There was a time when downtime wasn’t spent, well … down. Instead, your focus would be on pursuing some rewarding pastime. What stimulation you lacked from work or family could be gotten from fun, leisurely hobbies that yielded real satisfaction, the kind you can’t get from World of Warcraft or True Blood.
When you find yourself leading a sedentary lifestyle, spending most or all of your free time on your couch, watching TV or napping, it’s definitely time to pursue a hobby, after all, staying active keeps you young. Here are five hobbies or pastimes – from slot car tracks to cooking – with a long tradition, a well-established history, and best of all, some reasonable expectation of usefulness and fun.
- Foreign Language: Now, of course, when you’re in school, foreign languages are a huge pain. But how many of us, after graduation, wish we’d spent a great deal more time paying attention. After all, today’s world is conducive to those who love traveling, and being able to converse with the locals in their tongue brings a whole new level of perfection to a trip. Taking it up as a hobby can lead to a lifelong passion for other languages – and as soon as you’ve learned one, you get to start another. There are lots of software programs to help, or you could visit your local college and take courses there.
- Gardening: Gardening is a favorite pastime for many and no wonder. There is a kind of magic in placing something small and seemingly ordinary into the ground and then watching it blossom into a beautiful flower or a vegetable. Not only that, the obvious monetary reward of gardening is that, if you choose to grow spices, vegetables or fruits, that’s less to buy at the grocery store. Of course, gardening requires patience, and that’s something that you can cultivate right alongside your plants.
- Cooking: Following right along from gardening, cooking is a lovely hobby. If you’ve got a friend with a gardening hobby, you could develop a cooking hobby to help reap the fruits of the garden. Cooking is also a great way to make friends – and keep them, if you’re any good.
- Slot Cars or Toy Trains: There is a long history of fun and camaraderie in little things with wheels. Toy trains or slot cars have brought delight to generations, and they are infinitely more rewarding than simply playing a racing video game. Train sets or slot car tracks aren’t hard to come by, and for many families, they become an heirloom, something to share with the next generation.
- Pottery or Sculpting: If you’re patient and artistic (or would like to be those things), pottery and sculpting can be rewarding. Best of all, it isn’t too expensive. Small home kilns can be had for reasonable prices, and without too much work, you could be turning out bowls, vases, and pieces of art. The better you get, the more fun you’ll have – and your holiday gifts to friends will get more and more creative.
My name is Richard and I’ve been retired for ten years. I’ve had my fair share of free time and hobbies.