Let me start by saying that I love hobbies and I have a lot of them. A lot.
Growing up, I spent countless hours switching between drawing, video games, baseball card collecting, fantasy sports, and playing sports during my free time.
Granted, I have less free time with a full-time job and my wife/kids at home but hobbies have continued to have a positive and profound impact on my life.
Why I Love Hobbies
- A creative outlet and sense of accomplishment – I consider myself a creative person. I’m happiest when I’m making things and that energy passes to everything else I’m doing in my life. There’s no feeling in the world like looking at something and saying “I made that.”
- An identity and purpose outside of work – It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in our jobs. I do enjoy what I do for a living but I’ve learned that jobs come and go. With today’s world, things happen that are out of our control. No matter what’s going on, no one can take my hobbies away from me.
- The opportunity to meet and connect with other people – With my scroll saw art hobby, I’ve met so many wonderful people. That includes other makers on social media and people that have purchased custom handcrafted wood art from me. This has been especially important over the past year as we’ve dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and have less in-person interactions than any other times in our lives. Plus, the past year has been a major bummer in a lot of ways so it’s amazing to have bright spots.
- Positive interactions – Building on #3 above, people have been so nice and positive. I love seeing people’s reactions when I make something for them. It’s my favorite part. Positive interactions are just related to my woodworking/scroll saw art hobbies. I have friends that also collect LEGO or play video games (Halo is still awesome) with. That’s a lot of fun too. I had a couple of really cool experiences last year because of hobbies. One was my related to my son turning 16. We had people from all over the world (including some Vikings players) wish him a happy birthday on Twitter and we were interviewed by a local news station. The other experience was getting to meet Coach Mike Zimmer, the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
- Personal & professional development – This has been a by-product of my hobbies. I’ve learned skills that I can apply to my professional life. For example, I’ve become a better writer and learned a ton about website/blog development. And as you’ll hear about in a bit, I’ve always wanted to host my own podcast. That ties into what I do as a professional digital marketer.
- The opportunity to disconnect and relax – Not everything I do has to have a tangible end-result. I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember. I love that I can sit down and play a game for an hour or so and forget about whatever stresses I’m dealing with at the time. The same thing goes with LEGO. I can build a new set while watching a movie and really enjoy myself.
- Side income – I will admit that making money wasn’t a goal when I started with woodworking or scroll saw art. I originally intended to make things for myself. I’m very fortunate that I have a part-time business, Made By Jay Lane, where I make things for people. It has been nice to be able to buy new tools or pay for a vacation here or there. It’s been amazing being able to make money doing something I would do for fun anyway and I don’t take that opportunity for granted.
- Hobbies are fun – This is probably the most important of all. We have hobbies because they are fun. If it gets to a point where it feels like work or a chore, it’s time to move on.
Introducing My Awesome Hobby
This all leads into my newest hobby adventure. I’m excited to announce that I’ve started a new podcast called My Awesome Hobby.
Each week, I’ll have a new guest come on and talk about his/her favorite hobby. I enjoy talking about my hobbies and I know that other people like talking about theirs as well.
People always tell me that they don’t know where to start so in addition to talking about the awesomeness of hobbies and their positive impacts, I’m hoping to connect people to new hobbies and help them get started.
I’m coming out of the gate with the three episodes highlighted below. Click on the links below to listen or subscribe with your favorite podcast player. My Awesome Hobby is basically everywhere but Pandora (they take forever to approve new podcasts apparently).
- Episode 0: Introducing My Awesome Hobby
- Episode 1: Building LEGO With Clay Greene
- Episode 2: Hunting With Sarah Honadel
The plan is to release a new episode each week. If you have a favorite hobby and love talking about it (or know someone else that does), please drop me a line.
I invite you to join me on this adventure. Hopefully, you’ll appreciate your current hobbies even more or maybe even find a new hobby.