As the result of a recent conversation with a friend I have been thinking about how I and other people occupy our ‘free’ time.
My friend is a football (soccer) fan and we were discussing her options for activities once the season ends. I was trying to convince her not to do her job of work on what should have been a day off.
We are asked, almost from birth it seems, what do we want to be when we grow up? The implication being that we will be defined by our jobs and careers. We are encouraged to imagine working for ourselves and being our own bosses if we show even the slightest rebellion against setting our noses to the grindstone for the rest of our days. We resign ourselves to giving our time, energy and imagination to the people or corporations that in return give us money to pay for homes, educations and….what?
Do we spend our remaining money on saving for retirement? If so, what are we going to do in retirement? Do we splash out on designer clothes and goods to impress all the other people running on the same hamster wheels as us?
I’m not obsessed by Hamsters…honest.
Or…do we find passions that keep us awake at night? Do we lavish attention and money on pursuits that bring nothing but joy and satisfaction? Do we ignore the prompts to turn side hustles into businesses? If we do all those things then work begins to loosen its grip. We take time for ourselves and our own mental and physical well being (which in turn makes us better workers ironically). We can spend the very few years an average human is allotted being moved and motivated and driven by more than the necessity to fill our basic needs.
I get that some people find satisfaction in their jobs, good for them, but for the majority of us work is not the thing we should be living for, however much people in power and authority try to tell us it is. We are more than cogs in the machine, we are more than numbers on a spreadsheet and we are more than tools to enrich already obscenely rich people.
So here is a list. It is not comprehensive. Some of it takes more money than most of us have readily available. Some of it will appeal to you and some of it will not, but if you are even slightly intrigued by any of them I urge you to consider trying them.
Acting, Baking, Leather Crafting, Breadmaking, Knitting, Blogging (!!) Sword Making, Football, Candle making, Writing, Pottery, Stain Glass making, Soap making, Fish keeping, Woodwork or whittling, Genealogy (not necessarily your own family!) Astronomy, Photography, Mushroom hunting (please be careful!) Swimming, Gardening (indoor or outdoor) Urban Exploration, Car maintenance, Martial arts, Element Collecting, Fossil hunting, Bowling, Roller Derby, Bee keeping, Bike riding, Music playing (and/or learning the instrument first) Cooking (become the world foremost expert on ancient Mesopotamian cuisine) Allowing yourself to get bored and think up amazing adventures, just for you.
This message has been brought to you by The Society For Hobbies To Confound Your Burn-Out With, although TSFHTCYBOW is not a catchy acronym.