Fun is important. I believe it is so important that, without it, it’s impossible to fulfill aspirations or dreams.
Your brain needs fun. YOU need fun. Don’t make me count to ten! As Martha Beck of Oprah Magazine says, “Having fun is not a diversion from a successful life; it is the pathway to it.” Read the whole article Here.
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I’ve compiled a list of nine fun hobbies that I’ve enjoyed over the years. At one point or another, I have been obsessed with all of these. Let’s get down to the business of having fun, shall we?
- Digital Scrapbooking. Sure Archivers is long gone from the mall, Creative Memories is a past none of us wants to remember, and there’s only one scrapbooking magazine left anywhere. Scrapbooking is not the sexy hobby it once was. But I’m not entirely sure why. I once scrapbooked for 4 hours straight while my newborn baby napped. It was a dumb thing to do because a) I should have been sleeping too (he was my colicky kid) and b) my boobs were so engorged from not pumping all day (long story), that they felt like they were going to pop off and run away from home. Why do I share this intimate, gory tale filled with mammary woe with you? To illustrate how addictive scrapbooking is. If you’ve never tried it and the kid pics are piling up in your photo software, it may be time to fire up the ol’ computer and get down to some serious fun. Take this $17, one hour class with Aussie mom, Melissa Shanhun and learn all the basics of scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements. Bonus, the class comes with an adorable kit full of elements you can use over and over on your pages!
- Photography. Now that you’re scrapbooking, you’ll want to take drop dead gorgeous photos. Photography is also addictive and, I’ll warn you, can lead to some expensive purchases (says my husband about my Canon DSLR camera, motion stabilizing lens, and fancy schmancy flash.) But you can get great photos on any camera—even your iPhone! Remember that natural light is your friend and read this book (it’s free as a Kindle Unlimited book) about capturing your best kid shots ever.
- Wreath Making/Floral Arrangement. This can be an expensive hobby—I should know; I routinely order $200 boxes full of flowers from my favorite wholesaler (yes, I’m so obsessed with wreath making I got a wholesale license). But watch for sales at Michael’s. Almost every time I walk in there, flowers are 40-50% off. While you’re there, study the designs they have throughout the store. If you want to kick your wreath making up a notch, I suggest checking out my mentor and hero, Nancy Alexander. Her wreaths and arrangements are like nothing you’ve ever seen. At $40 a month, her club is on the pricy side. But when you see what you get for that 40 bucks, you will flip. Each of her many videos costs $40 on their own. For that much money, you get access to her entire library, her “Secret Vender List”, and even access to Nancy herself on her private Facebook page. If you have even the slightest urge to sell something beautiful on etsy, you really should hop over to Nancy’s Website.
- Make a Home Décor Binder. Maybe you’re fantasizing about all white furniture and that shabby chic/vintage glam look OR perhaps you’re longing to turn your home into a fanciful ski lodge. Perhaps it’s antiques and Tuscan style that make your heart palpate. Whatever your dream décor might be, start cutting out pictures from your million and three magazines and put them all into one binder that you can drool over for years to come. This is such a fun hobby (and much less expensive too!) that you might end up with five, six, or twenty binders. Just think of it this way, when you’re ready to hire that decorator (someday…), you’ll have lots to inspire her with!
- Drop Everything and Read! You’ve heard it’s great for kids. But guess what? Your brain needs fiction too. It’s so much better for you than binge watching Orange on Netflix and it’s a billion times better than playing an hour of Sim City. Reading helps you relax, dream, and exercise that grey matter—you know, that organ you use 24/7 to educate and nurture your kids (it’s also the organ that keeps you from popping them on the head!). So take good care of your brain. It takes care of you all day. My all-time favorite escapism comes from Brit author, Philippa Gregory. Her often dark and fantastical tales transport me to medieval and Renaissance England and in a flash, I’m on the banks of the river Themes listening to a love sonnet written just for me by an English lord (who might want to lop my head off with an ax).
- Keep a Journal. In her book, If You Want to Write, Brenda Ueland inspires would-be writers to do something I’ve come to love called Moodling. Ueland urges us all, even those of us who think we can’t write, to journal about anything and everything every day. I do it so much that I have to keep track of what time it is every time I sit down to Moodle. At the start of each day, I write the date, time, and day at the top of a fresh page. Since I Moodle throughout the day, I always put the time down when I start back up after putting my journal down. Some days I Moodle five or six times. Since I’m an introvert who hates to talk (who’d have guessed it?), I like to write down everything I’m feeling and experiencing during the day. That way I don’t have to tell other people! It’s fabulous! My husband talked me into buying myself an Oberon journal cover. There are tons of options, but here’s one I especially love. It’s a dreamy blue and has dragonflies!
- Tend a Garden. There’s nothing quite so Zen as growing flowers. I like container gardening myself. So much less time spent squatting or on the knees (ya know, the knees that you use to chase little kids all day). I order freaking everything over the internet these days (even my groceries ‘cause let’s face it, the grocery store is depressing and sad), but I adore visiting the nursery to buy plants. We have a wonderful garden center here in Aurora called Nick’s. But you can find great ones almost anywhere you roam.
- Needle Crafts. Nothing says “home” like a great sampler on the wall. I am definitely not the skilled embroiderer my mom is, but counted cross stitch is suuuuuper relaxing and meditative. You get into that needle and floss zone and BOOM, you hit your bliss spot before you can say “The baby’s asleep!” Check out this excessively homey design here. Or if your taste is more Asian Zen, check out this one.
I know there are tons of other great hobbies out there. I just don’t have time to cover all the wonderful options available. However, we’d love to hear your suggestions. What do you do to relax? Have you recently discovered a new hobby or have you been doing it for years? Please comment down below. Let’s help each other out!