Category Archives: Hobbies

The pursuit of happiness

snv6JG6YTuK3Nu2VOFdrxwNow that the stress of moving back from Japan is long in the rearview mirror and we are settled into our Denver lives, I have found that it’s far too easy to come home from work, whip up a decadent dinner, pour a glass (or 2) of wine and veg on the couch. As much as we strive for comfort in our lives, it rarely contributes to growth or learning.

Starting in January, I have decided to try a few new hobbies. I was looking for activities with minimal cost, fuss, or commuting time and things I could easily incorporate into my travel schedule. I thought back to an article I once read outlining Benjamin Franklin’s strict daily regimen that helped him to stay focused throughout his day. Since most of my day is spent working, I adapted the idea to a weekly schedule of things I had always wanted to try.

Starting off, my evening routine will include 10-15 minutes of French lessons (getting the basics using DuoLingo for now), 30 minutes of exercise, and 10 minutes of stretching or meditation as well as wrapping up any unfinished work or household needs.

Following that, I plan to follow a weekly schedule which will include approximately one hour per evening spent on a hobby of choice:

  • Sundays: Music (starting with a simple recorder or thumb piano)
  • Mondays: Ballet workout (using Ballet Beautiful videos or recorded live ballet classes on YouTube)
  • Tuesdays: Draw or paint (using Craftsy)
  • Wednesdays: Read
  • Thursdays: Calligraphy (using Craftsy or YouTube videos)
  • Fridays: Write (hence this blog post today)
  • Saturdays: Intense yoga or running

What I love about this is it keeps me from getting bored with any one particular activity and allows me to simply explore without a lot of commitment. If I find that one pursuit isn’t all that interesting to me, I can always switch it up for another or I can add a second day of something I’m really into.

What I need to be especially cognizant of while diving into these new areas is to make certain that my perspective remains one of exploration and growth, not of accomplishment. I find I can get discouraged when new hobbies fall so short of those who do this for a living or have been practicing for years. (And for that reason, I am not likely to post any of my artwork or recorded concerts on my thumb piano!) I need to keep the mindset that this is for fun, health, opening new doors – the pursuit of happiness.

Any new areas of interest you’re planning to explore in 2018?