Ask a room full of people what hobby they have and you will get as many answers as there are people. Others will confess that they don’t have a hobby. They probably do; but just don’t label it as such. By definition, a hobby is an activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.
Whether stamp collecting, chat rooms, trains, soft ball, scrapbooking, golf, reading, painting, tap dancing, yard work, crafts, auto mechanics, music, hunting down garage sales, sewing, fishing, cooking, boating, furniture refinishing, javelin tossing or a plethora of other activities or interests the key element is balance. You must find balance between your family life and your extracurricular activities.
Too much of a good thing turns bad. Everyone should have an outlet and a special interest that they enjoy doing for themselves. Self indulgence, to a point, is quite healthy. Escaping from day to day grinds to take some time to devote to your special hobby or concentration is therapeutic. You’ve all heard, “if Mamma ain’t happy, no one’s happy.” It doesn’t matter if your role is father, mother, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, brother or sister, if you’re just going to work or school and have no real outside activities, you’re probably not always the most friendly person to be around.
Conversely, if you bury yourself and it seems to others that all you care about or all you ever want to do is bang on the drums all day, you’re setting yourself up or prolonging discontent. People deal with depression in many ways. Some sleep all the time. Others want to do nothing but read, read, read. Still others will spend hours upon hours downstairs building a bigger, faster widget, just to avoid the real cause of their frustrations. Hobbies are supposed to be a healthy outlet, not a catalyst to ignore issues that need addressing.
Likewise, hobbies can get very expensive. Sure snow mobiles, motorcycles and ski equipment are obviously expensive. But sometimes those seemingly low cost activities can add up. You start out with trying to budget for the monthly karate lessons. Then you need (or want) the gi, the uniform. Don’t forget about the protective sparring equipment. Perhaps you think you need to have a heavy bag or some shields to help you practice. Figure on $30-$50 per tournament that you enter. Of course there’s the uninsured medical and orthodontia costs to be calculated in as well. “Let’s see, do we pay the mortgage this month, so get that new helmet that you just have to have?”
If your hobby is doing more harm than good, if it’s dipping into the family budget and time allocation, more than you can or should be spending, it’s time to reevaluate. If you’re not doing something outside your standard occupation that you enjoy, it’s time to find something, for your and your family’s sake!