Birthdays are great, but people don't expect a present from me each and every year. (I'm even talking about my own family) I suppose it comes from my own life. When I was growing up, I would get presents some years, but other years were lean. I understood, it was OK. I still felt loved and valued.
I have a teaching degree, but I don't teach. I'm an instructional assistant. I love helping kids learn, but don't love the stress of meetings, reports, audits, and hierarchy.
I love nice clothing, but certainly don't run around in designer stuff (most of the time) and I tend to have favorite articles of clothing that I can wear for years before finally deciding to toss or donate it. (Check out the summer dress below. I have modified it to work as a winter dress by layering and adding boots!)
When people are asking for volunteers to do one thing or the other, I won't volunteer unless I know for sure I'll be able to do it. (Even though I have O+ blood, I rarely say I'll donate because it's stressful for me!)
But I am a firm believer that you need a few things that you are absolutely committed to in order to make your life unbelievably happy, no matter what your circumstances are! It's my 4-Hobby Rule. As you know, hobbies are things that you do for the sheer enjoyment and benefit they bring you. I've found that in addition to being enjoyable, they also open up other avenues of experience that you might never have had, if not for the initial hobby! Here are the 4 categories:
It Makes You Money - Find a hobby that you love, but that you can turn into making some money with it. It doesn't have to be much, just something. It will make you feel incredibly productive and useful. It also prods you on to being better and better at what you do because it's nice to know that you can be paid doing something you like! My hobby is being an Instructional Assistant. I use my education, I get paid, I associate with fun people, and it makes me feel like I'm helping others!
It Keeps You In Shape - If you want to be your best self, you need to be in good physical shape. I'm not talking spending hours and hours at the gym, although if you're into that, great! I've always felt that I need to do something physical each and every day to keep in fairly good shape. I used to be much more into it, but then another hobby sort of took over the time I used to spend keeping in shape. (Any guess as to what that might be?) But I need this hobby of keeping in shape in order to stay focused and centered. So my hobby of choice is walking my wonderful dog whenever I can and doing daily stretching exercises. Since it snowed 9 inches today, I didn't get stressed out. we missed walking, so what? But I'll be doing stretching this evening. The key is you've got to enjoy it, or you won't continue to do it.
It Causes You To Be Creative - Find something that inspires you to create original things. We are so creative as divine human beings, created in the image of God! We can do crafts, cook, write, organize, create music, etc. The point is to start creating, no matter how simple or rudimentary. Do it every day. It may be just creating the perfect closet space, or creating your week's wardrobe! Just do it! My goal is to find a new Christmas piano piece and learn it to play by Christmas! (I've got the first part done, now just need to learn it!)
It Helps Others - When you have something you can do to make others' lives just a little better, it also helps you! It can be a volunteer project, it can be contributing offerings at church, it can be doing your job at work with the real intent to help others! Again, it doesn't need to be a huge thing! If you start small, you will most likely enjoy it and realize how you are actually gaining as much or more than those you are helping!
You can find a hobby that accomplishes all four in one or any combination of the above hobbies! For instance--you could be a yoga instructor, who also teaches at a fitness center, who also constantly creates new poses and posts them on Instagram! That would be a hobby that makes money, while keeping you in shape. It also causes you to be creative and it helps others by motivating them to try out new things!
What are your hobbies? Do you have the 4 kinds of hobbies above or are they combinations of the above?
|Image by Garett Criddle|