Note: Over the next week, I’m going to take you with me on a meander through my day. No two days look alike around here, but this will give you a glimpse on my daily rituals of cherishing life. I do this very imperfectly. I would love to hear about your own rituals in the comments. And don’t forget to check out my favorite resources on the bottom of these posts.
It’s afternoon. We have just finished school work and cleaning chores. Lunch is cleaned up and put away. I have a student coming for piano lessons in about an hour. But right now I have an hour before me to fill. Of course, there are plenty of projects and jobs I could be doing. The potential for work around my house never stops. 🙂 However, of late, I have decided to carve out this hour for hobbies.
Before I go on, let me explain a few things. I know it seems indulgent and selfish to set aside an hour a day (give or take) just for fun. I believe, though, that our emotional health depends on doing some things just to relax, just for fun or just because we enjoy them with no other agenda in mind.
If you work outside the home, you might not have an early afternoon hour to enjoy hobbies. Yours might have to be at a different hour and may last only 15 minutes, but I would encourage you to try to fit it in!
As far as selfish, my children have the same luxury to enjoy hobbies. They call it “free time”. They may play computer or video games, build with Legos, read a book, write or do a craft project. Sometimes our “free time” merges and I’ll play a game of Chess with one of the boys, have a cup of tea and a chat with my daughter or bake with a child or two. The only “rule” is it has to be a quiet activity that doesn’t disturb others. It started out as “nap time” years ago, then merged to “quiet time” for the older ones when a baby or two was still napping. Now it’s just “free time”. Truthfully, their free time extends beyond an hour because it continues while I teach piano lessons in the afternoon. But my hour….
You have to understand that quiet activities for me do not involve any type of crafting. I sometimes say that walking into a craft store makes me itch. The exception is Hobby Lobby, but while my kids look at craft kits, I look at the 80% off home decor aisle or peruse the journal selection. 🙂 That may be an excellent thing for you to do during your personal hour, however.
Here are a few things I love to do during my hour, and always with a cup of coffee nearby:
I make a book list every year and add to it the books I want to read. There are so many to choose from! I regularly reserve them ahead of time at the library, then read during my personal hours. I love non-fiction books I can learn from the best, but I have some fiction titles in my pile and on my list as well. My rule for a good book is that it has to teach me something applicable for my life, challenge my brain, make me laugh or make me cry. I try to keep my current list updated here.
Play the Piano
You may not think this is a quiet activity. In our house, I have four kids practicing piano daily in the morning and 15 other students playing in the afternoons. We’re used to doing things with piano music in the background around here.
Interestingly, I just began this hobby recently although I have been playing the piano for close to 30 years. As a child, I had to practice. As an adult, I have to practice occasionally for church or to play for an event. In my early teen years, I would sit down and play for fun, then life got busy and I only sat down to practice. This year, I decided that playing the piano for me is no longer about skill and performance and making my abilities acceptable to anyone else but a hobby to enjoy. I purchased some books of music that only I love, and this is usually what I do during my hour.
My writing these days is mostly just here on the blog. If I have something to say, I tell you lovely readers. So, you can see I don’t write often during my personal hour. Writing will always be a hobby for me, though, so it finds its way in from time to time. I do journal quite a bit, but that is usually during my morning personal hour and Bible time.
Sometimes I just want to get something done. If I have a lot of emails in my inbox or need to write a letter to a friend or prepare a class for our co-op, I will sometimes work on it during my afternoon personal hour. I just don’t do anything emotionally draining during this hour. Since I’m an introvert and I spend all morning with my kids and all afternoon with my students, I’ve learned I need to be alone during this hour or at least part of it.
I would love to hear about your hobbies and how you creatively make time for them. Let me know in the comments or in an email.
Resources for Your Personal Hour:
The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner
Phillip Keveren Piano Solo Books
Gadanke Storytelling Journals