Hobby (n): an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.

We used to have a lot more time with nothing to do. Remember, once upon a time the day ended when the sun went down and everything was done by the light of a fire, a candle or an oil lamp. Over time, our lighting has improved but we’ve spent more and more time on things that require us to sit still looking at a screen. And, while there are many things you can do online, on your phone, or watch on the TV which engage your brain, a hobby is something beyond that. It’s an activity that you look forward to doing; that you research and learn more about; that makes your free time feel like its been used to actually improve your own life.

But is a hobby really necessary? Isn’t Candy Crush enough? And binge watching every episode of New Girl, Supernatural, M*A*S*H, American Horror Story or McGyver improves your life, doesn’t it? Does it though? Sure, most people relax and let go when a show or movie is on; and playing games on your phone is almost meditative in nature. But do you feel proud of your accomplishments? Can you show them off, or improve on them or share them with others?

So how does one find a hobby? Do you do it by yourself or with family or friends? Don’t they cost money? What if you don’t have room for a hobby?

One of the great thing about hobbies is that you don’t have to spend much money to enjoy one. Some hobbies only require your time. Volunteer at the local animal shelter, library, church or museum.  While others like reading, writing, computer coding, running, singing and hiking you can do with supplies you probably already have. Many of these can be enjoyed with friends and family making them even more fun and who doesn’t want to spend quality time with loved ones while setting a good example for the kids?

Some hobbies can ramp up in cost over time depending on how much you want to invest. Photography can be done with your phone or a $2,000 digital camera; scrapbooking and jewelry can cost little to start (under $100) and you can build your inventory and skills as you have time and money. RC airplanes and cars are still a thing and you may be able to find an organization in your area that has regular meetings and competitions. Members of these organizations may even have older cars/planes/trains that they are willing to part with for a reasonable price.

The point is, you don’t have to spend $1000 and 6 months getting up to speed on a hobby. Take a few minutes and walk around Michael’s or Hobby Lobby or peruse some of the links below. You may chance upon something that grabs your interest.

Already have a hobby? What do you do? How did you get into it?