Q: When I fill out job applications, one of the questions asked is “What are your hobbies?” I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t have any. My free time is usually spent watching TV or movies and eating take-out. Does that count as a hobby?
A: No. In fact, every “No!” I have to give, I’m giving to you right now. Screentime and Scarfing Sustenance? Definitely not a hobby. Or is it? We’ll weigh in on that later, but let’s first get down to brass tacks and figure out what we’re talking about. Webster’s Dictionary definition of Hobby is: (noun) An activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation. Since you mentioned filling out job applications, this leads me to assume you might not yet have a main occupation. But, for this little exercise, we’re going to go ahead and pretend you do. If you were gainfully employed, you might be clocking 40 to 50 hours a week, which would leave you with 118 to 128 hours to do with as you wish. If you’re the healthy sort that sleeps approximately 8 hours a night (Lucky you!), that would add up to about 56 hours of rest and relaxation. Add all of that up, you’re left with 62 hours to view and chew. I’m the first to admit I’m not very math-y, but even by my calculations there’s plenty of time in there, even if you took a tiny fraction of those hours to find a hobby. With no job yet, you’ve got 60-110 hours a week to find time for another activity.
As to what that might be, start simple: Ask yourself what you liked when you were a kid! Did you enjoy being outdoors? Were you fascinated by wildlife or birds? Maybe you have (or wanted) pets and have always loved cats and dogs. If you nodded your head even slightly there, you might re-discover something you care/d about to find a wee bit of room and add them to your life. If the idea of pets made you smile, perhaps you could volunteer at a pet shelter (very hands on) or a rescue organization (often an office gig). If talk of wildlife or birds makes your heart beat slightly faster, then do it a favor and get out for short walks that could lead to day hikes at a local park or trail in your area or look into birdwatching clubs!
Now, if you want to turn your current free time activities into a hobby, I’d love to see you give online reviews about your favorite shows, movies and culinary choices. If you were to share your opinion and give people an opportunity to engage in conversation with you, it would open up your world and maybe theirs. Why not arrange a monthly or quarterly meet-up/eat-up where you grab a bite before or after a new movie opening or an old film’s revival showing? Feel free to call it View & Chew.
xo – t.