She Said: Health Axiom #10: Find Fulfillment in a Hobby

by leslie 29. June 2012 14:36
Dr. B stated that he prefers fulfillment to contentment.  I’ll buy that.  

So Leslie’s Health Axiom #10 is: Find Fulfillment in a Hobby.
Hobbies are just the best use of time ever. (And I’ll thank my British ancestors for taking hobbies to an all new level where the quirkier the hobby the more interesting the hobbyist. Flea collecting anyone?)
Why? Hobbies allow us to claim something just for ourselves. They serve as a way to identify ourselves apart from family and friends. They serve as ways to complete our self-image.

I’m a self admitted horse crazy little girl who never grew up. I see it as a sort of intellectual Peter Pan-ism.

I lose myself while working with my horse. My attention is consumed by the most mundane practices of brushing, petting, walking and soothing this enormous animal that the worrisome thoughts that consume me just melt away.  Every day I look forward to just standing next to him. My horse, Dane, and I are both better for it.

A beautifully crafted wooden band box sits on my office desk. It was a made as a gift by none other than Dr. B himself about 10 years ago.  A wonderful example of pursuing a hobby while adding a special something to a friend’s day.

But my favorite example of hobby-as-therapy came about last week. Just before yet another tiresome conference call one of my colleagues and I exchanged this short conversation with my colleague that rearranged my internal orbit:

Me: Hey, G, will you be free tonight to attend my webinar? (Please say yes. I need to make this project a success.)

G: Sorry, I’m on a plane to Philly for roller derby.

Me: Huh? Did you say roller derby? (Visions of big blond nasty chicks from ‘70’s late night roller derby TV pass through my mind. I didn’t know they were real.)

G: Yea. I skate on a competitive team and we travel around the east coast and mid-west.  

Me:  (Now I’m scared.) So you skate around and beat-up other women? Really? (Still scared, but at 5’ 2” and maybe 100 lbs, she doesn’t look like a WWF woman on wheels.)

G: Yea, but it’s not like it used to be. (So it must be safer!) It’s not choreographed. We really do body check our opponents and try to win each race. (Oh, so it’s not safer.)

Me: (I’m now slowly moving away from G after hearing her utter the term “body check.”) And why do you feel the need to participate in this mobile fight that could result in bodily harm? (Keep in mind I’ve been banged-up repeatedly after being dumped by my horse, so I’m in no position to judge.)  

G: I just love it. I love being a part of a team that’s focused on one goal.  And I like the chance to legally tackle another skater. (I’m now somewhat comforted by the fact that she admits her appetite for hand-to-hand combat is roller derby specific and not pursued at the office.  I should be safe right here on the other side of the large, solid conference room table.)  

I love having something to do that’s completely different from work.

So there you have it. Wish I’d said that.

So find a hobby, pastime, whatever you want to call it. Your blood pressure will decrease, you’ll have a mental hiding place for a while and you’ll have accomplished something that’s all yours.

And you’ll be the talk of the next cocktail party. As long as G’s isn’t there.


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