Get more out of hobbies as an adult

I love hobbies! As a current member of the tired-mom club, I need hobbies and “me time” more than I’ve ever had before in my life.

I also lowered my standards quite a bit to make it all work. In this post, I’ll share how I’m making the most of my hobbies at this current stage in life.

I have always been a hobbyist! Since I was a small child, I have collected hobbies and obsessions.

In middle school we learned to sew pillows for our first sewing project and I sewed dozens of tiny pillows (all with sunflower print fabric-lol) to give to my entire extended family for Christmas.

One year I made dozens of birdhouses. I spent my weekends baking cookies and muffins.

My astrologer recently asked me, “Did you feel old when you were very young?” and I thought, “Yes! Oh god – YES!”. I was the best seventh grade grandma ever.

Over the years I have tried almost every hobby you can imagine. Many of them have appeared here on the blog. I’ve been obsessed with jewelry making, scrapbooking, and I tend to have a painting phase about once every five years.

I’ve had fashion phases, e-courses, baking, making cocktails, thrifting and decorating, art journaling and sewing.

I grew up one of those kids who could never run a full mile in PE class, but as an adult I taught myself to run and grew to love it. I’ve had epic failures and surprising successes. The joy of hobbies is one of life’s greatest joys!

At the moment I am learning how to make pasta, writing a book and taking a painting class in my spare time. I’m a mom with two businesses and two kids at home this summer, so I don’t really have “free time,” but I squeeze it in because it’s important to me.

Here are my three tips for getting the most out of adult hobbies.

1. Lower your standards.
One of the most common questions I get is how I have time *insert something here* as a mother of two small children. Let me first say that if it seems too good to be true on the internet, it probably is.

The truth is that I am very tired. Many days I am not caught up on my to-do list and I cry from being overwhelmed quite often.

In my perfect world, I would block off entire days (or even half days) to work on my creative projects. As a working mom, I have lowered my standards WAY below that.

At this stage of my life, I squeeze in creative things whenever I can. It’s half an hour here, an hour there and half an hour here. I try to maintain the attitude that anything creative is better than nothing.

The 30 minute mini sessions add up and keep me going right now. I know that one day I will have more free time and then I will do things I can’t do now.

If you are in a busy season of life, don’t push yourself to do more than you can handle. Just enjoy the little bits of hobby time you can! It is so much better to have small hobbies than to go years without hobbies.

2. Remove guilt from hobbies.

Maybe you start a new hobby and then don’t work on it for six months. Maybe you buy supplies and don’t use them all. There are so many reasons you can attach guilt to your hobbies, but I’ve found it so helpful to eliminate guilt all together.

The point of hobbies is usually not some kind of end goal, it’s usually a creative experience. It helped me think of my hobbies as an ongoing lifelong project.

If I don’t reach the goals I set, I make new ones and move on. My biggest goal is to live a creative life – not to bake cookies for every party, or to make a craft from scratch with my kids every day. It’s OK to be sporadic and imperfect with your hobbies.

3. Keep learning, keep making.

As we get older, we will likely have more time for hobbies and more time alone. In my current tired mom phase of life, it’s easy to feel like that time will never come (what is alone time?).

One of the reasons I keep my hobbies alive in these really overwhelming years is because I want them to still be there later in life.

We’ve all heard stories of people who retire and immediately have a diminished quality of life because they realize that having a job gave them a sense of purpose. As I get older, I hope to continue adding more hobbies and interests to my life.

I don’t want to get out of the habit of learning, making and trying new things. Keeping it a priority in my life now is an investment in that future.

If you feel like you can’t make time for something that’s right for you, I encourage you to take small steps. Get your supplies ready, create what space you can, and find those thirty minute breaks where you can sneak away.

You don’t have to finish anything big. Instead, just focus on giving yourself a little bit of creative time as it becomes a part of your life again.

If you have any tips for pursuing new hobbies as an adult, we’d love to hear them in the comments! xx- Elsie

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