Why You Should Have More Hobbies Than You Have Time For

And unfinished projects

Maria Shimizu Christensen

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Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

I’m a crafter. That encompasses a wide variety of crafts. So many that I had to open an Etsy shop to get some of the many things I make out of my house because I need the room for my books — another hobby. I have an insanely large personal library. I kayak and camp and hike, and I’m making a hobby out of learning languages. There’s much more but that’s enough to illustrate the fact that I have more hobbies than I have time to do them. I think you should too. Hear me out.

The Oxford dictionary says that a hobby is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure”. It can be just about anything you do for fun. Gardening, candle making, woodworking, sports, collecting, juggling.

Now, some of the things I listed take some time, effort, and tools. Hobbies can be serious ventures. But, they don’t have to be, and they don’t have to be complicated or time intensive. Good news for people juggling a work/life balance. You can learn to do origami quickly, easily, and inexpensively with YouTube videos and some paper. Seriously. Anyone can fold this fish in 30 seconds.

If you actually did the video, you may not take your new skill anywhere and you may never do origami again. But you did just learn a new skill and that’s important. Beyond the skill itself, learning new things is really good for your brain. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that memory is better and your processing speed improves when you learn new things like playing the guitar, photography, or how to make pottery.

Scientists also theorize that the brain activity that comes from learning new skills can help delay or prevent dementia.

That’s all great, but wouldn’t it be easier to just stick with one or two hobbies? Yes. Yes, it would be easier, but what if you’re a gardener and it’s raining? You shouldn’t kayak in a storm and what if your fingers are tired from knitting? You will never run out of things to do, and you’ll never be bored if you have a wide variety of hobbies to choose from.

There are a lot of stereotypes of people who don’t retire because all they do is work, or who do retire and drive their spouses crazy because they have nothing to fill their time…

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Maria Shimizu Christensen

Writer. Maker. Featured in Medium’s 2021 list of Stories That Started Conversations. I write about life. https://www.mariashimizuchristensen.com