Get a (non-parenting) hobby already!

or The One with all the Jam

Get a Hobby!: 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any LifestyleFirst, some background:
I am a mom. My hobby is working on this site, reading mom-related stuff, and playing with my sons. In fact, right now, while I’m on “maternity leave,” mothering is also my full-time job. I am in dire need of a non-mom hobby! So, I jumped at the chance to review this book.

Now, the book review:
I have to assume that Get a Hobby! 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any Lifestyle is aimed squarely at people like me; people who have vague interests (and the desire to be interesting) without all the free time needed to really pursue them.

The book opens with a quiz that I took all too literally. This quiz is aimed to help me understand my hobby personality. I came out of it with two traits: adventurous and outdoorsy. Since I’m not all that into fly fishing and caving, I loosened my interpretation of the quiz and added a few more (crafty, epicurean, independent, social, and sporty).

Hmmm, how is it that nerdy-list-maker did not make their list?

Unfortunately, the book does not go the next step needed to spoon-feed me my dream hobby by cross-referencing my traits to the hobbies. Instead, I am left to leaf through the remainder of the book to see which of the 101 hobbies appeal to me. That minor complaint aside, I really enjoyed the format of the book and look forward to keeping it on my shelf for years to come.

I love the idea behind this book. Get a Hobby! is chock full of unique hobby ideas to get me off the couch and remembering myself, that self that I remember as so spontaneous pre-baby.


And as for my own hobby-experimentation:

I decided to pick two hobby-candidates and see if I could sink my teeth in over a two-week trial run. There were several that caught my eye (the list follows below in miniature for my own future reference). But I picked preserves-making and knitting because I thought they had low upfront costs and potential for long-term enjoyment and handmade gift-giving.

I figured that some of the rest on my list might be a good addition to my list of 101 things (to be published very soon!).

As far as all the jam-making goes, I bought some airtight jam jars and discovered that i have several friends who already know how to do it. Score! We’ll be making botulism-free strawberry jam before June is over. And if I never get around to it, it’s certainly not the book’s fault. The book provides gentle instructions, examples, inspiration, and websites for more information. Now, if I can just step away from this keyboard to find other utensils, organic strawberries, and seven cups of sugar, I’ll be halfway toward non-parenting fulfillment.

And the knitting, well, I gifted a trip to Article Pract to Whitney for her birthday in the hopes that we can get immersed in some adorable baby hat making merriment. And that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

Bottom Line: Buy or borrow Get a Hobby! And then, get a hobby already.

> Buy Get a Hobby! on Amazon
> Visit the Get a Hobby! website

The ones that caught my eye:
Bike customizing (42) — sounds fun but once I’m done with my own bike, this hobby is over.
Caving (58) — a good goal for the family (all boys plus me)
Coffee Roasting (60) — money saving and I can make chocolate covered ones too
Decoupage (70) — crafty little project
Dumpster Diving (88) — can I send Alec and still consider it my hobby?
Genealogy (108) — maybe, maybe not
Blogging (124) ;-)
Kite flying (126) — another one for the whole family
Knitting (128) — was already on my list, maybe this book will kick me forward
Making preserves (136) — money saving and potentially tasty hobby
Olive oil infusions (154) — see above
Origami (156) — I like this but I don’t think I actually have the patience
Photography (160) — something I already like to do that I want to improve
Polaroid transfer (162) — sounds cool, but my “traits” don’t line up
Pottery (164) — I’ve done this one before and it reminds me of my Dad
Scuba Diving (178) — I used to be certified way back when
Sewing (184) — I’ve lacked the patience to get into this one, but it seems useful and fun
Silk-screening (186) — am I artistic enough?
Soap making (190) — intriguing but reminds me of fight club
Vegetable gardening (212) — on my list already

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This review of Get a Hobby! 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any Lifestyle was brought to you by the gentle insistence of my husband that I get a life.

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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