The Importance of Having A Hobby

Finding activities that you enjoy doing is critical to living a healthy life. Having interests and hobbies that are all your own make you who you are. After moving in with my boyfriend about 2 months ago, I realized just how important having a hobby or 2 is. I’m always looking for new hobbies to pick up, but here is what I enjoy doing at the moment:

  • Reading
  • Baking
  • Crafting/DIY Projects
  • Nail Art
  • Blogging

I am always, always, ALWAYS looking for new hobbies to start. Let me clarify – I’m always looking for affordable hobbies. Being a woman in her 20’s, living on her own for the first time and having those awesome things called student loans, having an expensive hobby is out of the question. BUT, I’ve also realized that spending my money on things that make me happy is also important. Crafting can get pricey, depending on what it is I’m tackling that night, but it’s something that brings me joy. I keep this in mind when I walk out of Michael’s 2 hours and $100 later – oops! I’ve made plenty of decor items around my apartment, and I don’t plan on stopping.

Most of my free time is at night, since my boyfriend goes to bed right after dinner to get up at 2 am for work. Gross. Needless to say, I have hours and hours by myself at night. And since acquiring this immense amount of free time all week, I’ve really had time to reflect on how important it is to have hobbies and interests. Not all free time is meant to be spent working or cleaning. Doing something you enjoy just because you enjoy it is so important for your mental health. If I spent every moment I had cleaning this apartment or answering work emails, I would go insane!

What would I do if I didn’t have at least a couple hobbies of my own? Simply sit here and wait for my boyfriend to spend time with me? Clean my apartment Monica Geller style every day? (If you haven’t watched Friends, you obviously live under a rock. And I believe I just found you a new hobby. You’re welcome.) That’s not to say I do everything on that list every day. There are plenty of nights that I veg in front of the tv until it’s time for bed. And that’s okay, too!

Hobbies are so much more than a way to pass the time. Hobbies have the power to bring you out of your comfort zone, if you let them. They can help you discover who you are. Or help mold you into who you want to be. While it is important to spend time with people that you love, it’s also critical to spend time with yourself, doing what you love.

 

 

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What College Taught Me

For those of you who don’t know (which, let’s face it, is almost everyone reading this), I went to culinary school. When I started, I could barely cook anything besides Kraft mac n’ cheese in the microwave. But I could bake one hell of an apple crisp. And cookies. And cupcakes.

Baking was, and still is, my passion. Truth be told, no one needs a degree in culinary to get a job in the kitchen. But I also wanted to make my parents proud. So instead of getting myself a certificate, I decided to go get myself one of those fancy degrees.

Before I go any further, I want everyone to know that I fully support anyone who is, was, or is thinking about going to college. Working hard in school is something to proud of and a task that should be admired.

However, I have some problems with college. We don’t see eye to eye, if I’m honest. And since I am  honest, I’ll tell you that I didn’t get to finish college. 8 weeks before graduation, I was forced to drop out. But now, 5 years later, I feel that I’ve learned more from not being in college than I had while I was earning my credits.

Sounds weird, right? Sure, I learned a lot while I was in school. You’d be surprised how much there is to learn about sauces, and breads, and corn. Side note: I spent 8 weeks learning about corn. Yep, CORN. An entire 8 week course was dedicated solely to corn. It was basically cruel and unusual punishment.

Aaaaanyway. I have not gone back to college since then. And having to admit that I did not in fact earn a degree has taught me something very, very important.

It has taught me that a degree does not define you. While it is definitely something to be proud of and work hard for, it does not make you who you are. No one should feel bad that they did not decide to go to college, or in my case – finish college. It is no one’s place to make anyone feel judged or feel inferior because they have a degree, and the person next to them doesn’t.

A few years ago, my mother went back to school to earn her Bachelors Degree in Event Planning. She worked her butt off. Seriously, I could not have been more proud of her. She excels at being a mother and a wife. So when she went back to school, it was no surprise she was an incredible student. To this day, I admire her for her hard work and dedication.

What I also admired about my mom, was that she didn’t think she was suddenly better than anyone else because she earned a degree.

Whenever anyone asked if I’d finished school, I had to tell them no. And it pained me to my core, because I felt like I was being judged. I felt like the person now thought less of me. It made me feel like I had to dedicate the rest of my time proving to that person that I’m their equal.

A degree does not necessarily make you smart. Not having a degree does not make you incapable. Sure, you may have to work a little harder in the corporate world because your resume does not list which degree you earned in whatever major in whatever college. But don’t let the lack of ink on that piece of paper make you think less of yourself.

Again, I’m not knocking college or earning degrees. It is an incredible accomplishment. Just please don’t let it define who you are. You are so much more than that piece of paper.

Things I Want My Future Son to Know

Dear (future) Son,

Hi there. It’s your mom. I know we haven’t met yet, but I have some things I want you to know.

Please be yourself. It doesn’t matter if the world thinks you should like blue, or if you’re “supposed” to play with trucks instead of dolls. If you like it, if it makes you happy, do it. Keep it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else on the planet thinks.

I want you to remember to be compassionate. Don’t let this world make you hard. Don’t let it shrink your heart. Compassion. Empathy. Kindness. These are what make the world go ’round. Be a part of it.

Stand your ground. It’s sacred.

Work hard. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Laziness is the most unattractive trait a man can have.

Build your kingdom. Find your queen. Don’t let her go.

Be chivalrous. Respect women. 90% of the women you meet will probably tell you they don’t believe gentlemen exist. Prove them wrong. (Don’t worry. Your father and I will teach you.)

Relationships are not 50/50. They are 100/100. Both people should be putting everything they’ve got into making it work. Being with someone is just that – work. So don’t be afraid to put forth the effort. If it’s the right person, it will be a constant reward.

If it’s not something you would say to me, and it’s not something you’d want another guy saying to your future daughter, don’t say it.

Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. Apologies aren’t always easy, but sometimes they are necessary.

Pick. Your. Battles. This is one of the biggest, most important lessons I have learned, and continue to learn.

Continue to grow. Learn new things. Take the world by storm. There is so much to see, so many people to meet. There’s culture to experience, and food to eat! So much food!

Read. Feed your mind. Literature is the best way to escape and the funnest way to explore your imagination.

Don’t build your walls too high. Everyone protects their heart. But please don’t guard it too hard. A loveless life is a lonely life.

Let your loved ones know you care. Tell your family you love them. Tell your friends you love them. You’ll never regret the times you said “I love you.” It can never be said too many times.

The day you come into the world, I promise to do my best to teach you to be the best man you can be.

Love,

Your (future) Mom

Finding Balance

Sometimes, it can be hard to find time for yourself. Between work, family and friends, there just aren’t enough hours in the day! I think a lot of women believe that setting aside ‘me’ time means dedicating an entire day or weekend to yourself. And if you think about it that way, then yes, it is hard to find time for yourself. Especially if you’re a mom (which I am not, just to be clear.) But you don’t have to carve out hours and hours to find time for yourself. Finding time for yourself shouldn’t be an added stressor!

Instead, try setting aside a few hours a week. Take some time to simply do your nails. Or go on a walk. Catch up on some shows, or do one of those creepy sheet masks, or do both at the same time! Setting aside time to pamper yourself or just be by yourself is so, so, SO important. Discovering a way to relax and just enjoy your own company is necessary. Even if you have to knock some chores out! Have time for a face mask, but not your shows? Throw the mask on while you vacuum or fold the laundry! That mask is solely for you, and that’s the point.

Deciding to make yourself happy is the easiest way to stay happy.

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