A New Hobby
A few months ago, I found myself yearning for a new pastime - one that could help steer me away from the mindless scrolling I was doing more often than felt healthy. Over the past few years, I’ve slowly been turning what used to be hobbies (cooking and photography) into work, and while I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do so, I was starting to feel that I needed a creative outlet that wasn’t tied to anything but personal enjoyment. No expectations, no deadlines, and no ties to my finances.
While walking through the gift shop at our local art museum, I started to see all the beautiful crayons, markers and paint sets in a new way, and realized that there truly is a whole world of pastimes out there I have yet to explore. It’s in this gift shop that I came across the book Everyday Watercolors by Jenna Rainey - whose nature and flower paintings I’m really drawn to - and decided to pick up some brushes and paint, and give it a go.
So now I sometimes paint watercolours instead of looking at a screen, and that feels really good. I’ve found that I also love to go for long walks, hike in our local hills and do puzzles. All of these activities have one important thing in common - they quiet my mind. Spending too much time online has the opposite effect, and feels like I’ve opened a bunch of tabs in my brain and can’t keep myself from jumping from thought to thought.
Trying something new is more accessible than ever, with so many tutorials available online, and so many great books to be requested from the library - so why do so many of us struggle to even get started? If you think you don’t have time to try something new, you might want to download one of those apps that tracks how much time you’re spending on your phone. The results can be pretty startling.
Another barrier can be the frustrations and insecurities that come with being a beginner at something, which is why it’s helpful to approach a new hobby (especially a creative one) with no expectations of being good at it. I’m definitely not showing major promise as a painter, but have found a way to love it anyways, I think because through it I’m learning to manage my expectations and perfectionism and just enjoy the process.
If there’s something you’ve been curious to try, I really hope you take the plunge and give it a go!