May 11, 2015

Who has time for hobbies?

Hobbies.  I used to have them. I used to play the piano, do gymnastics, do the occasional crafty project, like knit a jumper and travel…a lot. But now life is so busy with work, writing, kids, trying to stay fit, finding time to see friends and general 21st century craziness that I don’t really have any hobbies. 

What happened?

My husband is good at hobbies. Always has been. He surfs, plays the guitar (and is in a band) and makes time for coffee with his friends…every day! Yes, every day.  I have to pretend that running, which I only do for fitness, is a hobby.

So, when my Mum said she was giving me her grand piano (she’s a piano teacher) when they move into their retirement village later this year, I figured I needed to take lessons again and had to earn the right to inherit such a beautiful instrument.

I used to be pretty good at piano. In fact at one point I considered going to the Conservatorium of music. But, I played in enough eisteddfods to know I wasn’t good enough to have a career as a pianist. The people who were going to make it on the stage were very obvious.

So, I’ve been going to lessons since the beginning of the year. It is really sad to realise how much skill I’ve lost over the years. If you don’t use it, you lose it, is so true.  I’m having to work very hard to get to any sort of reasonable standard.

I performed in a recital at my teacher’s house last weekend. I was very nervous and didn’t play my best.  I think the dog’s reaction says it all. At least he only yawned and didn't howl. Hilarious!

But, it is nice to have something to focus on that is only really designed to bring joy. Music!

Do you have any hobbies that bring you joy? I’d love to hear about them.

If you happen to be in Byron in May, I’m running and Introduction to Romance Writing workshop through Northern Rivers Writers Centre.  It’s being held on Saturday, 23 May from 10am – 4pm. For more information, or to book, visit the NRWC website

17 comments:

  1. Am wracking my brains to think about any hobbies I have, Jen. I must have ONE surely??!!!

    Hmmm.....apparently not. If I have any spare time I want to read, go see a movie or catch up on television and now with netflix.... Can something so slovenly be called a hobby do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Movie appreciation! Definitely classed as a hobby, Amy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with Jen, Amy - you're a movie buff. Definitely a hobbie at the very least!

      Delete
  3. Jen, I know just what you mean about finding time for things like hobbies! And also that thing about losing a skill if you don't use it. All these years later I wish I'd kept up with yoga. I do a little now but I'm noticeably less flexible than I used to be - and I was never particularly flexible in the first place!

    But in the last couple of years, mMy dh and I have taken up the guitar - purely for fun! We are pretty bad but it's good for a laugh and when we went camping a few weekends ago, we dragged out the guitars and had a singalong around the campfire with our rather limited repertoire! My dh has a great voice - alas the "couldn't hold a tune in a bucket" saying applies to me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's sounds just lovely, Sharon. Having the ability to play guitar (a nice mobile instrument) is a wonderful thing.

    Singing! Ha! I can hold a tune, but I sound like a squeeky chipmunk. I'd love to be able to sing well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hmm...hobbies? Can one count doing a PhD as a hobby? Oh, wait a minute -- sleep! I am a super sleep champion, surely that counts as a hobby? ;-)

    Jen, I'm in awe of your musical ability and I love that you're enjoying it so much. I've inherited a beautiful old piano, but I doubt I will ever learn to play it. A couple of years ago I bought a sewing machine, and I'm determined to learn how to make my own clothes (just as soon as the phd is done). :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, doing a PhD can get the way of having lots of spare time.

    Sewing! Now that is an impressive hobby, Michelle. I'm looking forward to admiring your beautiful creations.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Jennifer

    When I was a young girl I always wanted to learn to play the piano but Mum wouldn't let me because we didn't have a piano to practise on :( so I never learnt and these days I don't have any hobbies other than reading and I am good at piling books up that I really want to read but never seem to have enough time to catch up with them all :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet you would have been wonderful at the piano, Helen. Why don't you give it a go now?

      You are an amazing reader! You seem to read everything.

      Delete
  8. My hobbies are cross-stitch and embroidery as well as reading, reading reading and more reading.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How wonderful, Lyn. I always wanted to learn needle work when I was little but my Mum didn't know how and there didn't seem to be anyone else to teach me. What a lovely skill to have!!

    Yes, you have to love all that reading!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good on you for taking it back up, Jen! You might be surprised how quickly some of those skills come back to you once you've started working at it again :)

    My husband and I play video games together, not sure if that sounds as a hobby? It's a great way for us both to unwind and take our minds off work since he's as bad at that as I am!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish my skills would come back faster, Stefanie.

      That hobby sounds like lots of fun!!

      Delete
  11. this is outstanding. it is some thing great Adopt a dog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pets. Yes! Wonderful and more than just a hobby.

      Delete
  12. Jennifer - I taught myself to cross-stitch from the instructions when I was 9 or 10. I then got an opportunity at 11 or 12 to do a embroidery project at school based on a picture I had drawn - I still have it somewhere. When I get around to hanging it again, I'll take a picture and try to remember to have Rachel or Michelle tag you in the comments (as I assume you have one or the other on your personal FB page and both are on mine).
    I didn't mention the knitting, but that I definitely had to teach myself - as a leftie, no one knew how to teach me. I apparently knit right-handed but different to how a right-handed person does.

    Yep - the reading is why I have very slowly started writing.

    Forgot to mention on the original reply that I haven't been picking up the current cross-stitch project much lately - it came to a standstill due to issues working out the backstitching for it. It's a design that I came up with myself. The other thing delaying it is slowly but surely dealing with too much clutter in my flat. Clutter is not conducive to crafting or writing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow Lyn, you do sound accomplished. And self-taught - very clever!! I would love to see that embroidery project. Yes Rachel and Michelle are friends on FB (mine: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.s.george.31). Love to see that cross-stitch project too when it is finished.

    I used to knit too but could probably only manage plain stitch now.

    I find clutter so distracting but it is so hard to find the time to clear it all up. One day (sigh)

    ReplyDelete