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. Rachek says...

    My husband has been egging me on for years to find a new hobby- outside of my kids, or reading… I took up beekeeping! I’m obsessed with those girls and I’m looking forward to the sweet reward. It was something I’d always wanted to try but had been intimidated by. Turns out, it’s lovely, and much easier than you think- and they are so docile I’m not stung either!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love this!!!!!

    • Sasha L says...

      I raise chickens! There is something so calming about caring for them. I think getting bees would be amazing.

  2. Kerry says...

    A go-to hobby is hiking plus a beer afterwards.

    A hobby that I don’t do nearly enough is collecting sea glass, so meditative and rewarding.

    A guilt-ridden hobby is reading historical romances. I have a master’s degree in literature but I will lose myself in a well-written, sappy, happily-ever-after novel. However, I am self-conscious about those dumb bodice-ripper covers so I *only* read them incognito on my Kindle.

    • Alex says...

      What are some of your favorites?!?

  3. Mary says...

    Past and current hobbies include crossword puzzles, beer brewing, gardening, and knitting. I cycle in and out of them. At some point, I want to learn how to play the Theremin. I have one, but the cat doesn’t like the sound, so it’ll have to wait a few years. Card tricks seem like fun and I bet there’s quite a community to connect with.

  4. Leah says...

    When I was 22 and starting my senior year of college, I joined the ultimate frisbee team. Three years later, I’m playing competitively on a women’s club team and fully embedded the local ultimate community.

    It was the first time I joined something without the fear of being bad. I already knew I was going to mess up and do the wrong thing, but for once it didn’t stop me from enjoying myself.
    People operate with the mentality of “if I’m bad at it, it’s not fun” instead of viewing it as a challenge to make themselves better.

    Letting myself be bad at something has not only made me a better ultimate player, it’s made me a stronger person

  5. Karen says...

    Cycling is my hobby. Every Saturday I go on a 40-50 mile ride with my local bike club. I feel so free and present when I’m on the bike, you can’t really think of anything else except to live in the moment.

  6. Lauren says...

    I love doing crosswords with my roommates. Nothing is a funnier sight than a group of 20-something college girls sitting on the patio drinking cheap wine and doing the latest crossword. We’ve even been known to call on random people on the sidewalk to help with the tricky ones. It keeps us sharp and connected while still giving us quiet time to think and ponder.

  7. My parents each have hobbies and as they’ve retired/semi-retired, I’m so thankful they have something to do- besides day to day minutiae. My mom is a quilter and my dad is into oil painting. Each can be done alone, or in a class, or teaching a class! Right now I consider my food blog a hobby and belonging to a book club makes my passion for reading feel like a hobby.

  8. Maura says...

    This resonates with me SO deeply. I realized a year or two ago that I not only need to have a hobby, but that I really need to learn something new (something that feels big) each year. Last year I went on a two-week writers intensive because I’ve struggled with getting words on a page for my entire life. It was still hard, but I was so proud of myself afterwards. This year I’m learning to rock climb and taking a ceramics class. Both are so energizing and calming at the same time. I’ve been reflecting on why this is. I think the common thread through the writing, climbing, and ceramics is that while tackling them is humbling at first, as long as I go in with an open mind and patience with myself (and low expectations, haha!), it’s so deeply satisfying to problem solve in a low-pressure setting. I write a really clunky paragraph? So what! I fall off the wall? Who cares! My mug looks more like a ring dish? No problem! I’m Type A to an extreme and my job requires me to be an expert in front of a group every day, and while I actually enjoy the high expectations, I definitely need a counterbalance in my life. Enter: hobbies! I love that you’re picking up magic tricks and that your grandmother makes so many pillows the family doesn’t know what to do with them.

  9. Alexandra says...

    I would love to say that I currently enjoy reading, yoga, Crossfit, drawing and painting – all of which were hobbies before I became a mom. But with a 2 yo kiddo and a baby on the way, I just don’t have the time or energy for those things this days. I re-read this article often because it is such a validating and accurate description of hobbies during early parenthood: https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/is-having-a-kid-a-hobby.html

    • Meghan says...

      I just read your linked article – such a beautiful summary of where I am at as a parent. I type this as my 3.5 y/o naps and I nurse my 4 week old. Thank you!

    • Kathryn says...

      Exactly. As I was reading this I thought to myself, “I guess picking-up is my hobby right now.” I have a few things I would like to do, but really at the end of the day, if I am lucky, I get to watch TV. Thank you for this!

    • Morgan says...

      Thank you for this! A few things that so resonated with me:

      “When was the last time the outcome of anything you did mattered both zero and so totally?”

      “I don’t think having a child means you can’t have hobbies. I think having a child opens the door for a thousand tiny little ones, a thousand ways to push yourself toward being crushed and being ecstatic in ways mostly visible only to you. “

    • Kara says...

      I love this article! I found myself wondering if I would be able to have hobbies again once my kids are older (3yo and 6 month old right now) as I was reading through these comments. What a difference perspective makes, thanks for sharing.

  10. Tessa says...

    Learning languages!! I love to learn new languages- it’s like a way to connect with another culture and I always think may come in handy if we decide to ever travel to the country where they speak it!. There are so many great apps for learning languages that you can really do it from anywhere on your phone, or if you have the time taking a real in person language class can be really engaging and a fun way to connect with new people.

  11. I LOVE Hobbies. I wish my job could be hobbies. Seriously, I am always considering how I could eventually quit my full time job so that I can continue learning skills/teach skills.

    Things I have dappled in: knitting, baking, hiking, bootcamp style workouts, yoga, cross stitch, cross stitch pattern design, surface pattern design, and learning to design a Crossword Puzzle (holy cow this is hard and I still havent finished one, even after 10s of hours and many headaches).

    I saw a lot of people in the comments were interested in learning cross-stitch and I highly suggest it. It’s a really good tactile craft for people who tend to be more binary in thinking. It’s basically like a pretty excel spreadsheet!

    I taught a class on skillshare for learning how to cross stitch too (because as much as I like making things, i LOVE teaching people things): https://skl.sh/2n3aTlk

    • Loesie says...

      I LOVE your comment ‘It’s basically like a pretty excel spreadsheet!’
      Perfect. Thanks for sharing that and making me laugh 😊

  12. Allyn says...

    I have started English Paper Piecing, hand quilting and hand piecing of quilts this past year to help with my anxiety. It’s great because you can do it in front of the TV while hanging out with family in the evenings, it’s very portable (I always get questions about it when waiting places- getting car oil changed etc) and you end up with a family heirloom. I associate quilts with coziness …. the more quilts in the home the better. It’s super easy to learn- I had always wanted to sew, but learning the sewing machine was intimidating to be. This is a fantastic alternative.

    • I have always been terrified of quilting with a machine, and I LOVE English paper piecing – and yes, it’s so portable, too!

  13. MK says...
  14. Rebeccah says...

    In an effort to do just this after my 2nd kid was born, I resolved to take a minimum of two classes/workshops each year. I’ve done flower arranging, piano lessons, golf lessons and learned to use a lathe. This fall I am going to learn to knit and I REALLY want to take a pottery class. I love having a non-negotiable set block of time each week set aside to think about things other than work, home and family.

  15. Becky says...

    Creative lettering. I also love to watch videos of it on Instagram. It’s very soothing. I find that practicing really helps my fine motor skills. Maybe one day I can pull off liquid eyeliner 🤔

  16. Alexis says...

    Another knitter here! It’s a boon for me to find a seat on the subway, as I have a decent commute and don’t have to transfer. So I listen to a book, podcast, or watch something downloaded from Netflix while I knit.
    My son loves arts and crafts and painting, so on the weekends we find time to do that.
    I also love to cook and my partner is a chef, so we enjoy cooking and eating together. We also try to find time to watch tv shows together – Game of Thrones, Bloodline.
    As a family we love superhero movies, going to the beach, and board/strategy games!

  17. Nina says...

    I paint. and draw. I love to draw faces with pencil. I write. I find to calm my mind journaling helps. I’ve embroidered but when its no longer relaxing I will stop and it became not relaxing.

  18. Denise says...

    I recently started cross stitching, really basic stuff from ready-made kits, but I find the counting and the action of pulling thread through fabric to be madly therapeutic. The sound the thread makes, the tension, it speaks to my slightly OCD brain and calms me. I didn’t know this would happen, I, like you, decided I needed a hobby and tried several things and this one stuck. After I get some more practice I’ll switch it up to more complex patterns and maybe design some patterns myself.

    Also, I love hearing about everyone’s hobbies! So many good ideas!

  19. What a timely post. I was just sharing with my husband last night that I feel like all my hobbies are now non-existent since having my daughter (now a bit over 2). My background is in art so I started a 3D printed jewelry company years ago (https://mynlyn.com for those interested) but it’s been SO tough to keep up with. I then joined a soccer league last fall and have found my old body and rusty skills make me leave more frustrated than energized.

    Feeling a bit lost in the world of hobbies myself… nothing seems to bring me the same joy these days in the same way it used to, which makes me kind of sad. How do you find what you love and actually stick with it?!

  20. Liz says...

    I have a few (possibly too many) hobbies (knitting, running, developing film/photos )and I find they are essential for helping me stay afloat as I’m prone to depression. Also a huge believer that you need more in life that’s purely your own than work — but that might be at least partially because I have a stressful job that I don’t love. I like it, and I’m well suited for it, but I need more than my career because that alone won’t cut it for me! And yes, family, friends, etc. are “more” than my career per se, but I always felt like I needed to focus my energy on a couple of things that I do purely for me to feel full.

    • Loesie says...

      Hi Liz! Want to be friends? Everything you mention (including your hobbies) feels so very familiar to me. Good to see a like-minded soul out there. I always have a difficult time after the holidays are over and the days are still dark and short. I found out that running then, especially then, in the freezing cold and with fingers going numb if I wouldn’t have worn gloves; it really lifted me up. Thanks for what you said and Hi from the Netherlands!

    • Liz says...

      Hi Loesie! Yes! We should be friends! I’m in Washington, DC, USA (far but not that far?) Amazing you say that because I always say winter running is my favorite running. Just have to double up on the gloves, but worth it. SO invigorating, plus taking a hot shower + drinking mint tea with raw honey afterwards feels so good. Thanks for reaching it, it made my day. : )

  21. Hillary F. says...

    My mom had no hobbies when we were kids but in her 60s and 70s she has become a prolific card and jewelry maker. She spends days in the “rock shop” polishing her rocks and travels all over taking classes on interesting techniques. She is a legit artist! It gives me hope……… right now my only hobby is laying down in a quiet room.

    • Summer says...

      Ha! You and I have the same hobby :) Laying down in a quiet room is HEAVEN.

  22. Sarah Mathes says...

    When I was 22 and was fortunate to have such a pluripotent view of my future, I decided that I would spend an entire year trying to cultivate a hobby, and try a new one every month. I tried running (it stuck for a while), meditating (it didn’t), baking (not much), cooking (very much so), yoga (kinda), photography (unfortunately no).

    Seven years later and I don’t know: I hike sometimes. I took a bread baking class and made two loaves until I realized bread baking in the summer is a horrible idea. I watercolor cards for friends. I start and stop projects all over the place, but I get the most joy from mucking around and trying to learn something new. I might not have an all-caps HOBBY like I was hoping to cultivate. Unless you count being a busybody as one :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that you “get the most joy from mucking around and trying to learn something new.” i love feeling that special buzz/thrill/spark when you’re learning a new thing.

      PS nice use of pluripotent!!!!! :)

    • Sarah says...

      Thanks Joanna :) It’s that biology major coming out. It is such an underused word!

  23. Julie H. says...

    Hello!
    I have many interests and hobbies, painting – acrylic and watercolor, scrapbooking, card making and stamping. But currently (since june 2018)
    I have been playing pokemon go with my 20 yo son and his friends. Now listen, I know it sounds weird for a mom who has a health field career and 3 boys (18, 20 and 22), but…. it is so much fun! First of all you get exercise – poke stops reward you and are in the coolest places (parks, churches, libraries, college, jr. college, fountains, etc.) next – you capture and collect pokemon (unbelievable creative pocket monsters with awesome graphics and histories, it is like learning a whole new language), finally, you can experience gym challenges and raids. You can battle gyms to occupy them and earn poke coins. A raid is where you have the opportunity, with many other people, to fight and capture a coveted pokemon. My husband and I attended a raid at University at Univ of Florida and there were hundreds of people participating. You meet eclectic people at gym battles and raids of all ages, cultures and bakgrounds. I find pokemo go an exciting, challenging and unpredictable game that rewards your dilligence, exercise and strategy! It is good for your brain and has a unique fitness level. Give it a try, you may like it and trust me your sons will really enjoy it.

  24. I was with you and excited to brainstorm hobby ideas and wax on about the soulful benefits of a hobby all the way until the end and now all I can think about is how badly I want to see this card trick!!

  25. Abbi says...

    I recently started stitching Lark Rising Embroidery’s (https://larkrisingembroidery.com/) patterns. I’m hooked. They’re so lovely, the creator provides really detailed instructions, and it’s been surprisingly therapeutic. I’m particularly in love with the marbled patterns.

    I don’t know her, haha; I realize this sounds like a sales pitch. I’m just a big fan and this was the perfect hobby for me!

    • Nora says...

      Good recommendation, thanks! I’ve been looking for a new source for patterns, and these are great! Last night I was embroidering with the hoop and everything and my husband came in, looked at me, and genuinely asked if I was knitting. I just . . . don’t know what to say about that.

    • m says...

      omg I love her Harry Potter patterns! very cute and different

  26. KS says...

    When I was a kid, I “wanted to be a mom” when I grew up. I can so relate to “wanting to be a grandmother”! Between my husband and me we have kids 19, 18, 17, 17 and 12 (stepfamily). I am already planning how our future house has to basically be Romper Room and have thee most awesome space for kids to enjoy themselves. Because being a grandma will rock!

    Now, I always tell people “everyone needs a hobby or 3”. I sew primarily but I’ve got some other hobbies on the mind. It’s so important to our mental and physical health!

  27. Twyla says...

    At work we have a very sunny patio, and I grow sunflowers and tomatoes in a hydroponic box called MaxiKap. It forces me to take a break and go outside. I water them and talk to them – it’s so soothing in the middle of a busy day.
    Also, I just started learning to play the ukelele. It’s super easy and most songs can be played on the same basic chords. It’s seriously the most relaxing sound; I swear when I play it around friends, everyone takes a deep breath and relaxes a little.

    • Em says...

      I used to hear ukuleles and think of Hawaii. Now when I hear ukeleles, they make me think of “how to” videos. Haha, I feel like every how to video on the internet is set to ukulele music 😂

  28. Meredith Bohling says...

    This year I got a new job that allows me to work from home, plus MUCH shorter hours (pinch me, am I dreaming?) and no commute … which means I’m waiting for my husband to get home from work for about 2.5 hours every day. I did this because we’re trying to start a family, but 9 months later, still no baby, and now I’m slowly losing my mind. We have a piano in our house because we love to host friends, and I play just well enough (I call it the boom-chuck method) for rowdy singalongs at the end of the night. But last week I pulled out one of my old classical sonatina books from high school, and actually sat down and started READING THE MUSIC and re-learning the piece! It’s been 12+ years since I’ve read a note, and although it’s not exactly like riding a bicycle, it’s coming back to me in a way I didn’t think was possible. And it’s so wonderful to have a hobby that produces something beautiful, and allows my mind to grow while still not thinking about all of life’s stressors. Here’s hoping that one day there will be a child sitting on the bench next to me.

    • Emily says...

      TTC is so hard! Glad you were able to find something to help ease your mind off of the stressors. Sending you so much love and baby juju–hang in there!

  29. Taylor says...

    ooooh! I have a couple:

    I collect tiki mugs, my rule is I only buy them in person from bars I visit (have mugs from tiki bars all over the world!) and from estate sales I physically go to!

    I have a DC restaurant bucket list that my boyfriend and I do a date night at on Wednesdays (about 75% of the time we just return to places we love and are affordable but sometimes we decide its time to cross off a bucket list item)

    I too like baking something every Sunday, usually from Smitten Kitchen or Food52

    And I recently started exploring video games at the age of 27! Games I have played and enjoyed: Dragon Age, Uncharted, and Stardew Valley

    All these things bring me joy and happiness! I think anything you love and commit time to can be a hobby!

    • Emily says...

      Taylor-I was just at a fun Tiki bar in Gloucester, MA and the owner collects Tiki mugs and used them as a basis for starting the bar! Such a fun collection. He had some really cool ones.

  30. I’ve made reading into a hobby. I read a book or two a week, I am in a wonderful book club, I take my kids to the library every Wednesday, and when we travel (another hobby!), we always visit and buy books at local independent bookstores. If an author I love is coming to Brooklyn, I make a point to go see them speak. I think every enjoyable activity can be dialed up into a full fledged hobby.

  31. Hooray for hobbies! Mine are all crafty – knitting, sewing, bookmaking and I used to do a lot of collage.
    I took up knitting right after September 11th. I needed something do with my hands. I learned to knit in a first grade classroom, sitting in tiny chairs at tiny tables, with 25 other adults, half women, half men. Our teacher was a former hustler, former crack addict who learned to knit to keep himself busy. It was such a delight to be learning along side other adults – some wanted to knit for their kids or partners, others just for fun. It was a wonderful experience and some of those friendships made a big impact on my life. (If anyone else ever took classes through the Harvey Milk Institute, hello and I miss them!)
    Love hearing about everyone’s hobbies!

  32. Tai says...

    OMG JOANNA!
    How on this EARTH can you have the card you picked waiting for you at the front door? That is seriously blowing my mind right now. Card tricks the win, baby. Pleasepleaseplease make a video of this and put it on the site because I don’t have Instagram. Please! Thank you!

    • karen says...

      Agreed! I need to know how you do this. I’m very intrigued.

  33. Dance! Mostly ballet. I grew up dancing and gave it up in my late teens. Through my 20’s I’d go back every once in a while but now in my 30’s I have finally found an amazing studio founded by a teacher I started dancing with a few years ago, it’s just for adults and it is such a fantastic community (I’ve actually also made some really great friends there as a total bonus to the dancing!), all the fun of dance and none of the judgement or competition that can kind sometimes be found at other studios. It’s the best! Not only is it a good work out but my body and soul just feel so happy when I’m dancing! I seem to recall you used to dance too Joanna, maybe you should give it another go!

    • Hillary F. says...

      This is on my goal list for 2018. It would be my first ballet class in 25+ years!

    • Hillary F! I am so excited for you! Do it! It’s so much fun and you will be so surprised at the muscle memory you will most likely have!

    • Hillary F says...

      I just found a class. I am going to do it this month. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • YES! Go girl! I’m in Vancouver (Canada), and I don’t know where you are Hillary, but I am so happy I was able to send a little inspiration your way via the most wonderful little corner of the internet that is the comments section of CoJ! :)

  34. I’ve been blogging as a hobby for the last 4 years. While it’s nothing serious and more just for fun I’ve always considered writing a hobby. I also took up yoga around the same time, too!

  35. Nade says...

    I though I don’t have any hobbies either but after a few seconds I came up with this. I became addicted to walks around old town area. Every beautiful thing I saw – a weird door, a lamp, an old molding etc is a huge hummer strike on every existential dread I have.

  36. Cassie says...

    I’m 25 and just started skateboarding! I love it SO MUCH. I’ve long admired skateboarding and skate culture, but never tried it out myself. I recently thought… uh, why not me? So I bought a board for $20 on Craigslist. I just skate around my neighborhood right now, as I build up my skills and the courage to take on a skatepark. Skateboarding is male-dominated sport, and I’m excited to be a part of the strong and mighty network of female skaters. Skating is difficult and scary at first, but totally gets easier with practice. But mostly it’s fun and makes me feel proud of myself.

    • Cara M says...

      Claire, I love that you’ve taken on skateboarding! This just reminded me that I enjoyed longboarding in college and haven’t touched my board in years. You’ve just encouraged me to dust it off and go for a ride.

  37. Allyson says...

    I love the idea of card tricks as a hobby! Low overhead and what fun at a party! Every hobby I’ve had in the last few years (knitting, hand-dying yarn, quilting, garment sewing) started on Instagram, moved to YouTube tutorials and finally I sign up for classes. I’m the kind of student who wants to show up having read a chapter or two ahead. Going into a classroom setting and already knowing the basics takes some stress off and I always feel like I was secretly the best. My husband enlightened me that I always want to do everything well enough to win a trophy : ) Makes me sound insufferable, but he swears it’s cute.

  38. Brooke says...

    I’ve never thought of myself as anyone with specific hobbies but after reading through the comments (love posts like this!) I guess I do have a few: cooking and baking for company or special evenings in, walks/hikes, camping, swimming and yoga, reading.

    I have found myself craving an artistic hobby but there never seems to be the time. I tried my hand at wall weavings and found it really relaxing but its an expensive hobby (requires a lot of niche wool). When planning our wedding I designed our invitations using watercolour and found it to be immensely satisfying. Maybe I will try my hand at this again! Watercolour tends to be a forgiving and accessible medium.

  39. Vava says...

    I sew garments. I make french beaded flowers from seed beads, Swarovski crystals, etc. Gardening. Hiking. Bike riding. Reading. :-)

  40. cgw says...

    DEE SAYS…
    …”So I have a 18 month old and one on the way… I’m just left screaming at the computer screen “WHEN DO YOU GUYS HAVE TIME FOR THIS???”

    Dee, (first, a bit of background: I have a 13 year old on the spectrum, teach full time, and am a professional artist, I paint) when my daughter was very young, I didn’t make any art and didn’t show any work for about three years, and for her first eight years I spent much of my energies after work and on Saturdays shuttling her to many different therapies, sometimes double stacked as my husband worked late hours. As your children get older and more independent I think you’ll find ways to carve a bit of “me” time. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to when I found out my child had a special need, but fortunately I have. It starts small, literally, fifteen minutes here and fifteen minutes there. You start to feel more comfortable handing off parenting duties for a bit to your partner, friend, family/grandparents, or they can have a playdate at a friend’s house and you can steal away a bit. I’m confident in time you’ll be able to do this.

    On a different note, many people have mentioned knitting, gardening, embroidery/cross stitch, and playing an instrument. I keep a small sketchbook in my purse, a couple of pens, and a tiny watercolor kit. When I’m on a ride, in a faculty meeting, waiting for someone or something I’ll pop my sketchbook out and doodle something quickly. But all that to say that while everyone has mentioned something wonderful, educational, and productive, one of my MOST FAVORITE hobbies is none of those, I love watching Korean variety shows on my computer while I am on the elliptical. Because I’m reading subtitles and laughing my butt off, the 30-45 minutes go by so quickly and I don’t feel the drudgery of wondering how much more time I have left. It’s the most awesome thing, and I’ve picked up a few Korean words/phrases!

    Sorry this is so long, I just had to chime in.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree! dee, when toby and anton were very young, hobbies were the furthest thing from my mine. i was just trying to get through each day!!! but now that they’re 5 and 8, they can play on their own more, and don’t need me to pour them glasses of water, help them get dressed, etc. :) so i have more time/brain space for things like this. it gets so much easier, i promise!!!!!!!

  41. Kris says...

    I’ve been knitting blankets like crazy the past few months. It started with baby blankets for my friends who were expecting. Then I moved onto larger throw blankets. I think now I’m going to teach myself how to crochet and start making some afghans. I did some cross stitching when I was about 10 and would like to learn how to do that again. My knitting group has been on a summer break, so hopefully that’ll start up again in the fall/winter. My husband teases me I do “old lady” things. Haha. I just love creating things. I wish I knew how to sew – I guess it’s never too late to learn.

  42. jennifer says...

    I think hobbies are so critical for us to hit refresh and refill our emotional cups. I’m into photography and gardening and have taken to keeping a notebook by my desk at the office so if I need a mental break, I can brainstorm my next photoshoot or next year’s garden layout.

  43. Christina says...

    What a great topic! I’ve developed hobbies or creative passions over the years and they’ve been the best stress relief and way to do something other than work, parent, etc. I started playing tennis 11 years ago. I’d never picked up a racquet but I stuck with it and now I play regularly and I’ve played in tournaments and on teams. I also follow modern scrapbooker Amy Tangerine and love her cool designs and travel books, which I’ve made when I want to make my photo books pretty. I also volunteer helping students write their college essays and I like to cook, read and write creative nonfiction.

    • ALB says...

      Christina- Tennis!!!! I was reading all the comments to find another reader who took up tennis! I just started last fall but I still can’t rally well or really play a match yet (losing games from bad serves is embarrassing). How often did you play? Lessons are not affordable for me to practice 2-3x per week. Hitting against the wall is not so fun lol. Anyway, here’s hoping one day I will play on a team and play like Serena!!

  44. Alexan B. says...

    I’m a social work major and it seems like all through school I have had to volunteer for hours, for my major, for a resume builder. I decided earlier this summer I wanted to start volunteering with the SPCA so I went to orientation and got trained. I am loving volunteering and working with the dogs, taking a break from people, and getting my pet fix. I’ve always loved volunteering but this is something I’m particularly passion ate about. I think of it as self-care, and I’m not planning on putting it anywhere. This is just for me.

  45. The card trick idea is DYNAMITE! please invest in that.

    I have been trying to get into a ceramics class at the local county college and have been recently painting. It truly is making time to just have fun! love it.

  46. Shelley says...

    You should make cheese!! It’s not that hard and we all know you love cheese!!!

  47. Amber says...

    My boyfriend is teaching me how to play golf and it’s so much fun. Turns out he’s a patient teacher and I am an okay student. We play on our own and with friends. We also did swing dance lessons earlier this summer. I’m a huge fan of live music and musical theater. I have 18 shows lined up for 2018-2019. I’m a volunteer in my local Junior League. I’m in a book club. When I lived in Brooklyn, one of my favorite things to do was walk dogs at the BARC shelter in Williamsburg.

  48. Elizabeth says...

    I took up photography to deal with my anxiety, and it has been such a huge relief. It allows me to pause and take a step back, and really see the beauty in the chaos of life with two little boys. I also knit every night for 20 minutes to calm myself; it is my own version of mindfulness.

  49. Kirsten says...

    I pretty much live for my “hobbies.” I like how “hobby” signifies something that’s for play and exploration, but also hate the way it makes the activity seem optional or expendable or frivolous. For me they are the stuff of life and I cannot imagine how boring living would be without them. I knit and sew and quilt constantly, I take ceramics classes when I have the cash, I garden, I read every day, I paint with watercolors, I write fiction and poetry. I like identifying trees and birds and flowers in my neighborhood. I have a kiddo now, so it’s a bit harder to find the time for everything, but I find that if I don’t do something small everyday I get depressed.

    As a side note, I have a close friend who suffers from crippling anxiety, and she loooooooves those adult zentangle coloring books! She swears by them as a way to relax and calm down her anxious thoughts. Skimming the comments it seems like she’s not the only one!

  50. Mel says...

    I think it would be an interesting weekly article if you tried a different hobby each week! And continue trying out different ones (maybe meeting makers in NYC who can show you the ropes) until you find your “flow.” I’ve heard flow is when you lose track of time and it becomes meditative. I would be so interested to read about what you end up loving!

  51. Julie says...

    After a serious panic attack earlier this summer, and a year of dealing with them more frequently than usual, I decided I needed a new hobby. Usually cooking is my go-to stress relief, but it’s not always feasible and hasn’t been doing the trick.

    So I decided to pursue something that makes me happy. Birdwatching! I have a journal, I bought Sibley’s guide to the birds of North America, I have binoculars, and I have been starting slowly on my deck (I live behind a huge park in Philadelphia). It’s been wonderful. I’m going to a park this weekend to check out more species!

  52. Valerie says...

    I started taking an improv class 6 weeks ago, and it’s so fun! I’ve met a bunch of really cool people, and it’s totally different from anything else I do. And, I realized we almost never talk about work, which is so refreshing – especially in a city like DC, where people are so career focused :)

  53. Mjay says...

    I never considered working out and weightlifting a hobby. But there is something about lifting really heavy stuff that is gratifying physically and mentally!

    I read a lot which is relaxing (to the point of falling asleep) but I’d like to take up knitting or something in the evenings. It would keep me from endless phone scrolling – which is not gratifying in any way. I recently read The Knitting Circle and loved the relationships that formed around knitting. It was heartwarming and a good read!

  54. A. says...

    I love to write and illustrate! I am currently working on a children’s book and I also love to illustrate cards. It feels so good to give people something real that I’ve made and writing/ illustrating provides a much needed outlet for this otherwise stressed out college student :)

  55. witloof says...

    I have a few {baking, reading, collecting antique British sugar bowls and cream pitchers} but my main hobby is contra dancing. Contra is a social dance with live music and a caller. You can learn the basic steps in about half an hour, and usually the dance will have a beginners session where the caller teaches the new dancers everything they need to have fun. I’ve been dancing since I was in my early 20’s. Now I’m in my 60’s, and I’m as crazy about it now as I ever was. Most of my weekends and vacations revolve around dance festivals, and most of my friends are contra dancers. There are contra dances in most big cities in the US and all over the world, and I love going to a new city, attending the local dance, and instantly connecting with my tribe. Contra dancers tend to be super friendly, kind, and smart, are happy to dance with people of all ages and abilities, and we make it a point to welcome new dancers. Here’s a website where you can plug in your zip code and find a local dance. https://www.trycontra.com
    {PS: NYC has three contra dances and one of them is not too far from your neighborhood in Brooklyn…}

  56. diana k. says...

    I carried a sketchbook around with me for years and would doodle little ideas or sketch people on the subway. I just treated it as a little visual diary. Recently I discovered how to make gifs of my drawings in Photoshop, so I’ve made a hobby out of translating my sketches into little 4-second animations.

    http://www.dianakokoszka.com/illustration/

    My friend is getting married next year and I offered to design her website. I’m working on a little gif of their faces for the front page. Hoping to break into the wedding gif market one of these days.

    • Meredith Bohling says...

      Your gifs are amazing!!! I got married last year but definitely bookmarking if I think of some other way to use them (or maybe as an engagement present to future couples).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, your gifs!!! so cool.

  57. Meg says...

    I’m loving the comments as much as the original post — so fun and interesting hearing about everyone else’s hobbies! Pre-kid I had hobbies. I tried my hand at quilting and eventually settled on making beaded jewelry. And my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I used to do a lot of hiking. I also used to like to take classes in random stuff, like tennis and horseback riding and photography. And I used to do a lot more recreational cooking and baking (as opposed to, ugh, gotta figure out something to eat for dinner tonight). These days….reading is about it. This post and all of the comments are inspiring me to make time for hobbies again, though!

  58. Di says...

    I learned to knit years ago, but over the last… let’s say 18-20 months, I’ve been doing it nonstop. Having something to do with my hands burns off anxious energy, the rhythm of it is meditative, and it’s satisfying to have a finished project when I don’t see an end to some of the other work I do.

  59. Katie says...

    I don’t have a hobby, per se. But what I look forward to every week is my Sunday morning ritual. The husband drops my off at the grocery store on his to the suburbs, where he bowls with his dad. I do the weekly shopping and then walk the mile and a half home. On the way, I stop at a local coffee shop and pick up a draft latte and almond croissant. Then I either go to a pilates class or brunch with friends. I feel out of sorts and anxious when I don’t get my Sunday morning. Those few hours calm me as I prepare for the week ahead.

    I suppose reading, pilates and cooking could be considered hobbies. I’m thinking about cross stitching. I also need to find a new volunteer activity because the girl I’ve tutored since her 5th grade year graduated this past spring.

    • Kris says...

      This all sounds amazing! I’d also like to get into cross stitching, good luck with that :)

    • diana k. says...

      Bowling with his dad <3

  60. I love this question. It got me thinking about the value of a hobby – an activity you do just to enjoy it. It isn’t a means to a paycheck. It is a chance to play. There is freedom to choose whatever appeals to you without feeling intimidated, “not good enough” or “too old to try.”

    With that in mind, my hobbies are dancing and writing children’s novels =)

  61. Denise says...

    I am a knitter. It’s great because you can take it with you anywhere (especially helpful on long flights!), it’s creative, the combinations of patterns and yarn are endless. You can buy many of your supplies from small sustainable producers. You will meet other knitters when you KIP (Knit in public) and since you live in a cold climate what you produce is also useful! There are many videos you can watch but I recommend finding a knit shop and taking a class. It will give you some support (it can be frustrating when you start) and makes the process much easier.

  62. Meghan says...

    Must see video of front door card trick!

    • Helen says...

      Agreed!

  63. Suzi says...

    I think I read in the happiness project, that the things you enjoyed as a child, coloring etc., will be the same as an adult. When I was looking for a hobby I thought about what I loved to do as a child. I loved to draw and make things, so I learned to knit and I am now trying my hand at water color.

  64. When I was younger and did not have kids and had more time art was my hobby. But now that I have less time, I wanted to do art but on a smaller quicker scale for when I need a quick break. So I started doing nail art and it has been the most fun hobby! You get to wear your art on yourself so other people see it! I change it with the moods and the seasons and it is really fun coming up with new stuff to wear.

    My husband thinks this is a weird hobby but it makes sense to me, nail art is just art but on a small scale! And I can do it in a hour in the evening once my kids are asleep!

    So do not feel like your hobby has to be this grand thing,. It can be something fun and small as long as it brings you happiness!

  65. Abby says...

    I used to take dance lessons growing up but once I got to college and started a real job post-graduation I felt like my whole world was turning into a routine with worries and stresses of “adulthood”. I took up going to dance classes again at the YMCA and after finding so much joy and freedom in it actually started teaching it! Now I teach 2-3 classes a week – it’s the best part of the day; to leave all your stresses behind when you enter the studio and let the music fill the space.

  66. Julia says...

    My current hobbies are knitting and aerial silks. Knitting is great, because it is creative and super portable (unlike sewing, which requires lots of space and uninterrupted time). Aerial silks is maybe the most amazing thing I have ever tried. I am fitter than I have ever been, and it’s just fun. It doesn’t even feel like exercise to me (I haaate gyms). You don’t need to be very strong when you first start, and progress is quick. (Though your wrists and shoulders should be in fairly good working order for this.) And it’s not as scary as it looks. You practice close to the ground over a big mat most of the time.

    • Jen says...

      I want to try aerial classes. Are you in New York, by any chance?

  67. I have a huge vegetable and flower garden, each year I learn more and more about what works and what doesn’t. I also cook a lot and really got into cooking Italian food when I picked up Marcella Hazan’s cookbooks and from Frank Prisinzano in instagram and snapchat (tutorials). Now I cook it all but it started with italy. :)

    I also am a huuuuge flea market go-er and love antiques. I love the hunt and the thrill you have when you find something you’ve never seen before or something you’ve lusted after. My grandmothers and mom all dealt antiques at one time in their lives and it’s stuck with me.

  68. Kristin says...

    I’ve recently taken up cross stitch. It requires enough brain power to pay attention to the pattern and not mess up, but not so much that my mind can’t wander a bit. There are beautiful designs out there and I’ve made things for my daughters and niece; I’m awaiting the shipment of a project for my nephew. It’s creative and I enjoy the process, plus I love having a finished product that I’m proud of and so happy to give to a loved one.

    • Kelly says...

      I love to cross-stitch, too. Can you share where you’ve found your favorite patterns? Mine are from alicia paulson but I’m always looking for more!

  69. Emily says...

    I signed up for a ten-week ceramics class at a local pottery studio…and then signed up again and again and again. I’m absolutely awful and have yet to produce anything worth sharing, god forbid selling (lots of imperfect bowls and cups displayed around my apartment!)

    When I took my first class, I was working in an emotionally intense policy/advocacy job in DC right after Trump was elected. I needed an “escape” hobby that absorbed every part of me, from my head to my hands to my feet, and pottery was just that.

    • Valerie says...

      Where do you do ceramics in DC? I’ve been trying to decide where to take a class for ages… They’re all so pricey, I haven’t been able to commit!

    • Nicole says...

      Do you mind sharing where you go? I live in dc and would love to take a class!

    • Emily says...

      For sure! District Clay in NE. Cannot recommend this place enough. It’s definitely pricey, but classes are 2.5 hours long and there are free, open studio hours on Saturdays. You can also show up basically whenever and–so long as there’s room–work on your stuff.

  70. Laura says...

    I always loved yoga and recently i have gotten into contortion. It is so concentrating for the mind to really focus on my body and I can’t believe the skills and flexibility I have learned. I now can do handstand walkovers and splits and backbends like my 7 year old. I think about it all the time which I reckon is much better than worrying about Brexit, Donald Trump or my children.

    Magic is such a cool hobby!!!

  71. I don’t so much have a hobby as I do a passion. I’m a writer and want to be traditionally published so I’ve been working at my craft and my novels for over 5 years now. I don’t think it qualifies as a hobby since I have a concrete goal for my writing, but at the same time, everything people describe here is how I feel about writing — I can’t not do it. If I go a few days without writing I feel high strung, more stressed, and just not like myself. And if I never make a penny off of it, I would keep doing it, because I love it so much.

    And why not make it a full time career, some people ask? Because money — most published authors don’t make enough to live off of from their writing alone. I have a full-time job that I use for money, which allows me to write on my own terms. I am worried about the time constraints when I add a baby to the picture, though!

    Sometimes I dream about what hobby I could pick up if writing WERE my full-time gig. I used to love drawing, and I love cooking, and it would be really nice to learn how to garden … somedays I really can’t wait to be a retired old lady so I can try all these things!

  72. Sasha L says...

    Hiking (this is my favorite and my passion), my dogs (ok, actually my favorite), quilting, making little felt animals and hearts, baking, yoga, vegetable garden. I relax best when I’m doing something or tired from a hike. I do felt while I work: teaching preschool. Hand work helps the children focus on their work and sets the example of being immersed. It takes forever to make anything, but that’s not the point. The projects are tiny and children get to see the joy in process and creation.

    I hope you find something that makes you really happy Joanna.

    • Cate says...

      Any tips for starting hand work with my 3 year old?

  73. Elizabeth says...

    I do kintsugi – it’s the mending of pottery with Gold or Silver using lacquer. It’s a little dangerous because of the risk of a lacquer rash but mostly it’s meditative. The process itself is visually very beautiful and I get such satisfaction from giving new life to something that was about to be thrown away.

    • Lara says...

      How did you learn? I’ve always wanted to do this!!

    • J. says...

      Oooh now that’s an interesting hobby!!

    • Amanda says...

      I’m so interested to learn more about that! Can you recommend a book that might start me on my way?

    • Elizabeth says...

      Lara and Amanda – Believe it or not…I learned via the internet. Just a ton of googling and a ton of google translate. My dream is to someday go to Japan and take a workshop but I don’t speak Japanese so there’s a hold up there. There are more and more resources every year, but unfortunately, there’s not a book (that I know of – if you find one please let me know!) or anything that concisely teaches this.

      I’m not sure if sharing links is allowed but one of my goals in life (when I have more time!) is to fill in the gap in English-speaking instruction but I don’t consider myself an expect yet so it’s been more demonstration based. I’ve started putting together little how-to videos but I don’t have a ton of time so I can either do kintsugi or talk about kintsugi and most of the time I just want to do it. You can see one of the videos here: https://youtu.be/QLU4UE-tqgM

  74. Laura says...

    I love to knit. My grandmother taught me when I was little, but I kind of gave it up for awhile until a couple of years ago when I started commuting to work on the train and retaught myself using Youtube videos. I haven’t done anything complicated (yet), I actually prefer something really simple (or no pattern at all) so that I can just relax and let my hands do the work. I sometimes put on a podcast while I’m knitting on the train, and on those days I wish I had a few more stops to go, the time flies. Bonus, a ton of my friends have been having babies lately, so I have been able to gift homemade blankets to them all. Now I’m working on one for my first baby, due in October!

  75. I used to love scrapbooking, was big into ballroom dancing but lately I don’t have the time. I do enjoy cooking, jumping rope andI love to read. I would definitely like to make time for a hobby. I agree its a great way to relax!

  76. Alli says...

    Running and knitting. Both keep me healthy (physically and mentally—seriously, Google the benefits of knitting, it’s really cool), both are relatively portable (don’t need a gym or to cart around a ton of supplies), both have relatively low barriers to entry (at least compared to other exercises and crafts), and both are a great way to insta-bond with new people!

    Plus, now I get to travel to fun races occasionally…and people always bring me yarn from cool places they go.

  77. Some of my hobbies are constant, like baking and tending to my plants. I love to bake, but don’t as much in the summer because of the heat and well … calories. I love yard sales and Goodwill for finding furniture to refinish. I’ve painted furniture and made cushions for chairs and a bench. I sew and made a quilt, by hand. I’m considering a sewing machine. I’ve taken my plants up another level this summer, by adding some herbs. So in the mornings, I “harvest” fresh basil and rosemary for my salad. I feel like a farmer! I’m on the lookout for a wild strawberry plant and just “rescued” a sunflower plant. It brings me so much joy! You can take a look on my Instagram to see pictures [https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl0YP50BKWO/]. Also, recently I participated in the #100dayproject and started doing watercolor painting and ink illustrations. It’s been a blast!

  78. Sadie says...

    Is Toby still playing the violin? Pick up an instrument and you could have a family band!

  79. Eva says...

    Knit. Seriously!

  80. Silvina says...

    I sing in a choir :)

  81. I recently transitioned to my hobbies (knitting, quilting and sewing clothing) becoming my full time job and while still enjoyable it threw me for a loop when I wanted to sit down “after work” and zone out to something enjoyable. A few months ago I started taking pottery and it’s amazing! I am no natural- all of my pots are quite short and small and lumpy. But once or twice a week I go to a place that is not my work or home and I make things with my hands. It’s so challenging that I can’t think about much else and I take so much pleasure in each little lumpy pot!

  82. Amanda says...

    At first pass I thought my answer was no, but then I realized walking counts! I walk for an hour a day if I can manage and the weather permits. I live in Minnesota, so I either walk my favorite lake (shout out Lake of the Isles!) or right along the Mississippi River, both paths just about three miles. I feel a little guilt not being a runner, but walking clears my mind and it’s something I actually want to keep up every day. I also use the MapMyWalk app and take a picture on each walk, which I can upload to that walk’s profile.

    • Ana says...

      I adore walking. I always walk for the first 30 minutes of my run; it kind of sends me to a peculiar state where I feel extremely energetic and powerful. I always start my day with a walk in the local park or by the river, that may or may not become a run – depending on energy levels – and always feel, by 7 am, that I already achieved something great for the day.
      I would say walking and reading are my hobbies, too. I only do them for myself; they give me nothing but pleasure and I always feel a lot better after I’ve done them.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds so wonderful! i love walking, too. in england (at least in my experience with my family), walking is a huge ritualized thing — taking long walks after weekend lunches, walking along the cliff paths, pulling on your boots, etc etc. walks are so valid and wonderful and restorative!

  83. Andrea says...

    I love knitting and cross-stitching – Steotch on etsy has fun, irreverent patterns. I made their “butter y’all” sampler, featuring US flags, stars and stripes, fighter jets, and….a huge stick of butter. I love it. It hangs in my bathroom next to a picture of my dad when he did the NASCAR driving experience, and a picture of my niece in an over the top tap-dancing costume – ‘MERICA!

    Counted cross stitch is SUPER easy to pick up. Can you look at blocks of color on a grid? Do you know what an X looks like? You can cross stitch.

  84. I like physical activity after sitting all day for work but I’ve found that often times it doesn’t help take my mind off things (all I can do while running or yoga is go through every worrying detail of the day). So I discovered ballet and I’ve been doing it three times a week for the past 6 years now (always wanted to do it as a child but was told I had the wrong body, at age 25 I decided it didn’t matter anymore). It’s physically so demanding but you really have to think too. It’s the most zen thing for me. And there’s always something new to learn and improve on, you’re never finished.

    The other thing for me is music. I played the violin and sang as a child but gave up in my teens. I recently started teaching myself the piano and it’s been so nice engaging that part of my brain again.

  85. Meredith says...

    Competitive Scrabble! It’s sooooo much fun; we have a club that meets weekly and I do tournaments, too. Nationals is actually this coming weekend in Buffalo!

  86. Kirsten says...

    Embroidery kits! There are so many modern and cute options on etsy and they come with everything you need to get started. If you can hand-stitch at all, it’s easy to pick up the basic stitches. They make great holiday decorations and gifts! I also just bought a sewing machine and want to teach myself how to sew so I can make clothes for me and my baby. We live overseas and move every couple years, so I want to take advantage of all the awesome local fabrics available!

  87. J. says...

    I think in the past I’ve felt like the things I like to do aren’t unique enough to be considered “hobbies”! But I would say yoga, cooking/baking, nature walks, and reading are mine.

  88. Trina says...

    I love scrapbooking and letter writing. During the day I sit in front of a computer editing (and I l, like so many, spend a lot of time on my iPhone)—but working with my hands and with paper (magazine cutouts, ticket stubs, restaurant menus & business cards, letterpress cards & hand-lettering books…) helps satisfy that journalistic urge I have to make and tell and illustrate stories. Plus the letters and mail art help me stay in connected with friends! People lament the “end of letter writing” but for me it’s never been something to mourn because I do it so regularly, along with the scrapbook journals, which I’ve kept since college. They’re like time capsules and it’s fun to leaf through them and remember what was on my mind and important to me at a given stage in my life. I also have about eight friends turned pen pals to keep up with! (One of them even lives not far from me, and we email and text each other too, but somehow adding letters to the mix creates this more contemplative aspect to our friendship.) Besides, who doesn’t like to open up their mailbox and find something handmade for them especially?? For me both urges border on compulsion too—I *have* to write and to work with things I can touch, especially since I work and play so much in a digital realm otherwise.

  89. Dee says...

    Eeek. So I have a 18 month old and one on the way. I work part time. We own a (small) home with a tiny cottage garden (more common in the UK). I’m married and my parents and two grandparents are still alive. Whenever I see a post like this on cup of jo -about exercising, or making friends as an adult, or finding a hobby- I’m just left screaming at the computer screen “WHEN DO YOU GUYS HAVE TIME FOR THIS???” I loved the ‘my balance’ series of several years back about juggling work and kids but I wonder if there is another series about ‘my daily schedule’ which looks at an hour by hour of a typical week for various different types of women? I would LOVE that! Mainly because, I’ve gotta be missing something about how to balance all this stuff, and I would love know the secret!

    • Di says...

      My son is 4.5, and he’s an only. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve felt I could do things, and anything that requires concentration is still out. You’ll get there, but you’re right— when they’re tiny, it’s very, very hard (sometimes impossible).

    • Meghan says...

      I feel you :-) I work FT, have a 4-month old and a 2.5 year old. Right now my hobby apparently is pumping. Reading these comments I was starting to feel inferior and a bit sad. I miss my hobbies! But time for them will come back around…

    • Would love some insight on this as well! I work full-time, so fit in my writing on weekends and evenings, but am pregnant with my first and one of my greatest fears is not having time to write!

    • Alexan B. says...

      I would love to see a daily schedule series as well!

    • Laura says...

      I second this idea; would love to read more about what people’s day-to-day routines are.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i was so desperate for this myself, dee, with young kids. i always wondered how people just made it through each day. i’d love to do a new work/life balance series about the hour-to-hour of people’s days, with different careers, family structures, etc.

      and I PROMISE YOU it gets so much easier. i never thought about hobbies when my kids were little; only now that they’re older is it a possibility for me. i totally hear you and see you about the chaos of life with young kids / that constant feeling of overwhelm. hang in there; you’re doing a great job just getting through the days. thank you again for your note xoxoxooxo

    • Dee, I did this once! I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago when my second child was an infant to show my day in detail. It’s amazing how hard and busy things really are when kids are small. I need to do an updated one because I now have three kids ages 6, 4, and 1 and my life looks very different even though the only thing that has really changed is adding that third baby. Time management gets easier as your kids need less constant care. I’ll link to the blog post if you want to see just how bonkers things were for me when I had two little bitty ones. I still wouldn’t say I have time for hobbies, but I am finally to the point where I can occasionally grab a minute of me time here and there.

      https://melanieshepardstephens.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/yes-i-know-i-look-tired/

    • Oh man these responses to Dee are very soothing to me. I also work full-time and only have one child, but she’s 2.5, so yeah. I’ve been writing a lot more lately but that means almost everything else goes out the window. Our home is just decent (I used to clean top to bottom every weekend), my exercise routine is pitiful (I used to work out 6x a week), and my social life consists of daily voxer chats with my sister (lifeline!) and rotating visits with my parents, grandparents, dad, and in-laws (yay).

      Mary Kate, I’m a writer, too, and I definitely want to encourage you! Writing might not happen for a while after baby (or maybe it will!!). I had a bit of a dry spell for a couple years, but I DID keep up some blogging (and I’m thankful I did so I could record that unique season of baby life). But somehow a few months ago I just kind of figured out (finally) how to write in the margins and have felt more prolific and creative in these past few months than maybe I ever have before! So give yourself time to kind of die as a writer and then rise again out of the ashes as a new (and most likely better) writer!

    • Thank you to Joy for the encouragement! I’ve been writing like crazy during pregnancy I think to somehow “get ahead” of it because I know I’ll need to take a break when the baby comes… I just feel unwell mentally when I’m not writing fiction so I’m afraid of needing to give it up entirely, even if only for a few years while she’s little. I will see what solution I find once she’s here!

  90. Julie says...

    I’ve just taken up learning photography. I plan on taking a course in a few weeks but there are loads of online tutorials to get you started with some of the creative features on a camera. I love it because it makes me look at the world in an abstract way, looking at different ways to capture an image of the world that tells a visual story. Big plus….It’s portable.

  91. Kirsten says...

    Embroidery kits! There are tons on etsy that are modern and cute and a great way to get started. If you can hand-stitch at all, it’s not hard to pick up the basic stitches. They make great holiday decorations and gifts, too. Just bought a sewing machine and hoping to teach myself to sew so I can make clothes for me and my baby. We live overseas and move every couple years, so I want to take advantage of all the awesome local fabrics available.

  92. Angela says...

    At the risk of sounding like someone’s grandma, I’m getting into sewing/quilting and I also love to garden. I have a veg patch, but I also love to dally in my landscaping. It is relaxing to work with my hands and make somethin beautiful, to take in fresh air and have my fingers in the dirt.

  93. Cynthia says...

    I have been sewing since I was 13. I also do machine embroidery which is really fun. My mom taught me hand embroidery and she made beautiful things.

  94. Scrapbooking is the hobby that works for me. It can be a solitary activity or you can hook up with like-minded women for a few hours or even a whole weekend. (I wish it were more popular here in the UK.) As the mother of an autistic son, playing with pretty paper and photos has saved my sanity on more than one occasion!

  95. Katha says...

    Yes! Oh yes to this. This post hits home.
    Looking forward to all the comments.

  96. Adriana says...

    I have recently rediscovered cross stitching. I learned how to do it in my youth, but lost interest. I have done a few things here and there since then, but when I met someone who does it every day, it peaked my interest. Now I am constantly looking for new projects! I find that it helps relieve stress and gives me that “me time” I need to recharge as I raise my three little ones. And my husband loves it because we can still spend time together in the evenings.

  97. Ellen says...

    I think one of the most important things I’ve heard about having a hobby is that it gives you ‘flow’. You get so immersed in the actual doing that everything else falls away. Playing piano does this for me as well as baking….and I would say I get flow from eating the results of the baking too ;)

  98. Reading counts as a hobby! It’s my favorite one! But I also do crafts. All kinds. Now I’m really into sewing clothes and needle felting. I really like crafting because there are endless possibilities, I get bored with something so I stop and pick up something else.

  99. Seeds says...

    A couple of years ago I also had no hobbies. I realized i always loved making things so I joined a sewing class. The group is so friendly. I hope jou can find a hobby. Good luck!

  100. T says...

    I sing in a mixed choir once a week and play the violin (took classes for ten years as a kid). Both these things help clear the head and fill the heart with joy.

  101. Gem says...

    Three years ago I discovered knitting. I love the look and feel of wool and the textures it creates and it had been sitting in my subconscious for a long time so I took the plunge ordered some bits online and began to teach myself using a book and the internet.

    I’m 28 with no children yet but I have such a “thing” for making baby items, knitting baby things is the perfect balance of quick gratification but still having to take your time! There are also so many gorgeous modern takes on classic items like t bar sandals, diaper covers and overalls I have been known to enter a Pinterest black hole just pinning beautiful things!

    With knitting you have to concentrate and count so there is no room in your head for whatever you were worrying about before. For me personally I feel a great connection to my grandmother who passed away before I started to learn, a part of me wishes she was there to ask for advice and show her what I’ve learnt but I always feel like she’s with me when I knit.

  102. I’m an Actress and had this exact feeling the day I stood in front of our Head Of Year 1 and he said “Acting is no longer your hobby, it’s your job. You are no longer a full time student, who Acts in the evenings and on weekends. You are an Actor in training and finishing with a BA Hons Degree is a byproduct of your training, it’s not the goal – so find a hobby, because when you’re in an audition and they want to know more about you and ask what your hobby is, I implore you – do not have nothing to say!” – Like your friend Matt, I found baking, it is a dear love of mine which I haven’t been doing nearly enough of, of late – I should really get on that!!

    Rebecca

    • diana k. says...

      That’s such an empowering sentiment.

  103. stefana says...

    This might sound stupid but my number one hobby is assembling IKEA furniture. The more complex the better. It’s like a 3D puzzle combined with a bit of a physical workout with a bit of doing a good deed for someone who’s tired after just having moved (or been to IKEA).

  104. Marina says...

    I do figure skating 5h a week and it’s the best hobby I could think of, makes you progress each time you’re on the ice and is also the best conversation starter. When you casually take your skates out of the bag to dry at work or at a restaurant, it does make people look!
    And I also do trail running, hiking, reading and script writing – but that’s less exotic I guess.

    • Cara says...

      I figure skate too! I used to do it as a kid, then really missed it as an adult so two years ago I bought a new pair of skates and I try to go a couple times a week. It’s the best!

    • Emily says...

      Marina can I ask – do you take lessons? I used to figure skate and would like to get back into it but the open skate times where I live is strict with just skating one way in a circle.

  105. Jess says...

    I’ve just started Xhosa lessons! My friend (from Brooklyn, NYC) and I (I am South African, we live in Cape Town) meet our tutor once a week and are slowly learning how to speak Xhosa. Nosipho is so wonderful and I feel plugged into a part of my community that is really hard to access as an English-speaking South African. I’m 32 and don’t speak any African languages….!

  106. Ann says...

    KNITTING!
    It’s the perfect hobby: you clear your mind, the wool feels nice in your hands and in the end you have something new to wear.
    Love it.

  107. Kimberley says...

    I took up Thai Massage a year and a half ago. It’s honestly amazing. There’s so much to learn but people are always very happy to be practiced on! (as you can imagine!!). However, the benefits for me are also huge: it’s kind of medatative in itself, I get out from behind my computer and use my whole body in new ways, I learn about alternative ways to treat ailments, I learn more about how to take care of my body, I meet new people. :)

  108. Inês says...

    I draw. Women. I have been doing it all my life. My school books are full of drawings in every page. I have always done it instinctively. If I had a pen, I would start drawing on whatever surface I had my hand on and didn’t even realize it! I scribbled some good furniture (and not mine!). At one point, I took some drawings lessons but it wasn’t for me. I like free drawing. I draw women but no anatomically correct. Like I say, I like to draw but I suck at it :)

  109. Emi says...

    Chess. Very nerdy, I know. I love the strategy and the gradual improvement in my game after years of practicing.

  110. I don’t have any hobbies and it suits me just fine. Not everyone needs hobbies in their life to be happy. :)

  111. Marcy says...

    I tend to be a hobby collector. I have cross stitched since I was an asthmatic 6yo stuck inside in the winter. I enjoy photography but the computer time required is hard with little ones. I got into quilting when I was pregnant with my youngest and that I’ve really been enjoying.

  112. Katerina says...

    Reading blogs, especially yours is mine! But other than that I enjoy working out, before that I used to do jewelry or sew but since having a full time job and a son free time is limited so I had to cut down to one hobby. The best part is that I get to share this hobby with my husband or/and our son so it’s usually quality time between us.

  113. I’ve always had a challenging time answering the question “what do you do for fun?” Sometimes it’s evidence that depression is in full force. Other times, though, when everything else is ok, I feel that I still have a hard time encouring myself to spend time doing things just for the enjoyment it brings. I’ve dabbled in things here and there, but rarely has something really stuck with me. All this to say, I so appreciate this question and the reminder to prioritize my pleasure above my productivity or appeasement of others’ expectations.

  114. Nina Dhollander says...

    I love hiking, reading and tending the tiny vegetable and herb garden on my balcony, but I’m not sure whether I do any of these enough for them to really count as a hobby… Where is the line between something you enjoy and a hobby anyway?

  115. calliope says...

    I learn foreign languages. So far it’s English, Spanish, Italian, French and German. I really really want to learn Danish but I can’t find a tutor where I live.
    Surprisingly, I‘ve gained a new found self esteem. I can travel everywhere and if need be I can move and work almost everywhere!

  116. Emily Nourse says...

    Nearly 3 years ago we got two whippets (dog breed). The first winter I made some coats for them, and the next winter a few people asked me to make coats for their dogs and this winter it’s turned into a hobby enterprise. I love that it’s something more to think about than work and more to do than social media. But it’s not entirely without stress dealing with customer and my own expectations, as well as learning from my mistakes. As an anxious person I’m not sure that even my hobbies would be totally stress free!

  117. Rebecca says...

    I was taught to knit by my mum and my grandma when I was very little. Many years later, my grandma’s cancer returned and I was living a long way from home. I picked up knitting again to feel close to her: the first thing I knitted was for her.

    I never put the needles back down, but in the year she died I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that causes me a lot of joint pain. I realised that as well as being something that connected me to someone precious, knitting helped ease the pain in my fingers and also gave me some mental space from the pain I was in. Having a focus, and the calm rhythm of the wool and the needles between my fingers, gives me the room I need to accept and breathe through what I’m feeling.

  118. Anna says...

    I play the piano (I play every single day – sometimes for just 10 minutes, sometimes for hours) and draw (something new I started doing in the last couple of years).

  119. ali says...

    YES! I’m 30 and this exact worry has plagued my mind for years!
    Though for the past (almost) decade, your blog has truly been my favorite hobby :) But honestly, I look longingly at friends IG posts of their handmade decorative pillows, or earrings and wish that I had something…literally anything that I loved to do! Wine and internet “window” shopping don’t reeeeallly count, right? I have a 15 month old and boy, I could really use a hobby now! I always wonder what the difference between people with hobbies and those without is-Confidence? Curiosity? Fearlessness? Not overthinking things? Knowing what makes them happy? I’ve been talking about wanting to take a ceramics class for a million years, so maybe it’s about time ;) Best wishes in your quest for hobbies! (P.s. Not going to lie, the words that came out of my mouth after reading this post were: “Babe! EVEN Cup of Jo (how I reference you when talking to my husband) doesn’t have a hobby!!!” Thanks for always keeping it real)

  120. Viki says...

    Also I would recommend a hobby where you have to concentrate because that’s what calms me. Singing in the choir I have to concentrate hard on the conductor, tunes, lyrics. But I can imagine horsback riding can wash out the brain for a while. I used to do modern dance. Learning and dancing a choreography was such a state if flow!

  121. Viki says...

    I sing in an amateur choir. You dont even need to be able to read the notes. All kind of people sing between the age of 18 to 70. Even if you are shy to sing its okay because its so many people singing together in the same time. Its magical and energetising to be part of a beautiful piece. Sometimes classical, sometimes folk music, African, Korean… There are 2 projects every year and a camp a weekend before to practice the piece. Adult people in a camp, its weird but its actually fun. I feel bad sometimes to leave my family and kids but it makes me so happy! So everybody is satisfied in the end.

  122. Sherry McLaughlin says...

    Oh, love counted cross stitch and hours of fun and relaxation and mind can go off to wherever I want it to……on a mountain top filled with fresh air and blue skies and flowers everywhere…

  123. Martita says...

    I make pinatas any chance I can…old school, papier mache pinatas.

    • Jen says...

      Wow, that’s a hobby Ive always wanted to try. Im looking stuff up online right now.

  124. Lori says...

    I don’t have a particular hobby, either. One day, for an ice breaker in a meeting, we had to identify one thing that people don’t know about you and share with the group. Out of 16 people, there was:
    1. A Beekeeper
    2. An Origamist (800 swans into a goal of 1000)
    3. An auto car racer
    4. A Spin class instructor
    5. A published author
    6. A former bakery owner
    7. A successful calligrapher
    I decided to up my game and see if I could land on my own hobby. I set a goal to try one new “thing” each month this year. So far, I have spent a month baking bread, refinishing a piece of furniture, reading more books, taking deliberate photos, exploring a new town in my state (2 months), and growing pumpkins (4 on the vine right now!).
    Don’t know if anything will stick as a hobby, but have enjoyed trying new things! Or, maybe, that is my new hobby??

    • Lindsey says...

      Lori, this is so cool! I love that you took that situation and instead of maybe feeling bad that you didn’t have a hobby, you decided you would try to have one…and look at you! You’ve tried more things in these last several months than many people do ever! I’m so inspired by you. I always put off trying things because, what if I’m not good at them? But I guess I never will be if I don’t try! Thanks for this sweet, inspiring comment.

  125. Emily says...

    A few months ago, I discovered geocaching. You use a website or app to find hidden containers using a set of given coordinates. Each contains a log that you sign with your username to prove that you found it. The larger containers often have small trinkets that kids can trade (take one, leave one.) It’s gotten my family and me outside more, and has taken us on beautiful hikes and to unique locations (a sculpture park! a kettle lake with swans!) that I never knew existed. It’s been surprisingly thrilling to travel past previous “finds” and think about how there is a secret treasure hidden nearby that only a select few know exists.

  126. Heidi says...

    You NEED to be a knitter. Quells so much anxiety, helps sharpen attention during meetings etc (think doodling) and can be done anywhere, anytime. Plus, cheap to start. Beware- buying beautiful yarn is addictive!

  127. Jackie says...

    I have always felt pressure to have a hobby and just recently have accepted that reading (before bed), hanging out with my dog, watching tv/movies, and baking here and there are my hobbies. They don’t sound as legit as knitting or gardening or something, but a hobby is really just what you enjoy doing during your free time so maybe you already have hobbies!

  128. Aija says...

    I have way too many hobbies (and still want more!). You can have one if mine ha ha
    However, I absolutely think that reading (maybe join a book club?) and biking counts as a simple, casual hobbies. Not everyone needs fancy, shmancy hobby.

  129. Reba says...

    I’ve run half-marathons, taken ballroom dance classes, made embroidery projects from kits, joined volunteer groups for all sorts of activities, even tried my hand at stained glass. I’m tried-and-failed at several monthly sketching challenges. Enjoyed them all, but my most hobby-like activity is knitting (personally, I don’t consider reading a hobby any more than I consider eating a hobby, but that’s me). I taught myself the basics from library books and YouTube videos, and take classes at yarn shops every now and then. Like some other commenters, I knit while watching TV, commuting by train, chatting with friends, even waiting in line (hollaback DMV). Most of my knitting goes to charities or baby showers. I have a lot of deadlines and an emotional-labor intensive job in “real life” so I love having a hobby that is so undemanding. The startup costs are minimal, most projects are portable, there’s always a new skill to learn, but there’s no harm in putting a project away for awhile and picking it up when you get a minute. Plus, when you goof up (and I always goof up!), you just unravel and start over–wiser and without having wasted any material. As many have said, it is so grounding to work with your hands and have an actual finished product at the end. Magic tricks sound like a fun hobby, especially if you’re a natural performer! Videos, please :)

  130. Bec says...

    Sewing!!! There is this awesome indie-sewing scene out there right now. Check out Grainline Studio, Closet Case Patterns, or True Bias patterns, and tell me sewing isn’t cool :) Sewing is definitely where I go to unwind and do something creative. It’s nice when I have a new garment to wear at the end too… oh and if you ever need someone for a Week of Outfits, @marcyharriell is NYC based, sews, and is just all round amazing. I would love to see a week of her amazing outfits!

  131. Callie Kurtz says...

    Crochet has changed my life. I look forward to it each and every single day even though I typically only do it for 30 minutes or so. It’s mindless enough but also encompassing enough that it keeps my mind clear of anything else. I love how I am in charge of the pace, the colours, the project and the outcome and can do it in my time. I also love to do it while listening to podcasts, watching tv, drinking coffee, watching movies (I even bring easy projects to the cinemas!). I am self taught from YouTube and am learning new skills all the time. Oh, and Anton and Toby would look precious in crocheted beanies, my kids love choosing their yarn each year!

  132. Hi Joanna,

    I think you just need to have some silence in your life and maybe a little boredom in order tone open to something new around he corner. This is what happened to me when my family moved to mexico. Very little internet and tv reception allowed me to be open to other possibilities. Watching the craftsmen at the markets make martini sticks out of hot molten glass sent me on an exploration of this medium. Somehow that led me to making glass beads on a torch (lamp working) and the next thing I knew I was off and running. I did this for ten years and it was an exhilarating and exacting hobby. My kids were pretty impressed when mom headed outside with goggles and melted glass over an extremely hot high powered torch. I was 49 yrs old when I found this passion so don’t give up. Just allow yourself to be silent for awhile and be aware of what’s happening around you. Best of luck with your quest. k

    • Brecca says...

      I love this! I tried glass blowing, which was neat, but I love the idea of making glass beads.

  133. Katie Larissa says...

    Do meal-planning/grocery shopping/vacuuming/reading books to my kids count as hobbies? Haha, oh my gosh I’m so lame. I used to play the violin, but now I rarely touch it.

  134. Britny b says...

    I bake , horseback ride and I’m getting into surfing/diving ;)

  135. Lisa says...

    Paige I am exactly like you! Truly enjoy Saturday mornings of cleaning my space and preparing for the week and lists. So much fun and satisfying. I also enjoy gardening and painting, but only after my home is nice and clean.

  136. Suzanne says...

    This will sound crazy, Joanna, but my favorite hobby for the past few years when I’ve had an hour on my hands has been to browse French property listings for that one little gem of a home to someday (in retirement, children grown) spend part of each year. Over time, this hobby had me learning each region and department in France and creating and refining a list of seemingly unrealistic search criteria (ie. no more than 2 hours from Paris by train, 2+ bedrooms, in the center of a picturesque town of art and history, within walking distance of everything, no renovations needed, and without breaking the bank). And, then, unbelievably, one Friday morning in June, lingering over listings and late for work, I. FOUND. THE. HOUSE. Or, rather, IT found me, and I am now in the middle of the purchase process. IT turns out that this may have been the one rabbit hole hobby that will be the most life-changing for my family and me. Thank you so much for this post as my writing this down in this space has honestly helped convince me that I am not in a dream!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, suzanne, that is AMAZING!!!!!!!

    • Olivia says...

      This story is INSANE and I love it.

    • Elle English says...

      This made me leak tears. I’m so happy for you, Suzanne!

    • Matlida says...

      This sounds incredible!! Congratulations, Suzanne!!

    • Lana says...

      How fun! Congratulations! I too look at Beziers at property on line regularly.

    • Omg!! I love this. Joanna, you might want to do a follow up interview for the blog on Suzanne’s story!

    • Jenn J. says...

      I love everything about this! SO AMAZING! I hope I somehow (magically?) learn more about your experience :)

    • Anna says...

      I would love to hear more about this as it progresses! How exciting, Suzanne!

    • Laura says...

      Suzanne, I’d love to know what website you used to find the property! And I’d love to see pics of your dream property once you’ve got the keys! I’ve got a similar dream!!

    • This is incredibleeeee!!! Huge congratulations! You give us mere mortals hope xx

    • Chrissie says...

      Congratulations Suzanne!! What an incredible story!

    • Janet says...

      Jo, pleeaaaase do a follow-up post with Suzanne one day! Suzanne, I’m so excited for you!!

    • Suze says...

      I love this! I mean, who isn’t obsessed with Zillow? But in a foreign country? Yes! And then understanding the region better? Yes! I would’ve totally bought it (or wanted to) too. My husband would’ve told me I’m nuts considering we just bought our first house and have a 5, 4 and 1 year old but hey, gotta have a hobby!! I love it! Congratulations

    • Karinny says...

      We need this house tour in the blog :D

    • Laura says...

      This is an incredible story! Congrats to you on achieving such a beautiful dream!

    • Aideen O'Byrne says...

      WOW.

    • CG says...

      What?! If we don’t get an update on this in the future I’m going to be grumpy.

    • Elizabeth says...

      My best friend and I have a mutual fund we’ve named “stone cottage fund” that we throw $50.00 into every single month. We’re going to cash it out on our 40th birthday and do the same thing…buy a stone cottage somewhere, fill it with antique furniture and roses and just…live the cottage life together forever every summer as two old ladies with our husbands probably hiking somewhere in the alps together.

    • Alicia says...

      Wow this is inspirational. And what a great way to learn about a foreign place!

    • Traci says...

      This story is amazing! I so hope that everything works out perfectly for you!

    • Owning a house in France is a someday dream for me, too! Can you share which property listings you browse? I have been known to frequent https://www.prestigeproperty.co.uk/french-chateau-for-sale-29/ but this is so pie-in-the-sky unrealistic, it’s only ever a dream. Would love to hear of more sites with cottages, perhaps, to buy?

    • Jessica says...

      AMAZING! Congratulations, Suzanne!! This is WILDLY inspiring and sounds like the beginning of a Hallmark movie!

    • diana k. says...

      I love this! I struggle with being super impulsive and I love that your incredible patience, research, and diligence paid off.

      I want a home feature on Suzanne!

    • Kay says...

      Suzanne that is incredible. Felicitations! Good for you — incredible how the stars aligned!
      CupofJo Team — perhaps an in-depth look into this story, pretty please?! :D

    • Suzanne says...

      Thank you all so much for your kind comments and words of support and congratulations. I am deeply touched, especially to know that my story made a stranger “leak tears” of joy for me (thank you, Elle English!). Your collective happiness for me underscores once again just how beautiful this COJ community is. I would love to share more about this incredible journey to owning a piece of France, including my research process, once the sale is finalized. In fact, it will be difficult not to be inspired to one day write the story of how this little home found me and changed my world when that home is located in one of eight designated BOOK TOWNS in France.

    • Jill says...

      You manifested it!!

  137. Eliza says...

    I was just getting into baking bread and really looking forward to a forray into sourdough when my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease. I have found celiac baking to be awful and not rewarding :(

    • Jeannie says...

      I became gluten intolerant (important distinction, as I completely understand that those with celiac have much more severe/serious reactions), and love baking. Try teff and some nut flours (if you and yours aren’t allergic): almond, cashew are all great. If you like banana bread and also would be interested in these muffins (http://thefitchen.com/raspberry-lemon-millet-muffins/), please email me and I’ll give you my tried and true recipes that are gluten free! jeannie DOT pham AT gmail <3

    • Lindsey says...

      Have you tried the chocolate chip cookies from the ‘One Part Plant’ cookbook?? They may change your mind :)

    • Julie M. says...

      This made me sad for you :( I love to bake as well and have recently had to stop eating breads myself. So unfortunate. Have you tried “one for one” type flours yet? They don’t require any additional ingredients – you just replace the flour and get your bake on like any other recipe. Cup4Cup or Bob’s Red Mill are pretty solid options.

    • T says...

      Eliza, I have to be gluten free, not celiac and I bake a lot. It will take a few years of practice and bread is never as good but I’ve mastered macarons, daquoise, cakes, cookies and so much more. If you can look past bread and pastry you’ll find so many different things to still enjoy baking, though it is a big adjustment at first.

    • Mouse says...

      You need to look at Alice Medrich’s Flavor Flours. GF baking is definitely more time-consuming and process-oriented, but can be really good. Also, it helped when I focussed on recipes that were naturally GF–like cakes that use almond flour– rather than trying to make my usual things with GF flour.

      But I still don’t do bread–just too much. Medrich has recipes for scones and crackers, but it’s mostly desserts. Good luck Eliza! It’s a journey……

    • KL says...

      You can still eat the bread! And your friends and coworkers can still eat the bread! Keep it up, girlfriend!

    • I feel that bread baking would be a perfect hobby for my husband, personality-wise; he’s a scientist who loves to be in the kitchen. The precision required, the experimental nature of the hobby, the endless futzing, the creativity, and the satisfaction of munching on something he made from scratch… it would all be so up his alley. Buuut he’s a Type 1 diabetic, so I always feel like I’ve put my foot in my mouth when I suggest it. Even when I offer to eat the lion’s share of his creations :)

    • Alice says...

      I feel your pain. I was on the cusp of a more regular bread baking hobby and soooo looking forward to it. Then I had to cut gluten from my diet. I don’t have celiac, but a bad sensitivity that leaves me depressed and physically exhausted. In some ways, I like that it’s MY issue, because I can still bake cookies/bread for family and friends – but it’s still a bummer! I wish I had some gluten-free baking success to share, but I’ve mostly been disappointed so I’ve been re-focusing on cooking.

    • Jenna says...

      Hi Eliza and others! This is a wonderful resource for gluten-free baking, and she has a beautiful blog to boot! https://www.emilyclaresims.com/shop

  138. Mila says...

    My grandmother taught me embroidery and knitting when I was 6, so I just make a lot of things. Hand embroidered quilts, knitting small projects (I make a lot of baby booties for the new siblings of my patients, or vintage looking washcloths as apartment warming gifts) or large projects (two sweaters for my boyfriend in the past year), cross stitch wall hangings. I only recently got into machine quilting and it’s so quick! I like the math and design aspect of piecing the top layer and making something your own. Other than that I have been teaching myself to play bass for the past 2 years, and still do my own darkroom processing and printing at home.

  139. Jillian says...

    1) I LOVE the thought of you doing magic tricks– that is the most charming thing to add to you already being such a charming, lovable, joyful soul.
    2) “Pick you up at 6!” I smiled aloud!
    3) I think of a hobby as anything that makes you feel at peace and full– the same feeling you get when you leave a beautiful, casual dinner with close friends that’s been filled with talking, laughter, wine, and the kind of twinkling warmth that makes you feel ‘how did I get so lucky in this life?.’ I don’t know if that makes sense, but I feel that way every time I finish up my morning hour of reading or leave a live music show (which aren’t really ‘hobbies,’ maybe, but are hobbies to me!)

    • jade lees says...

      Sobremesa is an untranslatable Spanish word + My favourite word ever.
      It is the word for that perfect at peace and full feeling.

    • Maggie says...

      I felt that on Monday at the Beyonce concert. I wish my hobby could be Beyonce concerts…

  140. I would love to come teach you how to sew! I design sewing patterns, and I think you’d love the style. It’s such a rewarding feeling to wear a garment you made yourself.

    • Sasha L says...

      Yes! Or cuddle your child under a quilt you made. ❤️

  141. Lora says...

    I’ve begun roasting my own coffee. I haven’t thought about it being a hobby, but I guess it is.

  142. If a bajillion is a number, then that’s how many hobbies I have. I come from a making family. My mom’s primary hobbies are cross-stitch and cooking, but she’s also an amazing garment sewer, so my kids have awesome Halloween costumes. My dad is a carpenter and is always busy with one project or another. The bottom line is, we were given two amazing role models that taught us to fill down-time with something creative and that we should follow any interests we have. I’m a knitter, baker, sewer, cross-stitcher, weaver, gardener, photographer… the list goes on and on. I find that the projects I’m working on change with the seasons, and switching things up helps to keep my creative juices. Having that many hobbies may make some people crazy, but I love knowing that I have all of those skills in my back pocket. And my kids think I’m super woman when it comes to fixing/making things at their request.

    • - r says...

      Me too. My parents are both artists with really varied interests, so there were always things being made at our house, and now my house is the same. I draw, sew, knit, paint, and whittle…anything that will keep my hands busy. My daughter definitely has the “maker” gene, and will make all kinds of creations from paper and tape and things that would normally go in the recycling bin or trash. I showed her how to sew over the weekend, which was really fun.

    • I’m the same, and inherited it from my family. I was chatting with my parents the other day about how when they are fully retired, I don’t have to worry about them finding things to keep them occupied! My main hobby is watercolor painting (which has become a side business – I’ve even been featured here in an art roundup on Cup of Jo!) but I also make jewelry, embroider, sculpt, go antiquing, cook, travel (the planning of trips is a fun hobby because then you’re always looking forward to it), try lots of new crafts like making tapestries, read (which TOTALLY counts as a hobby, by the way, and maybe the greatest one at all since it transports you to infinite other worlds), etc. I love painting as much as I love taking a break from it to craft something different and get creatively refreshed. I enjoy taking short classes in new crafts; some stick, some don’t but it’s always fun to learn something new. I’d recommend the Brooklyn Craft Company https://www.brooklyncraftcompany.com/ for some no-experience-required classes!

  143. Nora says...

    I was just thinking of this the other day. At work I ask my patients, “What are your hobbies?” Then I realized I didn’t have any hobbies. Before kids, I used to do photography, read a lot and even bake. I always wanted to learn how to do pottery on a wheel, so I am now looking at classes near home.

    • diana k. says...

      I have a friend that does pottery on the wheel and never fires any of her work. She just spins out some amazing cylinders and then plops them back in the recycled clay bin at the end of the day. She says it’s cheap therapy.

  144. Kelly says...

    I really enjoy doing cross-stitch. It sounds old-fashioned, but I’ve found some really beautiful designs through this web site that are so pretty and really enjoyable to work on: https://aliciapaulson.com/
    There is really nothing more delightful than sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee and working on one of these!

    • Deanna says...

      I do cross stitch as well. I’m almost done with the Hogwarts crest, and am getting ready to make My Favorite Murder one for a friend’s birthday.

  145. Amy says...

    Oh good grief – I have endless hobbies and none of them get enough attention. Baking sourdough, quilting, reading (yes, that counts!), knitting, yoga…I’ve done all sorts of stuff in the past like crocheting and cross-stitch and paper crafts. I think the computer has become my hobby because with a 7, 5, and 2 year old around it’s tough to lay out all my quilting supplies and not be interrupted or have them all messed up :(

  146. anna maria says...

    knitting, always and forever <3

  147. I volunteer: I started with the Tribeca Film Festival and am on my sixth or seventh year there, and for the past four years I’ve also spent four hours a week each at Housing Works Bookstore and the Wild Bird Fund (NYC’s only hospital for sick and injured wildlife). I wandered into all of them knowing no one and with few or no related skills, and my social circles and relationship with the city have exploded: For Tribeca I get to binge on movies, peoplewatch and argue with film fanatics for two weeks a year, at the bookstore I get to dig through mysterious antiques, help people build their libraries, and talk reads with dear friends (volunteers there work the same shift every week, so I’ve known some of them for years now), and at the hospital I get to handle and comfort needy wild creatures most people only see from afar or in captivity (if you think there’s no magic in this world, you’ve never cradled a full-grown swan or had a rap battle with a northern cardinal – I have also now been friends with a northern cardinal for four years[!]). I didn’t really realize how much all of those little side gigs had seeped into the rest of my life, but I found some abandoned newborn pigeons in my apartment building’s garbage room today and instantly turned into Birdwoman: NOBODY PANIC, I REHAB WILDLIFE AND I’VE GOT THIS, THE BABIES ARE COMING WITH ME AND SAFE.

    I don’t know that it actually matters what you do. I do know that volunteering has blown the dust out of corners of my heart I tend to forget about, and that in a town that can make you feel like the only person in the world sometimes, I feel like I have homes all over the place.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “I don’t know that it actually matters what you do. I do know that volunteering has blown the dust out of corners of my heart I tend to forget about, and that in a town that can make you feel like the only person in the world sometimes, I feel like I have homes all over the place.” = what a beautiful paragraph.

    • Jeannie says...

      I really needed to hear your story today about volunteering and its impact on you, but also on the local community <3 <3 Indeed, what a beautiful sentiment.

    • Laura says...

      Comments like this are one of the reasons I love Cup of Jo, not only is she inspiring, so are her readers. Lovely.

    • Just wanted to let you know you’ve given me the push I needed to look into volunteering opportunities in my new home. Moved here a few months ago (from 700mi away) and don’t know a soul, so I’ll happily befriend a cardinal.

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you Lauren! What an admirable life. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Em says...

      Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I needed this. Volunteering is so important. How did I lose my way over the years?

  148. Lesley says...

    You love biking, why not a bike club? Ride with friends or get some cup of jo readers on board? I for one would join!

    • diana k. says...

      I have a bike club! It’s mostly a “bike to restaurants, movies, and bars” club, but it’s been lovely.

  149. Kelly says...

    I do NOT have a hobby, and am envious of people who do!

  150. Adult coloring books. Are they still trending? It’s not flashy, but it’s cheap.easy.satisfying. We do it as a family. Millie Marotta is a house favorite.

    • Kate says...

      I felt silly saying that this is one of my hobbies but it is! I, like many people, been coloring long before adult coloring books were hip and it’s still one of my favorite pastimes.

    • diana k. says...

      I love this! I always color with my nieces but they get distracted with toys and phones so easily, I’m like “How are you guys not loving this!?!”