The Year of the Hobby | From Me to Mom & Back Again

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by Michele Redmon

When I was single, hobbies and personal endeavors took priority over nearly everything. I loved to write poetry, take photographs, devour classic literature and explore old cemeteries and abandoned buildings. (On an obvious side note I did not have many friends.)

Becoming a wife and mother were choices I made, unprepared for the subtle riptide that would carry me further and further from myself. After I had children there was a perceptible shift in priorities, demoting creative pursuits from the most important thing in my life to the least. I remained an avid reader, but family obligations took up the space my hobbies once occupied. I put my own dreams and interests on hold for so long I nearly forgot what they were and on more than one occasion, when asked what I enjoyed doing, I could not think of a response.

My first few years of motherhood were punctuated with periods of depression, anxiety and feelings of dissatisfaction and guilt. When I expressed these feelings the most common suggestion I heard was, “Try going to they gym.” (Because if you’re unhappy it MUST be related to your waistline.)

It took me years to discover that what I really needed was to get reacquainted with myself. I started small, planting a garden and watching it grow into something beautiful. I was never one for the gym but I started walking and riding my bike to clear my mind. I began writing again and am slowly releasing my grip on the notion that my worth is determined solely by how others perceive me as a wife and mother or how successful I am in my career.

We have been conditioned to place the highest value on activities that offer a physical or financial return, yet most of us have learned from experience that when we neglect the spirit, everything else falls apart. Therefore I propose that we make this the year of the hobby. I know “hobby” is a cheesy word that brings to mind all sorts of seemingly trivial activities, but ultimately it’s about personal fulfillment. By reconnecting with pursuits we let fall away because we were, “too busy” or finding new interests that make us feel electric, our lives will change.

Happiness changes everything!

* Check Michele out daily at No Model Lady for more articles from this amazing broad living abroad.

 

American expat living in Japan. Military wife and mother of two adorable boys and one temperamental cat. She blogs at www.nomodellady.com, where shares a little bit of everything, including life overseas, family, health, fitness, fashion and more! She's been featured on Huffington Post, Babble and now ...love Maegan!! * Find Michele on Instagram at NoModelLady

6 Comments

  • Pep Tintari

    March 12, 2014 |

    You got to have things you love to do that’s what life is about. All work and no play…

  • MA

    March 12, 2014 |

    I so agree with you, the small things in life can be the most rewarding. May I also say your tats are very cool! Enjoy your day. 🙂

  • Fashion Musings Diary

    March 12, 2014 |

    Let’s have fun then! Nice food for thought!

  • Elaine

    March 13, 2014 |

    You definitely have to find what makes you happy outside of your kids and spouse.

    I want to add that exercise does have many other benefits other than a slimmer waistline. There have been many studies that show moderate amounts of exercise is just as beneficial as taking antidepressants for some people. It has definitely helped me fight off anxiety and depression, so it would be one of the first things I recommend to someone with those same feelings.

  • drollgirl

    March 13, 2014 |

    this is such good advice. i am not a wife, nor am i a mom, but i have put many hobbies i love aside because work takes up a COLOSSAL amount of time, and i’d rather sit in front of the boob tube or hang out with the boyfriend most nights instead of doing something that might be more productive/fulfilling. it is hard to find balance in life. but it is good to pursue things that bring us joy. so…i am trying to carve out more time for good stuff. lately it has just been ordering art supplies (hey, it’s a start), reading at least a chapter of a book every night, and committing to trying at least a few new recipes a month. and then there is taking care of plants. etc.! all good things. 🙂

    • Maegan Tintari

      March 13, 2014 |

      So agree with both of you… I am working on adding more meaningful practices in my life in all forms and really, the far easier thing to do is just watch TV, at least through the change part of it. Once I get past 20-30 days of doing it straight, the chore then becomes a new habit and my mental health is better off for it. It’s such a work in progress though.