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Years ago when someone asked you what your hobbies were, could you reel off three or four different past-times? I know I definitely could. The resurgence of hobbies during Covid-19 and continual lockdowns, has made them popular again. Even the younger generation are getting back into hobbies.
So what happened to hobbies? In a nutshell it happened because our lives have become busier than ever. The stay-at-home Mum is less common in todays society. The majority of young mothers these days go back to work after having babies. Hobbies have been usurped by child ferrying and activities designed for self-improvement: fitness, cooking, home decoration and personal grooming.
In fact 80 percent of families say that watching TV is their favourite past-time, followed by eating out and shopping.
It tends to be rather quaint today if we say we are into quilting, cross stitch or crocheting. Women of today tend to spend their spare time going to the gym, having pedicures or posting impressive status updates on Facebook!
As for the male species, who previously occupied themselves building model trains. They now cycle looking resplendent in their lycra shorts cycling everywhere. They also like to have coffee afterwards and spend time shopping for more cycling pants on-line!
When I asked my daughter years ago if any of her friends had hobbies. Her reply was “they have boyfriends and one of them has a dog”! I was shocked to hear that because I could think of a hundred more things I would rather be doing than being “pre-occupied” by a boyfriend. But maybe that is because I’m 60 something!
As a child I remember spending my spare time participating in hobbies. I did things like stamp collecting, sewing, knitting, colouring in and bead making. This was in the era before technology hit. There were no videos or DVDs, pay TV, computers, computer games, iPods, iPhones and no social media. We had to make our own fun and spent most of it in the great outdoors using our imaginations.
My mother and her mother were stay-at-home mums. They were both avid knitters and crocheters. As children almost every sweater or cardigan I owned was home knitted. My other grandmother spent her spare time doing beautiful embroidery and also loved to bake.
When I was a stay-at-home mum back in the 1990s I had many hobbies. This was obviously pre-technology days when Facebook wasn’t around and we actually read books (not eBooks). I remember spending a lot of my spare time, along with a couple of my neighbours, sewing. We would zip up cute little outfits on our sewing machines whilst sipping cups of tea and watching over our kiddies. Talk about multi-tasking!
Then we would use the fabric scraps to do a little bit of quilting. I had patchwork quilted cushions, cot covers, a tea cosy and a nappy bag. I felt a bit like one of those 17th century Quaker women making quilts out of remnants of fabric!
Unfortunately, once my children were off to school I went back into the workforce and my spare time became obsolete. I transformed into a taxi driver Mum, ferrying my two children to all sorts of extra-curricular activities.
The thing that most people don’t realise about hobbies is that they are extremely good for us. We are happiest when we’re pursuing a hobby because it is pure escapism from our droll routines.
According to Dr Tim Sharp, psychologist and founder of The Happiness Institution:
“Although, by definition, many hobbies don’t have an immediate purpose, the contribution they make to life is enormous because by boosting happiness they, in turn, boost quality of life which includes productivity, health and success”.
It goes without saying that during these stressful times, a hobby could be just what we need to help us unwind and get our minds off this terrible virus. The continual bombardment of Covid-19 statistics on TV and social media is certainly causing a lot of stress. So my advice is to tune out for a while and immerse yourself into a hobby.
During these testing times with week after week in lockdown, hobbies have made a resurgence. People are stuck inside for most part of their days and are looking for things to do to occupy themselves. Hobbies have a great calming affect and in most cases challenge our brains. Some are extremely creative and bring out our artistic sides too.
I recall when I was initially in lockdown trying to purchase some jigsaw puzzles online and found it very difficult. I also discovered that things like watercolour paints and paper were also in short supply.
Some of the most popular hobbies for the masses that are stuck at home include:
So I say bring back the hobby, because immersing yourself in something purely for pleasure is to embrace the kaleidoscope that is life!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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layine CarterNovember 18, 2013
thanks , I really enjoyed reading you article :)
KathyNovember 19, 2013
You are very welcome Layine. Hope you drop by again.
MaryAugust 27, 2014
So true! You have motivated me to pick up some of my old hobbies again!
KathyAugust 27, 2014
Thanks Mary, I’m so glad that I have motivated someone. It just seems that hobbies aren’t fashionable anymore and I think they are great.
Lee-AnneAugust 27, 2014
Really interesting, Kathy. I’m a fan of hobbies but think they’ve be renamed as ‘interests’ now as somehow the word hobbies is uncool! I heard knitting was back – my school has regular drives for knitting little baby jumpers and squares for blankets in Africa.
I reckon the internet has something to do with the demise of hobbies – everyone just wants to check Facebook and Instagram! And you need a higher attention span to work on a hobby, it requires more effort than the swipe of a screen… :)
KathyAugust 27, 2014
I guess the word ‘hobby’ does have an old fashioned ring to it. My young daughter has many interests including cake decorating, which is apparently making a bit of a come back. I think you have hit the nail right on the head – too many people are obsessed with posting ‘selfies’ on Facebook and Instagram!
LillyAugust 27, 2014
What a great post this is. And so true. Hobbies seem to be social media these days. Although my daughter recently got a puppy but strangely enough I have been the one looking after it. I still have hobbies, blogging being one of them when I have the time. It is good to come across some Aussie blogs by someone of a similar age. I shall be back.
KathyAugust 27, 2014
Why thank you Lilly. Blogging is a great hobby to have. I love writing my blog and it has given me a new outlook on life. We still have plenty to offer at our age!
mAugust 27, 2014
I enjoy my knitting -it relaxes me and I find a sense of accomplishment in making something that is one of a kind.
KathyAugust 27, 2014
I come from a long line of knitters, but unfortunately I have tried it many times and have failed dismally! But yes I do understand the sense of accomplishment that comes with creating an item from scratch. Thank you for visiting my blog. :)
Rae HilhorstAugust 27, 2014
I am a knitter and have a blanket on the go. Unfortunately I don’t have or say I don’t make the time to get it out and knit away, the thought is there just not the energyxx
KathyAugust 27, 2014
Well you have good intentions Rae. I was doing a bit of sewing before I went away so would like to get back into that. At the moment we have been doing some painting around home and restoring some furniture which is fairly satisfying. I’m always occupied that’s for sure!
Sheila ReidOctober 22, 2021
Wonderful post! Not only are hobbies good for us, scientists now saw say, after about ten of serious research, that anything creative actually keeps us healthier and helps us live longer. I spent two years writing about it in my latest book ART & CREAKY BONES, which received six awards for Aging, Inspiration and Fine Arts. I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it but you seem to have a real interest in this subject. I think you would really enjoy reading it.
Thank you for this lovely blog.
KathyOctober 23, 2021
That’s very interesting Sheila. I will certainly look for your book as it sounds like an intriguing topic. Thank you for visiting my blog.