Where One Hobby Succeeds, Another Fails
Outside of work, I simply have too many interests to maintain. Once upon a time, a close friend told me that I needed to pick up a hobby. Something to get my head out of my all consuming career.
“You need a life,” she told me. So I truly did think about things I would enjoy adding to my life. Most of them were too expensive to maintain, like rock wall climbing or buying a Peloton bike.
I turned my interests into things that I thought would improve myself without breaking the bank. Now my hobbies include painfully progressing in my Korean, picking up where I left off in piano, continuing my weight lifting journey and of course writing!
I don’t like to give up or fail. All my hobbies focus on finishing things I started long ago but had to drop to bring home a check.
Now that my circumstances have changed, I hit my four hobbies head on. Making progress, feeling better about my self improvements.
Slowly but surely, I began to feel the familiar sensation of burn out. Joy slowly leaked out of my daily routine and the hobbies that I loved began to feel like a chore, and an extension of work.
How do you balance multiple interests?
I am learning that when you have hobbies that take a considerable amount of time and effort, at first a routine was key. I set times for each activity so that I could focus. The monotony and exhaustion of maintaining work plus all four hobbies began to wear on me mentally and physically.
Now, I am scaling back on my rigid routine and have broken my hobbies down to two a day. Sometimes just one. I don’t want to lose my passion. Sometimes one hobby outshines another.
One interest will grow faster than another, and that’s okay. It is even okay if one hobby fails all together. We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. This world tells us to push push push with such a competitive atmosphere.
I love a good motivating competition, but I know I will never be a concert pianist or a professional physic competitor. My hobbies are my own, for my self-growth and pleasure.
I like the way Charles Chu put it in his article, “Oliver Sacks on How Our Hobbies Can Kill Us.”
Hobbies are great. But sometimes a hobby mutates into something else — an obsessive, all-consuming beast. – Charles Chu
My original goal was to “have a life.” I don’t want my chosen hobbies to take that from me as well.
Slowly, I am embracing patting myself on the back when I accomplish a small victory in the weight room or master a new piece on the piano. I’m not being so hard on myself if I skip a day of Korean or publish a piece twice a week instead of four.
Love yourself when you make progress! Love yourself even if you are succeeding in one area of your life and not so much in another. Life is too short to constantly beat yourself up.
What do you do to balance your interests?