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Get a Hobby!

January 12, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are many situations that you may find starting a new hobby is called for. Perhaps it’s a change in lifestyle, retirement or even doctor’s orders to find a relaxing hobby. Often hobbies are an afterthought – after work and family and all the obligations of life. January is national hobby month and, combined with New Year’s resolutions, is a good time to begin or expand a new hobby – here are 10 to consider.

1.Woodworking – this can be a creative and functional hobby that can also generate a side income. Making small items such as bat houses or bird houses, shelves or other even one-of-a-kind tables. Hand tools and power tools are needed as well as wood – some take pride in reusing pallets that would otherwise be thrown away to make beautiful and useful items.

2.Gardening is another hobby, and one that can take many forms. From vegetable gardens to herb gardens to tea gardens or even water gardens the costs and effort can vary. Many of these can grow food to supply a household, cutting costs as well as supplying a hobby that requires light exercise. Some claim the health benefits go even further, with mental health improving as it is relaxing for many to be in the garden.

3.Reading can also be a hobby with many having a preference for fiction while others prefer to learn something useful or read real life stories. (January is also national book month!) Many people learned in childhood books could ‘take’ us to places far away, whether it’s a foreign country or another universe. Reading for an hour or two per day is also something that can be done in a park, or outside on the porch on a nice day or near the heater on a cold winter day.

4.Scrapbooking is a hobby many have undertaken as a means to (finally!) get all of those family photos put up and recorded. Photos are precious records of families, pets, people and places and this is a big point towards preserving them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA5.Photography is another popular hobby. You need not have an expensive camera – many smaller cameras such as the Olympus D535 can do a great job of taking wonderful photos and can be found used for under $50 online. A disk to let you take more photos is under $20 online, some slightly more. You can also look at computer software to edit and ‘tinker with’ your photos.

6.Genealogy is an interest for many people who seek their family history not only from the standpoint of names but who they were. Family genealogy reveled among our background in the Hoadley family was the inventor of the Hoadley steam engine as well as a governor! Software and online programs as well as a host of free information can be found online.

7.Raising and showing rabbits or birds is a hobby for many. Rabbits, like gardens, can also provide for the food supply as well as poultry. This typically is not on a large scale, with under 100 animals common for a hobby situation. This includes breeding stock, growing animals, show animals and babies. Don’t misunderstand and think ‘hobby’ means ‘substandard’ – good care, feed and housing is needed! Hobby in this case means not for profit. Expect to go through 2-3 bags of feed ($10-15 each) per week at about 100 head and don’t discount the cost of cages or hutches, which adds up as does the feeders and water system. Expect to spend at least an 2 hours per day average – feeding, watering, grooming, cleaning and just watching the bunnies!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA8.Toys. Yes! Many can take their professional life to a smaller level. Specializing in farm, police or fire toys for example or with Chevy cars, cars in general, tractors, horses or any number of other toys can be a hobby to build on. These can also include building barns, display cases, miniature items and a host of other things!

9.Learning to train dogs can be a hobby that keeps on giving. If you have the willingness to learn, the demand for trained service dogs has never been higher. These can include dogs for the blind but can also include small hearing dogs as well as dogs for those with PTSD – and all of the dogs need trained.

10.Bird watching is a hobby that can be combined with others or enjoyed separately. Often bird feeding and watching leads to a garden to attract them, then photographing them when they come! From cardinals to gold finches birds today have adapted to feeders. Those living in more rural areas may enjoy larger birds such as pheasant, hawks and owls. Other wildlife can also be a part of rural areas.

Whatever your hobby, find something that you enjoy and can take part in regularly. From restoring classic cars to hunting or fishing to camping to travel (even within the state) there is a hobby waiting for you.

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