Happy National Hobby Month!
As if often the case with these kinds of months, I didn’t even realize there was such a thing until recently, haha. But in honor of the occasion, I thought it’d be fun to do a lighter than usual Sunday post and share some of my own favorite hobbies!
Now, obviously I enjoy writing. Fiction, blogging, journaling, poetry…you name it, I enjoy writing it (with the exception of dry articles that require a lot of research). And as is the case with so many writers, I also enjoy reading. Good stories – in basically any genre- have a special place in my heart.
But because I spend so much time talking about those things elsewhere on this blog, I’m going to devote this post solely to my other hobbies. And I would love to find out what you enjoy doing in your spare time!
I enjoy . . .
This one tends to surprise people, because I’m usually quieter and shy. Getting up under spotlights and acting doesn’t seem like it’d be my cup of tea. But I can’t even explain why, I just love it. I remember watching local plays when I was as young as six, and telling my parents afterward that I was going to do that just as soon as I was old enough. (My dream role? Playing Ariel from The Little Mermaid. And yes, I’d still love that, haha.)
Since 7th grade, I’ve been involved with nine shows; two plays, and seven musicals. Most of my roles have been in the background and chorus, with just a handful of larger parts – and I enjoyed each and every one. Being in theatre has taught me a lot of valuable lessons, about music and acting of course, and also about hard work, courage, working with others, flexibility, and trusting God. And though I’m not comfortable with just anything, getting to become a character and tell a story to a live audience is really meaningful to me.
I think I’m done being in shows now, with everything adult life has to offer, but I’m thankful for my years of theatre, and I still enjoy acting out my own scenes while I write. As weird as it sounds, it really does help make them more believable, haha! I also still like to voice act for the fun of it, and hold an irrational dream of someday voicing a character in an actual animated film. We’re supposed to dream, right?
This goes along with musical theatre, but I’ve also always enjoyed singing. However, I’m even more shy about my singing than I am with my acting. Perfectionism strikes again. My voice is nothing particularly unique or very strong, but I can carry a tune, and I enjoy trying out new songs and techniques. One of the best programs I’ve ever worked through was Singing Success by Brett Manning. It improved my range and control so much!
I’ve found that I can do far better in songs that allow me to use more emotion, so my favorite songs to sing are usually musical theatre (perhaps you’re sensing a theme, haha) or songs from movies, as opposed to more mainstream music, such as pop. And try as I might, I can only sound ridiculous singing country. Not many contemporary Christian songs are written in my comfortable range (I’m a mezzo soprano), but of course I always enjoy those.
Even though I’m reluctant to sing in front of others, I know I won’t ever stop singing at least to myself. If I’m having a hard day, or feeling stressed, singing always helps. Especially if I stick to more comfortable, emotional songs. I suppose it allows me to work out emotions in a healthy way, while also distracting me with something I enjoy. I’m slowly working to be more at ease singing on the worship team for my church’s youth group too. Worship is worship. God doesn’t care if my voice breaks, or doesn’t sound as good as I want.
If you couldn’t tell already, I just enjoy music in general. As I type this, I’m listening to a five-hour playlist of instrumental worship songs, mostly using piano (which is my go-to productivity playlist, since songs with lyrics distract me while I’m writing). I think in nearly all of my hobbies, it comes back to my love for stories. While writing obviously tells stories, so does acting, songs, and instrumental music. They can all be very powerful.
I took piano lessons for several years, and have recently been learning to accompany using chords on our worship team. Again, I could be a lot better at playing the piano, but I do enjoy it very much. It’s yet another thing I turn to when I’m needing to destress and just tune out (pun intended) for a while. Once again, my favorite songs to play tend to be slower and more emotional – although I’ll play some silly, fun ones if I’m in a chipper mood.
My go-to songs include a lot of movie soundtracks, such as from Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Also Disney and Broadway songs, contemporary Christian music and hymns, and plenty of classical pieces. (Spring, Canon in D, and Moonlight Sonata are some of my favorites). In general, I can’t resist anything beautiful and flowy.
Speaking of beautiful, I absolutely adore forests. Ask anyone who knows me well – one of the best ways I can think to spend a sunny afternoon is to explore any and all forests nearby. They’re one of the places I feel closest to God, and I just love how unique they are. Every day something can change. Plus, in a lush forest, away from all other signs of civilization, some part of me feels like I’m in a fantasy world, and of course that’s cool.
So when the weather’s nice, I’m always up for a good hike in the woods. I also just enjoy walking in general. Depending on my mood and if forests are hard to come by, I will gladly spend hours just walking around town or on back roads. If I’m with someone (which I usually am), it’s a great chance to talk while still being active, and if I’m alone, then it’s an excellent time to talk to God and collect my thoughts.
Whether in the woods, in town, or anywhere else, I think walking is a very underrated – but wonderful – activity. My shins don’t allow me to run much, but walking is perfect. Still active, but also relaxing and great for holding a conversation with a friend. I like to sightsee and people-watch (in a good way), so I always stay plenty entertained. And if nothing else, I can become quite lost in my thoughts, so, I’m honestly never bored at all. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do with spare time in warmer months.
This is such a broad term, but I’ve grown up in a game-loving family, and I enjoy them. Board games, card games, Wii games, computer games…even some outside games, although when it comes to sports, my coordination and I don’t usually agree. It can be very stress-relieving for me to sit down and play a fun game with loved ones, and I love when there’s laughter during it.
It depends on my mood, but I tend to most enjoy ‘lighter’ card and board games; ones that don’t hurt my brain too much or take six hours. I’m not especially logical, so I can sometimes end up frustrated at games that require a lot of planning and skill. And yet, I also don’t care for really embarrassing party-type games, haha (looking at you, Watch Your Mouth). A good mix of laughter and strategy are perfect for me.
The same thing usually applies to computer and Wii games too. When I’m playing a game, it’s typically to destress and get my mind off of other things, so anything that can both occupy my thoughts and also make me laugh is my preference. Faster-paced games (like Mariokart) are good for this, but I do have to be in just the right mood for super logical or intense games. Sometimes they’re fun, sometimes they just add to my stress. In general though, any game can be fun for a while when it’s done with loved ones!
And those are some of my favorite hobbies – besides reading and writing! I may not get to spend as much time on them as I’d like, but I always enjoy them when I can. We all need some ways to relax and have fun in the midst of life’s craziness. So thanks for joining me as I rambled about some of my favorite ways to do that!
What are your favorite hobbies? How do you pass the time when you have any extra? I’d love to hear about what you like to do, so let me know in the comments below!