Here’s the sticky wicket.
Everyone is telling you all the things you must do. You must do the teaching. You must do the cooking. You must do some cleaning and laundry. Pay the bills. Get people to all manner of appointments and lessons.
How can I possibly have the gall to tell you to do something else. Your day is packed!
I’m not going to tell you to get up early, although you could, but what follows are some other ideas for fitting hobbies into your life.
My kids are older and more independent, so I could spend a few minutes during the school day practicing hand lettering or needlework or crochet. Or, could I even incorporate them into lessons during Morning Time?
My oldest has enjoyed working on counted cross stitch as a part of our handiwork during Beauty Loop in Morning Time. I had hoped that I, too, would get to practice my stitching, but the younger ones need more help than I anticipated.
When I take my kids to soccer practice (or choir or piano lessons or … ), I usually walk the dog and listen to podcasts. If only podcast binge listening could be a hobby.
Instead, could I pack a bag of something to work on and practice for a few minutes? Could my project even live in the van, so I don’t have to think about packing and taking it?
Portability becomes a priority in whatever hobby I choose.
My kids are still young enough to have a bedtime before mine. Could I spend one evening a week working on my project?
How can I plan my interest into what we already do? If I decide that I want to improve my cooking by working through The Joy of Cooking (a la Julie and Julia) or Simplified Dinners. I need to make sure I have that in my menu plan, grocery list, and time budget – maybe a Saturday night for an unusually intense meal?
One of my favorite ways to make myself craft is doing it with a friend. Making an appointment to work on other sorts of projects have helped us accomplish more because of that outside accountability.
I have a CM reading group, we do Art with Friends for school, and a friend and I (and our kids) are meeting every other week for nature study. Could you make a monthly appointment with a friend to work together or show progress on a mutual interest?
There used to be a group of ladies in my congregation who brought their current project – whatever it was – to work on one night a month. The ladies had both fellowship and progress.
Sometimes one would do a tutorial for the whole group. Win-win. Even if you don’t have a group, could you schedule an appointment in your personal calendar that you would force yourself to keep?
What about date night with your husband? Instead of dinner and a movie – which is fun, yes – could you do coffee, donuts, and birdwatching or hiking together? Or woodworking?
There are all kinds of groups online for crafting. I enjoy watching the monthly glue book parties on Instagram hosted by a friend. She shares prompts, and then people work for a while and show their work.
It’s usually a Saturday night – maybe I should join in instead of just watch?
I think what I’m trying to convince us all of – a little bit on a regular basis goes a long way. Can you find a little bit of time?
Could you spend 10-30 minutes a day or a week working on a hobby instead of -gasp!- surfing blogs or social media? (I can’t believe I just said that.)
I will, of course, advise you that to some extent these things can be seasonal in your life. If you have a newborn, please love on that baby. If there are family emergencies, please care for the event that you are facing. Who knows, though, the hobby itself may be a calming influence during a family emergency.
Maybe your hobby is gardening, and you live in Ohio. November and December might not be the best times – but January brings seed catalogs. Seasonality is part of life, but please pick your work back up as the season passes.
Research on your hobby is practicing it, too. So learning about a new skill via reading a blog post by another practitioner counts if you are engaged at other times.
There may be times to dream, there may be times to learn, there may be times to practice, there may be times to rest but please – please – don’t give up hobbying in the grand scheme of your life.