hook rigs, draw and paint, bake edible flower baked goods, writing a cookbook.May I say this. It’s imperative to have a HOBBY-all of us before we become OLD>WHY? I see Mother and a few of her friends. NO Hobbies-TV and eating out is their Hobby!Very sad,They don’t even care to learn anything new.I say take up something,so what if u don’t stick w/it,keep trying to learn,that’s healthy and u will meet new peers!

  28. Liana says...

    Knitting, yoga and sarcasm.

  29. Laken says...

    I’ve never had a true hobby because I can’t stick to one! I’ve dabbled in so many fun activities and creative outlets but then I hear about some cool new craft or excercise and I just have to try it.
    My phone has a note on it that’s chalk full of ideas and projects.
    I don’t think it’s important to have a Hobby – you just have to remain interested in the world and keep on learning!

    • Julia says...

      I totally agree!

  30. Chelsea says...

    Writing! If I don’t jot some words of my latest work-in-progress down my day feels unfulfilled. It’s not exactly calming though! Maddening maybe. But also satisfying to put my thoughts on paper. Or a keyboard.

  31. Eliza says...

    I picked crochet back up last fall, which led to knitting, which led to spinning and dyeing yarn, and now I’m wanting to learn weaving! I guess you could say I’ve fallen down the fiber arts rabbit hole… I’ve set myself a challenge: I have to knit or crochet something for everyone on my Christmas list. I’m done with 4, halfway done with 2 more, started another, and have like 10 more to get to! It’s a lot, but I figured this hobby is a good one to share :)

  32. Jane says...

    Great ideas! Thanks all!

  33. Dominique says...

    Try knitting. Take a class at a yarn store for hands on instruction – that makes all the difference. You’ll meet interesting women in your knitting circle, you’ll get the best book and tv show recommendations, and you’ll be knitting hats and fingerless gloves as gifts for all of your friends. It’s so portable too and very meditative. I hope you try it!

  34. Laura says...

    My newest hobby (though I prefer to call it a journey, adventure, or learning experience, depending on how I’m feeling!) is baking sourdough bread. I keep my starter (affectionately named Sasha) in the fridge, feeding once weekly, until we’re either running low on bread, or I get the urge to bake more. There is simply nothing like the silky feeling of a happy, well fed starter, and the pillow-like feel of dough! I make two loaves at a time, and am getting to the place where I’m experimenting a bit more and occasionally have bread to hand off to friends and family.

    I’ve also made several other sourdough goods! Pancakes, banana bread, English muffins, soft pretzels, and biscuits, so far!

    • Emme says...

      Where did you get your starter?

  35. Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez says...

    At one of her talks Mari Andrew said if you have small-medium scale goals, or really tangible things you want to do, just do them. I’ve always said, “I want to learn to play tennis,” but never signed up for lessons. Point taken Mari! I’m taking lessons this fall. Go for things you’re interested and want to do. Worst case is you don’t like it, but at least you’re not the person who, “always wanted to…”

  36. Kelli says...

    Jo, we NEED a video AND tutorial of this magic trick ASAP :)

  37. Cindy says...

    I have 62 years. Approaching retirement, I often hear friends comment that they don’t know what they will do to keep busy and avoid boredom. Yikes, NOT ME. There aren’t enough hours in the day for all my hobbies! I started running for fitness years ago, but I continue running for the mental benefits. Gardening is a never-ending source of creativity. Photography is another passion of mine, beginning with film back in the 1980s, taking pics of my four kids, and now continuing in the digital era with my grandchildren. Still, the best hobby of all is to try to learn something new every day. Read, ask questions, listen, wonder, be curious, and you will never be bored.

    • Josee says...

      Yes! Thank you! I’m 45 and a young retiree without children. You can imagine I get puzzled “what do you do all day” or worse “I’d go nuts” comments but I also feel like I’m constantly running after my tail because I *DO* things and am interested in so many things. Learning and figuring out what a interests you is just as rewarding as the actual doing.

    • This is so inspiring! I know that will be me one day. My husband and I have been married for 7.5 years but haven’t had kids yet because we have so many fun things that we’re into and aren’t ready to give them up yet.

  38. Martha Patterson says...

    I make jewelry! I started doing it years ago because I was spending a lot of money at craft and art fairs, but it has become very soothing and therapeutic. There is something to be said to having a creative outlet, to create something beautiful…and it helps for git giving occasions too!

  39. Jenne says...

    Roller derby! I have never been athletic, but at the age of 44 I joined a rec league. It’s challenging, exhilarating, and rewarding on a mental, physical, and social level. I have made friends of all ages and backgrounds, people I never would have met otherwise. There are so many leagues now worldwide that you have an instant community no matter where you go.

    • Michelle says...

      Yes! Roller derby was the best damn hobby I’ve ever had. I founded my local league and played 7 years before “retiring” to have a kiddo. I went back briefly last year to play in our 10th anniversary game and it’s a sport that will always have my heart. It’s too much of a time commitment now but ever since I’ve not found another hobby that satisfies me quite as much. I guess I’d say that strength training (specifically kettlebell training) is my main hobby now, but I long to find something creative too. I love to cook but I’m mostly cooking for my family these days. But I mostly cane here to say YES to roller derby!

    • Linda Z says...

      I want to know what your derby names are!! :)

  40. I have always had a hobby……when I was a kid I made dresses for my Barbie dolls from scraps and then in MS I made my own clothes in sewing class. I progressed to embroidery and now I am a quilter. I make small wall hangings, baby quilts and even a few KING sized quilts for my own bed.
    I like to read too but I get more enjoyment out of making quilts.
    I think it’s important to keep our minds healthy with activity as well as our bodies.

  41. Vinothini says...

    I draw almost every day and write poetry. I also keep a journal and write whatever inspires me – poems, words, quotes etc. I love food so I cook a lot – I grate coconuts twice a week.

  42. Amy says...

    I knit and cross stitch and dabble in crochet. Very quiet practices that I’ve read are on par with meditating, which is great! However, I needed a balance to those those soothing hobbies, so every other day I make sure to turn up some hip hop and weight lift, body building-style for 30 minutes to an hour.

    I also take my sleep very seriously, despite not being very good at it.

  43. Jen S. says...

    15 years ago my kindergartener wanted to knit. So I learned how, and moved from dishcloths and scarves to socks and mittens to sweaters. Needing a new challenge, I learned to spin. Which escalated into raising my own yarn – we now own three sheep and an alpaca, whose fleeces I clean, spin, and yes, knit. My husband is very supportive; I guess I’m a lot easier to live with when I’m up to my ears in wool!

  44. Taylor says...

    I sew Christmas Stockings from the Bucilla line. My family has done them for years and I learned how to make them from my Grandma and Aunt. It is basically Sew by number and so relaxing. Plus I can do it while I watch TV or listen to an audiobook!

  45. Kim says...

    Fellow rock climber here! And too funny, I got into it a similar way to this post. I was starting to look for a new job, and I knew there would be questions like “what do you like to do for fun?” or “what are your hobbies?”. I figured I couldn’t say “watching hours of murder documentary”, so I found a hobby. I chose playing the guitar (because I already owned one for some reason) and rock climbing (because I had been once before). I was AWFUL at the guitar (omg, the calluses and patience!), but absolutely loved climbing. It is such a thrill. I recommend it to anyone and everyone!

  46. Kathryn says...

    Does watching Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman’s new craft show, Making It! count? 😉

    Hobby is kind of a banned word for me, actually. I have to actively work on managing my anxiety and depression through self care and creativity and exercise, but hobbies? Ugh… People in my life have sweetly recommended (or abusively told me) that I didn’t have a hobby and that I should get one (and bonus! They said it’d make me more interesting! 👎) It became another pressure; another proof that I wasn’t measuring up. If you look under my bed, you’ll find some solid attempts: unfinished cross-stitch, paint supplies, homemade paper kit, memories of me thinking to myself, “Am I doing it right?” But I gave up trying to find one. While I crave creative outlets, I get the inspiration and release that I need from doing the fake hobbies ALL ALONE. Taking a walk, riding the bus, reading, running, drinking wine and writing themed lists as a way of journaling…. these are satisfying and therapeutic enough for me at this stage in life.

  47. Lisa says...

    I used to do crochet as I needed a hobby that didn’t include a screen (I watch a lot of tv shows and work with computers). I learned how to do granny squares from YouTube and then made like 4 blankets before I stopped for some reason. Moving, then moving again, and I realised now that I have no idea where my crochet stuff is. Maybe I just have to buy a new hook/needle (don’t know the English word) and start again. It’s suer relaxing, cheap, and I can do it while sitting comfortably in my couch watching tv. WIN.

  48. Alicia says...

    While exercise keeps me sane, the thing I come back to time and again for pure enjoyment is knitting. I love that it is portable, creative, and sometimes even useful. Working on a pattern requires some concentration, but not tons–just enough to tell the other noisy thoughts in your head to sit down and wait their turn. You can set it down and walk away, come back later and pick up where you started. Skill also develops over time and with practice. Following knitters on instagram is fun for inspiration, and the knitting world is heavily female and positive.

  49. I embroider! I used to think it was an old-lady craft, but then I found Sarah K. Benning’s patterns (https://www.etsy.com/shop/sarahkbenning). They such awesome modern designs, and I also happen to love plants so they are perfect for me. I make the same ones over and over again because I love giving them away to people and I like getting better at a pattern over time (I’m not a naturally artistic person who likes to some up with my own works – that majorly stresses me out which is not the point!).

    Also, my mom’s partner is a very good hobby magician, and he always does some “experiments” (aka tricks) at our family parties. It amuses and delights all 4 generations. He even did a show at our engagement party which my friends are still talking about.

    • Laura says...

      Thank you so much for posting the link to this etsy shop! This is totally going to be my next hobby.

    • Joyce Tsai says...

      Thank you so much for the tip! I didn’t know embroidery could be so cool. Bought a pattern from her Etsy shop, can’t wait to get started :)

  50. I’ve just started bullet journaling and yoga! I love yoga for the physical and mental health benefits. And bullet journaling has been a great way to not only keep myself organized, but also to get more creative! It’s really calming and I highly recommend giving it a go!

  51. Running, reading, hiking, coloring, and jigsaw puzzles are my big hobbies. My friend and I are going to learn how to pickle vegetables next month, which I am super excited about!

  52. Maire says...

    I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and in it she talks a lot about how it is important to create for creativity’s sake. You may not be a great painter or baker or writer, but it is important to free yourself to these acts. That resonated with me. Since I was inspired by this work, I have now revisited my watercolors while listening to classical music. My subject is usually flowers in a colorful vase, and I am not particularly talented, but I have always found drawing and painting to be a very relaxing activity. I am also in the process of writing a romance novel. So most weeknights this year I have stayed an extra hour at work to write. My goal is to have a 50-60,000 word novel completed by the end of the year. It will probably never be read by anyone other than a few friends, but at least I can say that I accomplished a life long goal.

    • That message from Big Magic really resonated with me too. I love to write but would question whether I was ever writing anything good or would ever achieve the success of big food bloggers. But she made me realize I can just do it because I like to, without some expectation that this will someday be my whole life.

  53. Candace says...

    I’m a collector of hobbies. An itch comes over me and every month or so, I find myself being enveloped by one of my interests taking over my mind. Currently it’s sewing little things to brush up on lost skills. I knit once a week. I keep a vegetable garden. Embroidery is a fleeting obsession that comes up monthly. Fermenting and cooking are daily interests. Sourdough, sauerkraut, hot sauces, etc. And someday I’d love to find myself in a pottery class or taking oil painting. I’d love to make a rag rug or start weaving. There are so many things I could fall into and I never know where my hobbies will take me.

  54. Alyssa says...

    I have been having this same issue. I think people either have too many hobbies to juggle or no hobbies at all. I work a very mentally taxing job where I have to keep track of so much that I just love watching Netflix or reading when I get home to quiet the brain chatter.

    I do yoga, am trying to get into running, and haven’t been rock climbing in far too long. But none of those feel like hobbies so much as desperate attempts to balance out my love of food.

    I am hoping to learn calligraphy while away at the cabin this weekend. Who knows? Maybe it will stick!

  55. My problem with hobbies is I can’t just pick one.
    I knit. I’d probably knit more if I could, but problems with my neck and left hand prevent me from knitting as much as I’d like.
    I’m getting into watercolor. I’ve been taking some skillshare classes and I’ like to take an in-person class soon.
    I’d love to get into embroidery.
    I play video games. I read. I go for walks. I don’t collect anything, but I want to. There’s just too many things, and I want to do them all.

  56. Margaret says...

    I don’t really have a hobby. I feel like catching up with friends and exercising, both essential for well being, are sort of what I do with that free time? I saw a poster for adult Flamenco classes and I thought – that sure sounds fun! I really smiled at the quote what do you want to be when you grow up . “A Grandmother”. I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out work life/career pivot for my post – sahm phase.. getting a new masters. But I read that “a grandmother” and thought – YES!!!! Maybe I just need a new hobby and to relax about the rest.

  57. It’s hard to keep up with my hobbies these days it’s frustrating! I love to blog, knit, bake, make candles etc etc but with a baby attached to my hips 24/7, I can’t properly enjoy them anymore (without forcing myself to stay awake).

  58. Lisa says...

    For the women who have written about their hobbies, but also have careers and small children — how do you find time to do it? Me and my girlfriends joke about having hobbies (theater, running, kayaking, gymnastics, fusing glass, water-coloring etc.) before we had kids. Now that we have them, it is hard to use up that one precious Saturday or Sunday every few months to actually engage in whatever hobby we each used to do. Instead, we find that cashing in the brownie points to get our husbands to watch our kids is more likely to get used for a “girls” night. Even if it is something that you can do at home like sewing or crocheting, how do you get away from that feeling that you ought to be doing something else that isn’t magically going to get done like laundry, changing out clothes based on seasons, organizing food stuffs, organizing family photos etc. I am looking for insight into how to have time to have a hobby and how to negotiate the spousal support to achieve one on a regular basis (without an incredible amount of bargaining or logistics). Please could we have a post on that too?

    • Chantal Roberts says...

      THIS! Would also be interested and in the same boat…

    • Jessica says...

      Agree! On top of just keeping up with life, making time for a hobby ends up feeling like just one more thing for my “to do” list that will make me feel guilty if I don’t actually get around to it. Which totally defeats the purpose, right?

    • Natalie says...

      This is the reason I decided I needed a new hobby! I needed to take a break from being mama, wife and employee, and do something for ME. (Full disclosure: I’m working on mindfulness) Then I heard an NPR story about ukuleles and decided that was going to be my new hobby. So I bought one off Amazon and found some free music sites and video lessons and learned to play. Mostly I was playing at night after the baby went to sleep while my husband relaxed playing video games. (He turned the sound down and we sat together.) I’ve since signed up for a group lesson that meets for an hour once a week so I have a reason to leave the house for an hour a week and do something that’s just for myself. I love it. And I’ve started bringing my uke to work and taking my break with it in the park across the street from my office. I have no regrets about it!

    • Cath says...

      I work Part time, run a creative business and do two other jobs more casually, a few hours a month, and I have two kids age 5 and
      11. My husband works crazy hours- he is a chef and I have so many hobbies. We just negotiate time, he knows I am happier when I have had time in the forest with my dog or when I go to my ceramics class, or when I draw or paint or sew. It’s not about who is watching the kids- it’s about sharing our lives with each other and being a family where everyone’s needs are met. I don’t really watch TV so I draw and paint at night. I get up early to walk and ceramics is 3 hours per fortnight. It is completely reasonable to assume time for yourself and to also assume that your partner will share the childcare of the children you had together.

    • Anne says...

      Haha. Yeah, reading some of these comments made me snort with laughter over how impossible they’d be in my life right now. I have a job and a toddler, and spare hours are for watching that one Netflix show with my husband or sleeping or maybe trying to get a little further in a book. I know statistically though that working moms often neglect personal time out of guilt while working dads still find time to squeeze it in (true in my situation). I want to make it work. I have some whittling supplies in my night stand, but that will have to wait. Natalie’s ukulele suggestion is one I’ve considered recently since it would scratch that music itch and be fun for my little guy. Happy to hear it worked for another mama! Thanks for the inspiration!

  59. Emme Duranczyk says...

    Thank you so much for writing this! I’m so excited to read all of these ideas :)

  60. Elizabeth says...

    knitting!
    It sounds so lame for a 25 year old go getting business owner (not girlboss, just boss) to have knitting as a hobby but I love it. I am quite an anxious person and having something simple and repetitive to keep my hands busy when I can’t calm my thoughts down is amazing.
    I can take it anywhere, do a night of it while watching tv or a row while waiting to pick my niece up from ballet.
    I’m making a beautiful blanket at the moment, it’s so satisfying to have something at the end of it all too!

  61. Ksm says...

    If running is a hobby, reading is a hobby too just saying :).

  62. Kayla says...

    I’m in a phase of life (mothering a toddler and pregnant) where hobbies and creativity are not as accessible as they have been in other times of my life. So, my best tip is change your mindset. You read for ten minutes? Hobby! You listened to a cool podcast that made you think? Hobby! You cooked a meal you never have before? Creativity! It helps me know that this season of life is not forever and those other parts of me will flow back in as time and energy allows.

    • Amy says...

      Absolutely!!

  63. May says...

    I like hand sewing felt ornaments. The key is to not forget scale when transferring the idea to an actual object. It is easy to get caught up in the joy and lose focus. Cute little 2 inch owls can end up as 8 inch pigeons. Make a prototype.

    I can see you beading necklaces. It is relaxing way to spend time.

  64. Bec Barnett says...

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I feel my hobbies (reading, sewing, art, rock climbing ) dwindled in the years between leaving school 12 years ago and now in the early years of motherhood. I worry that the structure of university degrees combined with the necessity to work through study to afford it results in hobby drop off. Likewise, I thought that after having a baby I’d suddenly have heaps of time to restart my creative hobbies because all the books reckon newborns sleep 16 hours a day (hahaha), so that didn’t happen. With a two year old and part time work (which I feel privileged to afford) I’m slowly finding more time for myself but I am often left wondering what my hobbies are or should be and waste my free time thinking and procrastinating rather than doing.
    My partner on the other hand is a surfer and always knows what to do with his free time or the early dawn in summer before the rest of us wake up. Sometimes I have to work not to resent this easily defined hobby that can be clearly demarcated and carried out. So I guess maybe the trick is less about having a specific hobby and more a question of giving yourself space to do something you enjoy, even if it’s not the same thing everytime!

  65. Emma A says...

    While you are still trying to figure it out, what if you just make sure you leave some time open (30 minutes/one hour/half day) on your weekly schedule— Maybe? Just in the meantime. (Might actually be easier… More organic… if we don’t schedule it but the reality is as adults, we have less freedom (ironic?) and have work, bills, other priorities and responsibilities… So you might have to find the time to find your thing.) Then, whenever that free time comes up, do anything you feel like doing that moment or whatever you have been looking forward to that week: painting, drawing, sewing, gardening, baking, calligraphy, paper crafts, pottery, dancing, learning another language, whatever! You are open to try and discover anything and everything you like. We are in a time and place where everything (books, materials, classes) is accessible. Improvise if needed. You’ll learn a great deal. If you don’t finish the project and you want to continue, then you have something to do the following week… And the next, if you enjoy it. Now, it’s starting to sound like a hobby, right? If not, try something new again… But it has to be what you are truly interested in during that time so that whatever you do, it will make you feel good at the end of the day. Personally, I don’t like to say I hoard hobbies… but yeah, I glean hobbies. LOL. The ones that I love are the ones that keep coming back to me, again and again. Although my list is long (and is just getting longer). I even taught myself how to write upside-down backwards… Out of boredom, maybe? Or to cope with anxiety back then? I don’t remember exactly… but I still have plenty of little projects here and there. (Currently, hand-binding notebooks/journals, making hats and bows for my kids, making clay flowers. Next, dollhouse reno with my family.) Anyway, for me/our family, it’s important that I/we limit or avoid outside influences. I am careful not to be too inspired by what I see on social media. Or just do things because others are doing it or seem to be having fun with it. I like to make it more about what I truly feel and what I really think. An inner self-motivation thing that for some reason, works! Whatever I do or whatever the results, I find great satisfaction just by expressing myself. I/We thoroughly enjoy the process.

  66. Elizabeth says...

    I started crocheting when I was in college and it’s one of my favorite hobbies. It’s gotten me through my daughter’s eight surgeries and even stressful family gatherings. I mostly make blankets but now I’ve branched out to smaller projects like hats and scarves. Like Jessie, I’m basically a grandma!

  67. sarah says...

    I don’t have a hobby either :( :( :( and I’m struggling to pick one up. I swam competitively for 7 years then spent 9 years as a full time college student with a full time job. For sooo may years, homework and going to school was my life, my job, my hobby. Since I graduated a couple years ago, I’ve really struggled with picking up a hobby. I am not creative in the least. I like to cook, I suppose. Sigh.. I think about this alot. I don’t know what I’m interested in, besides working (which I love) and being with my kids and family. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out..

    • Jessica says...

      Your post totally rings true for me, Sarah – I ran in high school and part of college, then was absorbed with med school and training afterwards for 9 years…now work and parenthood. Sometimes I really feel like I’ve lost part of my identity – being a runner was such a central part of my life, what other people knew me as…now I just kind of feel like a blank slate :/ (which I suppose could hold promise for starting something new?)

    • Lindsey says...

      I promise you that you can be creative. I used to think the same thing, like if I had to do other people’s ideas on Pinterest then it didn’t count as being creative. It’s not true! Copy the things you love and the rest will follow!

  68. Becca says...

    I play piano (although it is also my career) – so I think I need a separate hobby! :) I’m thinking about learning a new instrument, like harp. Also learning new languages (poorly) with an app has been fun!

  69. Gia says...

    I have so many hobbies! My favorite recent one is roller derby. Great way to meet open minded people. It’s so hard at first, but the vast majority of participants started as adults with little to no skating background. I also love taking community art classes: life drawing, pottery, and paint. You also meet the most interesting people of ALL ages!

    • I’ve wanted to do roller derby for YEARS. Do you get as physically hurt as they say?

  70. Oneida Christensen says...

    wait…reading isn’t a hobby??? hahaha, i know what you mean though.

    on magic tricks…my husband was at a office supply store with our daughters engrossed in finding the right school folder and unbeknownst to him, an older man working behind the counter beckoned my kids over. he took out from under it two “squishy sponge bunnies” (some stuff my have been lost in translation haha) and handed one to one of them. “close your fist,” he said. then he closed his fist around the remaining bunny and blew really hard on his fist. “open your hand,” he said, and my daughter opened her hand and two bunnies popped out. my kids minds were BLOWN.

    i found this out at home when my daughter asked me to hold a tissue in my fist and held one in hers and tried to do the trick with me. she kept saying, “wait, maybe i didn’t do it right,” and would try again with different blowing and different objects. finally, she sighed, “i think what we really need is two squishy sponge bunnies.” it took some deducting to find out what was happening, ha! and also, it just warmed my heart to think of that old man at home practicing tricks to entertain neighborhood kids.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is such a cute story, oh my gosh. warms my heart!

    • Nicole Wight says...

      My step brother and my dad used to do magic tricks together as a way to stay bonded while apart. Each of them could practice tricks and demonstrate their skills when they met back up. When my brother moved out on his own my dad got him a spectacular ceramic Merlin sculpture to memorialize their common hobby.
      My brother died in his early 40’s from cancer, and my dad has passed on too, but the memories and stories I have from their performances will live on and on in my mind and in family conversations.
      Thank you for sharing your story, Oneida, and helping me remember one of my own sacred stories.

  71. Molly says...

    I have thought about the need to have a hobby quite often. When I first graduated from college and entered the workplace, I was surprised by a lot of things; in particular, I was dumbfounded by the fact that I had no idea how I wanted to spend my free time.

    I had invested so much time in things that produced results, like completing my degree and getting a job, that I discounted the urgency to dedicate time to experiment with what it was I actually like to do, especially considering I had the time. I am sure I voluntarily passed up many opportunities to cultivate and experiment with hobbies in college, but I sometimes wonder if we should be encouraging hobby development more throughout formal education, or at least re-branding “extracurricular activities” as life investment activities instead of resume bullet. Of course, it’s never too late to find a hobby – I have been cooking more and doing darkroom photography, and have found it to be relaxing and productive – but I think there are opportunities to formally revisit the emphasis we put on hobbies, because I think they are important and often overlooked ingredients to a fulfilling life.

  72. Rachel says...

    This has been on my mind as well. I find this urge to be related to a little more spaciousness in my life. The early years of parenting, plus work, plus relationship-tending left little unencumbered time but now, with older kids, I can feel the possibility of spending extra time in a particular way. (And agreed, not on my phone or watching Netflix.) Best to you in your searching.

  73. Em says...

    Reading totally counts as a hobby in my book ; )

  74. I run a dollhouse miniatures museum in Denver, and we’be had a bunch of young visitors from Brooklyn. It is fun to imagine your own perfect worlds, not have to make decorating compromises, and tell stories. http://Www.miniatures.org or wew.igma.org the second holds an amazing conference in Castine Maine.

    • Megan says...

      I live in Denver and have never been – I’ll have to check it out!! :)

  75. I like urban sketching (though, does it count as a hobby if you have kinda made a career out of it?)! Easy to take a small sketchbook and a pen (or even a small watercolor set!) out with you wherever you go. Waiting for a friend? Sketch. Stuck on the subway? Sketch! There’s chapters all across the world if you want to meet up with fellow sketchers. The NYC one meets in different locations around the city (for free!) twice a week, and is very casual: come and go as you please! nyc.urbansketchers.org

    (for me: @ramblingsketcher instagram)

    • wendy says...

      your art is fantastic!! What an inspiration!

    • Thanks so much!😀❤

    • Molly says...

      I love this. I’ve been starting to sketch lately (always wanted to but was never brave enough to start) and like to try to catch the small moments. It would be fun to meet other people who do the same.

  76. Sasha says...

    Things I enjoy doing (reading books/magazines, watching TV shows, walking my dog, reading cooking blogs and trying new recipes, internet browsing- ha!) seem too mundane to be hobbies, while things my husband does (skiing, making beer, playing guitar) all seem like Hobbies with a capital H. I think part of the issue for me is I have an academic job where your work is meant to be your all encompassing passion, and you are meant to spend all your time doing it. I like my research, but need to think about other things. Maybe you can address this transition from “follow your passion” to a job in a post? After all, blogging used to be your hobby, until you turned it into a a full-time job, and you probably don’t want to spend the after-dinner hours writing another post.

  77. Kate says...

    Ooh this is relevant. I consider cooking and going to concerts as hobbies, but I’ve been feeling like I need something else in my life. My boyfriend just moved to Long Island for his year-long clinical psych internship, and I’m staying back in Milwaukee. We’ve been cheerleading ourselves on how to get through this, and he keeps saying “you can focus on your hobbies!” (I was thinking more that I can now wear as much bold lipstick as I want without him saying “That’s a bold lip!” :D)

    He plays hockey, he’s obsessed with video games, and he makes a list of 10 recipes to learn in the year, and it does make me feel a little jealous.

  78. Christine says...

    Too many hobbies, too little time! Stay at home mom of two. I play volleyball once a week for a few hours! I’m way better no than I was in high school. It’s my time away from home and the kids and bedtime routines.

    I also picked up sewing about two years ago, so I often get sucked into projects during naptime and before I go to sleep. Such a great creative outlet.

    I love baking as well, and one of my goals was to make something new each month.

  79. Brooke says...

    Pls post this magic trick how-to!

  80. I felt the same a couple years ago! I used to teach yoga but, I stopped and yoga became a hobby again. I also run (I really want to run a marathon). And I love browsing book stores– I don’t know if this passes as a hobby but it relaxes me!

  81. H says...

    I look forward to reading through all these!!!

    Hobbies are so important. My hobby is horseback riding. Horses are so therapeutic. After spending some time off from horses while in uni & doing some traveling, I’ve gotten back into it and don’t know how on earth I spent so many years away… now all I can think of is moving somewhere permanently so I can buy a horse.

  82. Adriana says...

    I been making kombucha and really geeking out about it. It’s been fun to research the fermentation process, experiment with new flavors, keep track of my results, etc. Every Saturday I bottle my kombucha and make a new batch. I enjoy the process of opening a bottle at each meal and analyzing the flavors with my family and cooking up ideas of what to try next.

  83. Sarah says...

    Does listening to audiobooks count as a hobby? I’ve been listening to them while I wash dishes, fold laundry, on early morning walks. I have 3 young children so I really don’t have a lot of “free time” but I’m always doing chores around the house and audiobooks make it all more pleasant!

    I used to cook recipes from a collection of Gourmet Magazines from 1978 (year of my birth) that I bought on ebay. It was fun! Now with kids, they’d never go for it!

  84. Lyn says...

    Years ago when I was working on my dissertation I started knitting; about ten years after that, I realized I wanted to make my own yarn, so I got a spinning wheel and learned to spin. I’m lucky to live in western North Carolina where there are plenty of people who teach traditional arts & crafts, and I’ve had some good teachers and friends help me learn. Now I’m able to spin my own yarn and dye it using plants that grow around our house. It’s very soothing to sit at my wheel for twenty or thirty minutes each day, just treadling and letting the wool run through my fingers and turn into beautiful yarn.

  85. LindyO says...

    Just had this conversation last night with a friend. There are plenty of activities I like to do but would not say I’m passionate enough to call a hobby.

    The women in my family always knit, crochet, cross-stitched and read books. I REALLY want to find something that speaks to me. Took a watercolor class this past winter as a complete beginner. I enjoyed it but wouldn’t say I was skilled. But maybe you never are when you start, better late than never.

    I think it’s important to have something you cannot wait to get back to that gives you comfort and exhilaration. Will have to keep looking…

  86. Jennifer says...

    About two years ago I took a workshop for women interested in trying stand up comedy. I liked it more than I ever expected to and started going to open mics and making friends in the local comedy community. Now I perform every week and have started planning my own quarterly comedy night. I could never have predicted the excitement and satisfaction that has come with this weird hobby. I’m a middle aged mother of two with a stable day job, but I spend so much of my free time at comedy shows, having the time of my life. (Luckily my husband is very understanding and supportive and never minds staying home with the kids.)

    • Sara says...

      This is so inspirational! Love it.

  87. Catherine says...

    Joanna – I was inspired to pick up a needlepoint kit when I saw the picture you posted from your vacation of your grandmother working on her needlepoint cushion. Her work looked so colorful and inviting to me that I wanted to give a new hobby a try. I would love to see her finished project!

    • Me too!!! I’d love to see it when she finishes!

    • Nicole Wight says...

      Me three! I have a needlepoint belt for my husband I had nearly completed a decade ago then forgot about. After all this time I guess I’ll be adding some length (haha).

  88. Liz F says...

    PROOOOOOOVE IIIIIIIIT!

  89. Steph says...

    I’m also a runner, jigsaw puzzler, and crossword/Sudoku doer. Some of those are more portable than others, and can be more easily picked up and put down at a moment’s notice. But all lead to a pleasant feeling of flow.

    I don’t know if it counts as a hobby, but I genuinely look forward to Autumn when I spend an hour every Saturday morning raking leaves. Something about the fresh air and moderate physical exertion (not to mention the satisfaction of a temporarily clear yard and sidewalk) is ZEN.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i think raking leaves could count as a hobby! just call it gardening :) anton and i were weeding the sidewalk outside our building last weekend (there’s lots of grassy weed clusters) and it was so relaxing.

  90. Danielle says...

    I am a PhD student and really struggled with anxiety the first few years in my program. One day I was at a craft store picking up some birthday wrapping, and I saw the yarn, crochet hooks, and knitting needle section. I’ve been trying to meditate for years to no avail (HELLO ANXIETY!), but something in me was drawn to the yarn! I bought a few balls and a crochet hook and started watching YouTube tutorials on how to crochet. I ended up getting weirdly into it! It was so relaxing and pseudo-meditative. One morning I woke up at 5:00 am because I couldn’t wait to get crocheting. Over winter break, at my parents’ house, I started convincing my husband to retire to bed early with me so we could watch a TV show while I crocheted. With an 8:00pm bedtime and a crocheting addiction, my husband kept joking that for Christmas he was going to get me a deck of cards for pinochle and a water aerobics membership…
    Truthfully, I’d probably like both!

  91. Lauren says...

    Thank you for this post! It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to sign up for hobby related classes and I finally did – pottery and knitting here I come! Excited to learn new skills, get crafty, and hopefully meet some new friends in our area since making friends as an adult in a new neighborhood without kids or a dog is difficult!

  92. GailDee says...

    Scrapbooking—the old fashioned way, not digital. Words and pictures together—you’re already a natural at this, Joanna, and I love it because of my journalistic background as well. Recording your thoughts about photos of your family is a wonderful way to relax and create something tangible and beautiful as well.

  93. Emily says...

    Another sewer here. I have been sewing clothes (mostly for me, but I’ve just started making things for my 1 year old daughter too) for about 8 years now, and I find it such a wonderful creative release. I have a stressful job & 2 young children, and it makes such a difference being able to carve out a bit of time to focus on something that is just for me. I love it.

  94. Emily says...

    I sew and knit! I work in an academic field and having something tangible I can see go from idea to completion, that has practical uses, is very satisfying and soothing. I make the majority of my own clothes now and a good proportion of my daughters’ wardrobes. While I’m still consuming materials, I find that this practice has really supported sustainable consumption. Making a tee shirt isn’t as hard as you might think, but it definitely takes much more time and effort than casually throwing three in a virtual shopping cart. I also love feeling connected to all the generations of makers that came before me, and that my daughters are growing up seeing the importance of taking time for oneself to do something you really enjoy AND that everything we use is made by someone.

  95. Kay says...

    I’ve always been in love with latin culture. I hear salsa music and my body inherently starts to move. Finally decided to start lessons 2 years ago and now I go to “salsa socials” (a term for salsa dancing with other enthusiasts!) and have since expanded my interest to bachata and kizomba (other dancing styles). I still go to classes once a week to improve my technique, styling, or learn a new combination.

    It’s so rewarding to continuously work towards something on a regular basis (that isn’t work or school related) and see yourself improve on a small or grand level. I would have never been able to do double or triple spins two years ago! Regardless of what it is, hobbies have a great way of taking you away into another world, even just for an hour or so.

  96. I recently started rock climbing and fell in love with it. I now go 2-3 times a week and love it! I feel so wild being up on an indoor wall with just a few rocks for support.

  97. JCR says...

    Last year, when I realized I sit in front of a screen all day, I immediately began looking for a non-digital hobby. I embroidered a cute little owl from Kiriki Press and loved how I could focus on it and make something cute with my hands with little mental effort, even with the tv on in the background. https://www.etsy.com/shop/kirikipress

    Today I find myself pregnant with twins and on bedrest for the next 10 weeks, so my embroidery kit from Hoffelt & Hooper just arrived today… they say it’s good for beginners and I can’t wait to get started. https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoffeltAndHooperCo?ref=l2-shopheader-name

    • Kirsten says...

      I LOVE Hoffelt & Hooper kits!

  98. Joanna says...

    When I was a freshman in college, I saw a sign on the wall that said, “men in kilts, and that was enough to get me to try Scottish country dancing. A few years later, I started English dancing (that’s what they’re doing in all of the Jane Austen movies). Now, almost 30 years later, my non-work life revolves around this kind of folk dancing, and I travel all around the country to dance and teach English dancing, and use all of my vacation time doing it.

    I love this dancing so much! It’s not competitive, it’s not performance-based, it allows you to meet all kinds of people, exercise, and hear and interact with beautiful music all at the same time.

    But more than that, dancers are a true community that’s increasingly hard to find today. When my husband had a terrible accident a couple of years ago and became a quadriplegic, it was our dance community who did (and still does!) everything for us from washing dishes, to helping us move into a new house, to raising money to help us get a wheelchair van, and everything in-between. When my days are too stressful between work and care-taking, the best thing is to go out to the dance – it somehow puts everything back in perspective and balance.

    • witloof says...

      Joanna, I’m a contra dancer, and the dance community is THE BEST. See you on the dance floor!

  99. Liz says...

    Road cycling. It is the most glorious combination of exhilarating and peaceful. Whizzing along a country road with nothing but the sounds of trees and the occasional car makes work and other responsibilities seem a thousand miles away; it helps that it is impossible to the point of being fatal to respond to an email :) Climbing up hills and mountains is tough and fulfilling, and of course, the descent, flying down and around corners, sometimes on the edge of the sea, is one of the most thrilling feelings there is. So many women love their spin classes (and I do too!) – I wish I could get more of them to come ride with me out in the world!

  100. Jess says...

    Kayaking, paddle boarding and fiddling!

  101. Brecca says...

    When I was in my early twenties, I was legitimately concerned about having a “lifetime sport” or hobby. It caused me stress to think that I didn’t have a hobby to “grow old with” (who am I?).
    I started running, I signed up for golf lessons (and joined a league), I took up skiing (again), I got into hiking, I took a fly fishing class, I learned to make cheese. I am a culinary instructor by day and a hobby-enthusiast for the rest of my waking hours.
    Now I am trying to figure out how to relax, to allow myself to sit down and read or veg out in front of the TV for an hour. Send help!

  102. I dance Argentine Tango since 2012, and last weekend I participated in my first Argentine Tango competition in Canada! Dancing of all sorts has been my hobby since the age of 4. I danced contemp, ballet, folk, etc, and now I lead a small community dance group. It’s been such a rewarding experience!

  103. Suzanne says...

    Two years ago my dear Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – which is generally incurable. I am happy to report that amazingly he is still alive and his tumour is currently stable – but the initial diagnosis and then a trip with my parents to Germany for a treatment unavailable in Canada was devastating and stressful. My Mum had taught me to crochet when I was younger and I had tinkered with that a bit back then – but after Dad’s diagnosis I took it back up with a vengeance and I am obsessed. The flow of it is really soothing.

  104. Wendy Taylor says...

    I wanted to do a sprint triathalon before I truned 50. I ended up completling it before I turned 51 but I loved it so much I now train 6 days a week.
    I just complted a 100k bike race and the month before I ran/walked a 1/2 marathon and I will do the same sprint thriathalon next month taht I did alst year. This all took place in the last year.
    I couldnt even run 100 meters without stopping to catch my breath last May.
    I’m not espcially fast or athletic but I love training for all 3 sports.
    Never say never :)

  105. Jennie says...

    On that card trick…..do you just have a matching deck and have all 52 cards hidden and then you just tell them where to go? On to the topic at hand….

    I think it might be that you need to change your relationship with the things you already do. For example, bike riding is every bit a hobby as the things you listed that your friends do. The thing is they treat their things as being sacred, and they make time for it, some on a regular schedule. Card tricks are most certainly a hobby, if you treat them as such.

    You give so much of yourself to so many aspects of your life, I do hope you can carve out a space in the days for something that is just for you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a really good point, jennie. thank you. xo

  106. Janelle says...

    3 years ago, at 27, I decided to take an absolute beginner ballet class (at Steps on Broadway). I had danced tap and jazz while growing up, but quit in middle school to play sports. As a child, I was too scared to take ballet, while secretly loving the the graceful elegance of it.
    When I moved to NYC at 22, I started going to performance at New York City Ballet and fell in love. I was nervous to go to the class, but found that the skills I learned as a child came back somewhat quickly. I loved the calm energy of the studios, learning from excellent teachers and other students, and especially the live pianists in every class. I felt like I had opened a door to a hidden room in my life!
    Now, I take classes at least twice a week at the advanced beginner level and am also learning how to dance on pointe! It feels amazing to have something outside of my career that I feel truly passionate about. On days when work isn’t amazing, I tell myself that I’m really a dancer and this is just my day job!

    • Amy says...

      “I tell myself that I’m really a dancer and this is just my day job!” – I LOVE that, and can totally relate…
      I went to school for Graphic Design, but now work as a Web Developer, with sporadic design projects mixed in. So, while it’s not as consistantly creative as I’d like – I figure even if only 20-30% of my job is something I love – I’m lucky. Still, I dream of becoming a freelance artist …making arts/crafts/stuff and selling it to make a living. It’s definitely more of a daydream than an actual dream (I’d be a fool to leave a steady paycheck at my small, easy-going, *dog-friendly* company) BUT, anytime I get stressed or fed up at work, I just tell myself that it’s all good b/c I’ll be living to the beat of my own drum “one of these days”. Even though I know it’s a white lie – it’s enough to get me through whatever’s bugging me.
      That all being said – my hobby is playing in my art room. I love and treasure that time…but wish I made it more of a daily habit vs the couple of times a week (in a good week) that it currently is.