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Dear Parents, You Need a Hobby!

If you ask most parents they’ll tell you fun is usually reserved for the children. We go out of our way to ensure that our children have the best and most memorable experiences. At some point in the parenthood journey, we lose our childlike sense of wonderment and wind up looking forward to escapism. I think about the times in my life where I felt completely free and did things that nurtured my soul. I had a WTF moment where I had to sit back and ask myself, what was I doing for fun? This realization led me to write down all of my hobbies on a piece of paper. I found myself staring at a blank piece of paper. How in the hell did I become this boring? Am I getting old? Did I lose my fun? I can’t blame my children or anyone else. I realized I didn’t have any hobbies anymore. I needed something else besides going out to lounges and bars. My friends are all getting older and have families so I can’t always rely on them to be available.

I went from staring pathetically at a blank piece of paper to writing down 5 things I want to try before my next birthday. I’ve always loved music so the first thing I did was order some DJ equipment, so I can start creating my own mixes. I began watching YouTube videos and learning how to play. A 20-minute YouTube video gave me a new talent and hobby. Who would have thunk it? I created 3 mixes and I’m having a good damn time learning something new. It’s something that I do when the kids go to sleep and helps me not have to focus on life's responsibilities.

How to choose a hobby?

  • Focus on something that challenges you creatively.

  • Don't be scared to invest in yourself and spend some money.

  • You are not required to turn a hobby into a money-making thing. We don’t need to monetize everything.

  • Go at your own pace and don’t worry about perfection. I’m still actively learning how to DJ and I’ve made so many errors even on the mixes I’ve posted.

  • Don't be afraid to look silly.

Did I mention how therapeutic hobbies are?

  • Lower stress levels

  • Mental acuity

  • Physical benefits

It’s the best way to grab some “Me Time” and allow your mind to unravel. We know adulting isn’t easy and the grind is demanding. We’re challenging our readers to take up one hobby a month.

Our suggestions.

  • Write down as many hobbies as possible.

  • Look at your calendar and find a time that works for you. We want you to choose a time that is non-negotiable. This is the only way you’re going to get real “ME TIME”. My DJ hours are between 9 pm and 1 am when my children are sound asleep.

  • If you have children in childcare then try to find something that you can do together. We’re realistic and know everyone doesn’t have support with babysitting. A friend of mine started nature walks with her 1-year-old while pushing a stroller. The nature walks turned into photography and she eventually was moved to take it on as a passionate hobby.

  • If you don’t like it then try something new. This is why the list is important because you want to give yourself options.

The point is that we’re not chained to our responsibilities. We must tap back into the emotions and feelings that helped us stay vibrant. We challenge you to get out there and have some fun.

Check out my mixes below!

Michael McConnell is Community Manager for CrashBell, father, and wellness advocate.


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