Fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, knitting, welding, auto body, tying flies, painting lures, building stuff, gardening.
There’s more. But that’s a pretty solid list of my husband’s hobbies. And he’s actually quite good at these. They’re not just activities he has tried on a whim. They are hobbies. And he is dedicated and enjoys them. Some he engages in more often than others. But the man exceeds at the art of having and maintaining hobbies!
I admire my husband… really.
I admire his ability to invest his time and hard-earned money doing things that bring him joy and that allow him to stay in touch with his true self outside of his role as husband, father, and employee. He goes after his interests and does something with them. He doesn’t waste time wondering, “What if?” And he doesn’t neglect his responsibilities to our household when he spends time with his hobbies. He always consults with me and makes sure his plans work with our needs and schedules. Some of these he only does when we’re all asleep! And whenever possible, he tries to get us involved in something we might also enjoy. It’s inspiring.
But I also resent him.
The truth of the matter is, finding and pursuing hobbies does not come naturally to me. I could blame motherhood and the responsibilities that come with, but that would be the easy way out. Yes, it can be much harder sometimes for the parent who takes on the primary nurturing role to be able to detach enough from the mental and emotional load of parenting to seek out hobbies. But it is not impossible.
My problem, I think, is that I simply do not know what I would do for a hobby! Plain and simple.
Now, I do enjoy certain activities that some might consider hobbies. I love going for walks with my dog at sunrise. I enjoy reading a good book under a soft, cozy blanket on my couch with my dog at my feet. I sometimes get into a really fun groove with my movement/workout routines and might consider it a hobby of sorts. And I think that might be it! Unless you count streaming shows with my husband after the kids go to bed or taking naps whenever possible. No? Oh well, I tried.
When I most notice my resentment building, it’s around the fact that my husband seems to be in touch with a sense of curiosity and adventure that I can’t manage to access in myself. I wish I had a few more “real” hobbies. And since he loves his hobbies so much and focuses on a few at a time, he talks about his experiences a lot, which tends to bring up feelings of inadequacy for me.
I’m working on pushing myself to try a few things I’ve been interested in. But what if I try pottery and then have to find a place to display (or store) my projects? What if I finish the “learn to draw in 30 days” book I’ve been working through for the past six months and realize I haven’t learned to draw?
I think the biggest mistake would be to not try at all. And I’m done selling myself short.
First of all, reading is a hobby. So that one stays. Drawing is going OK, and it doesn’t matter if the 30 days turn into a year. I will keep going and enjoy the process. Pottery could be tons of fun — or not. I won’t know until I try it. In the near future, I will try pottery! I will continue to read, and draw.
And I will work on the husband resentment, because honestly, he has inspired me and continues to inspire me every day. I don’t need 10+ hobbies, but I can definitely take his example and try a few of my own.