The Hobby That Isn’t by Natalie D. Richards
As a new contributor to YAOTL, naturally I felt my first entry would need to be The Greatest Blog of All Time. I had it planned. It would be equal parts heart-warming, educational, and humorous. It would cure rabies and fill potholes and produce rainbows in the skies of readers everywhere.
Seemed doable until I realized I had to write about hobbies.
Couldn’t be that hard. Surely I do…something. A quick scan of my house revealed dog hair on the floor, dishes in the sink, several paperbacks within grabbing distance, and an Old Navy bag with another black shirt I absolutely don’t need.
This was a slow-spin moment. Not the good kind where you’re in a field of lilies with background music. No, this was when I realized I was a living, breathing Target ad. I felt my identity disintegrating, just melting away like the faces of the baddies in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
So, I turned to my oldest kid—a precocious ten-year-old who hasn’t yet hit that part of childhood when he decides I’m the devil—and asked if he could think of any hobbies I have. He oh-so-helpfully informed me that I do dishes and laundry and Oh! I watch him play hockey.
And there I was, right back to melting identity. There may have been crying.
Who could blame me? I’m on a blog with people who become one with nature and stretch themselves into impossible yoga poses. They garden and bake and draw and…why don’t I do those things?
I guess I scrapbook (though so infrequently my third child probably isn’t sure she exists) and I bake whenever I’m in the mood to eat my body weight in butter and sugar.
But why don’t I knit hats for freezing orphans in the Ukraine or learn to make hand-thrown clay dishes that I donate to animal shelters?
Why don’t I try to do something new?
Then it hit me. I do try new things all the time. I plan vacations I can’t afford, and paint my nails a different color every week. I go to new restaurants and cook weird recipes and meet strangers whenever I possibly can. Because I absolutely love to try new things.
Is that a real hobby? Maybe not. But I don’t think anyone should trust me with a pottery wheel, so it’s probably for the best.