Friday, July 25, 2014

The Hobby That Isn't

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.


  1. Love this, Natalie. Welcome to YAOTL. Also, making a note to buy you a pottery wheel...

  2. Your new hobby is writing awesome blog posts that make people laugh. Welcome to YAOTL!

  3. Aw, thank you so much Nancy and Jody! I'm really so happy to be here. :)

  4. Yes, it's great to see you on this blog. Looking forward to reading your posts! :)

  5. Aw, thank you, Kristy! I'm so glad to be here -- truly! :-)

  6. I too realized I was hobby-less when I wrote my post. "knit hats for freezing orphans in Ukraine" that line cracked me up! Welcome to YAOTL!

  7. I'm so glad you're here, Natalie. This really did give me a much-needed grin-break.

  8. I'm there with you! I don't have hobbies either. I watch my son play hockey too, though... Heeey now, maybe that IS a hobby. LOL