Don’t Feel Guilty
The hustle culture surrounding you can sometimes make you feel guilty for having interests or hobbies of your own, especially if it takes you away from your career or your family.
Sadly, this is truer for women than for men, but sadly, men are also catching up to being overworked like most women are these days. I was in this category when I was working.
I was an AVP and had been where I was working for 14 years, so I had many sick days and three weeks’ vacation plus and an extra week built up. I took my vacation as three-day weekends to go to horse shows. Before I got my horse, I would take three-day weekends for sailboat races.
After I got my horse, I took three-day weekends for horse shows. Since I was a migraineur, I needed an extra day to recuperate from the migraine I ultimately got at the end of the show.
Even though I had all of this time built up, my bosses would rather me take it in one-to-two-week chunks. Bummer…
If you feel guilty for having interests or hobbies of your own, it’s important to realize that well-rounded people have more than one passion, don’t see non-money-making tasks as unproductive, and recognize the benefits of having more than one interest.
You’re Not Obligated to One Passion
Over a lifetime, one person can have hundreds of passion projects and learning experiences related to having and developing interests and hobbies outside of their immediate job, family, or social circle.
While you may not want to pursue too many hobbies at once due to finances and time, you don’t have to stick to just one, and you don’t have to stick to one your entire lifetime. It’s okay to pursue one interest for a few months or years and then drop it for a while to do something else. This is what I ended up doing with sailboat racing when I changed over to doing horse shows. My husband got really good racing single-handed. He won a lot!
You Don’t Owe Anyone “Productivity”
One issue that comes up for some people who want to pursue a hobby or an interest that is new to them is that they start to feel as if they’re not productive enough. But here is the thing, your entire life is not about productivity. Sometimes your life is just about being and doing something you enjoy. There is value in doing things outside of building relationships, making money, and being consistent.
My son died in 1987 from a self-inflicted gunshot. Then my mom passed in 1989, after I had cared for her for two years under hospice for aneurysms. I decided I was not going to dwell on this, but I was going to have a life outside of working.Teri
YOU need to redefine productivity in your mind to do anything beneficial for yourself, not just for others, and not just to pad your bank account. You don’t need to monetize every interest or hobby to make them worthwhile in your eyes or someone else’s.
The value of the hobby or interest may be intangible or something you can name. But the main thing that your hobby or interest needs to be is something you like to do that fills you with contentment and not something that adds stress to your life.
There Are Many Benefits to Having More Interests
Every interest or hobby you have offers benefits outside of what most people see as valuable. For example, a hobby or interest costs money and does not make money, and for some people may feel as if it’s wasteful.
However, if you have the budget for the hobby and the time for the hobby, and that hobby makes you feel good, the benefits it offers to help you build your self-esteem, feel more confident, and learn new things are also important.
Having interests and hobbies outside of what you are doing now is a great thing to do if you have the time and the budget to do it. However, if you don’t want to do these things, find a way to generate the income and free up the time to make it happen. You’ll soon find that the benefits far exceed the costs.
Like now I have my big Anatolian Pyrenees dog, Emma to take the place of my deceased mare. She gets a ton of my attention.
This blog started out as a fun thing to write as something of a memoir. Now that I’m attempting to monetize it, it’s become a real job. But I like to do it to keep my mind active. Can’t believe the stuff I am remembering and learning!