About a year ago a close friend suggested that I needed a hobby and urged me to take up the photography that I abandoned after high school. The idea brought laughter from another friend who joked that the last thing I needed was something else in my hyperactive life. Wouldn’t photography become another item on my to-do lists pushing me to take quality pictures that would never meet my standards? Wasn’t my little point-and-shoot camera enough for the occasional pictures that I take and then rarely look at again? Alternatively might I get hooked like some of my friends are married to golf or gaming? Recently I met a psychology student who mentioned that he was into photography but planned to sell his two-year-old Nikon because he needed to upgrade. I ended up with both the camera and its former owner as my teacher.
The value of a hobby is in the doing. It is an activity that we value in itself with no ulterior motives. Hobbies are innately relaxing and rejuvenating. Their purpose is diversion from more routine or pressing activities. Golf is a hobby when it is played because the golfer enjoys it, maybe loves it. Golf is not a hobby when it’s purpose is to show off one’s capabilities or to close business deals. Hobbies can produce quality performances, accomplishments or art that others admire and that bring a sense of personal satisfaction. Through hobbies we can enjoy making an impact, learning something new or building skills but these are secondary benefits.
Alejandro my camera teacher loves taking pictures and he does this well. He takes his camera wherever he goes and clearly enjoys teaching me. (That’s Alejandro in the picture above. It’s one of the first I’ve taken). Might I jump into this but then get busy and conclude that I don’t have time for hobbies? In contrast will I be so motivated to do well that this becomes more demanding than relaxing? Most of us know the value of hobbies but busy people often put leisure activities near the bottom of their priority lists.
I’m beginning sense stirrings in me to indicate that I could make room for this and even enjoy it.
What about your observations on hobbies? Please comment.