Making Time For Hobbies Is Making Time For Happiness

Aug 06, 2022

Making Time for Hobbies is Making Time for Happiness

(Photo by cottonbro)

Do you have a hobby that you wish that we were better at? It could be painting, drawing, disc golf, baking, or playing an instrument. Video production, photography, writing, making jewelry, or sculpture. Whether you call them hobbies or passions, it's something that brings you joy to do. 

A thousand times I've thought to myself, "If only I had more time, I could get better." But how much time does one really need to devote to a passion? Could you set aside half an hour every day? Or an hour on a day off? If it's something you love, it's worth it to make the time. 

Meeting "the banjo guy"

I have been playing guitar casually for many years. Which is to say that I gave up the idea of making a living doing it a long time ago. But I still love doing it and want to improve my playing. A few years ago, I received my tax return and decided that I might like to get a 12 string acoustic to add to my collection. I went to my locally-owned music store, grabbed one off of the wall, and started playing around.

While I was there, a guy about my age came in and picked up a banjo. I was so impressed with his playing that I just stopped what I was doing and watched him. The banjo is not an instrument that someone can pick up and fake their way through it. Even many guitarists can't just start playing it. 

I asked him how long he had been playing. He told me that he was mainly a guitar player but had always wanted to play the banjo. He said that he had purchased a cheap one a year ago off a friend, and decided to dedicate 30 minutes a day to practicing. A year later you could have convinced me that he had grown up with a banjo in his hands.

A new commitment to practice

This encounter made me think about my own lack of discipline when it came to practicing. Even when I was in a band, I rarely spent more than an hour a week actually learning or honing my skills. I wanted to write music, but I always felt like I was wandering around in a dark forest. Feeling my way through with no real sense of direction. If I wrote something new, it was as if I had tripped over it. I didn't understand what I had found or how it related to anything else musically.

More than once in my life, I've found myself in a situation where I actually had some time everyday to devote to practice. More than once I have squandered that time. About three years ago I decided that I wasn't going to wait for time, I was going to make it. I committed to playing my guitar for at least an hour every day. I found some people on YouTube who taught music theory and practice techniques that worked for me.  

After about a month I started to be able to tell the difference it was making. After about 2 months my roommate noticed a difference. After 3 months I was playing better than I ever had. I felt more comfortable playing with other musicians where previously I would avoid those situations. All because I committed to 1 hour per day.

Don't let go of your passion

If you're like me, you've dreamed about turning your hobby into a career. And like me, you may have found that it just didn't work out that way. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't still do it. The act of pursuing something that brings you joy is a reward in itself. Even if you may not be a famous painter, that shouldn't stop you from painting for the love of it.

You also probably started your hobby when you had plenty of time for it. As life got more complicated, you may have let your hobbies fall by the wayside. There can be every excuse not to make time for something that doesn't cross items off the todo list. But it is easy to grow resentful if a bulk of your time is spent doing things for other people. 

Making time for yourself

We may never find ourselves without obligations to our work and to our loved ones. Time is a currency that we hope to spend wisely. If you can reserve some of your time for hobbies, you may find that your feelings towards obligations change. Making time for yourself to enjoy your hobbies can make a huge difference in how you feel about life.

Write it on the calendar if you need to. Let the people around you know that you are taking this time and that it is something that you need. Tell yourself and others that it's important. Don't let go of the passion.

Continue Your Journey