Passions, Hobbies, and the things we do

Posted on December 13, 2011 by

There is only so much time in life…

There was a year that I baked 90% of my family’s daily bread (the sandwich bread).  There were the years with gardens (which I rock at putting in and am not so great at maintaining).   There was the year I spent three days a week at the gym (and the year I spent two days a week doing physical therapy, which is the same thing but much less fun).   I learned to make my own soup stock… still do that… doing that today in fact.  I *like* doing things, creating things.  I don’t care much about cleaning – I keep things clean enough to make a beautiful background for my creativity.

Do you have a hobby?  How passionate are you about that hobby?  How much of your energy does it take, how much of your time, how much of your space?  What does it produce in return?

Right now, and for the forseeable future, I sew.  Perhaps, if you were my family, you might call it a passion.  I’m just learning – I’d call myself a beginning intermediate seamstress, if I had to guess at my level of skill.   My family – and my husband – are incredibly supportive of my passion/hobby/learning process.  I don’t know why … it seems like it takes up so much time and energy and certainly it takes up the dining room table for days on end!  (I don’t have a sewing room, so it’s all neatly put away in various closets and cabinets – or it’s being worked with).

I get impatient with myself.  Eventually I’ll (Lord willing) produce impeccable garments – but I’m not there yet.   Some garments, like my simple everyday skirts, I can whip out in not a lot of time – but others, and usually the silliest things – take *forever*.  In other words, I’m not going to be adding to the family economy by whipping out endless whatsits any time soon – if ever.   The learning curve on sewing is a lot flatter than the one for baking decent bread or making a good pie crust!

And that’s the question, for this blog… what’s the line, where is the line, *is* there a line between passion and hobby and obsession, and what is the appropriate amount of energy for a woman – a full time wife and mother and manager of her household – to spend on that hobby?

I read a lot in the tradosphere that the perfect woman is perfectly balanced, a perfect homemaker with endless small hobbies that never cross the line into passion, never inconvenience anyone, and after a few small fits and starts, substantially contribute to her home.  But what if the hobby turns into a passion, and the passion takes away from that perfect balance?

I know that my particular husband is *very* supportive of my crazy – so I don’t worry too much about this (“too much” being the operative words, I worry about being a better wife all the time and self-flagellate/analyze at the drop of a pin), but I thought it would make a good conversational topic.  Wordsmithing (Elspeth), economics (Alte) and ??? , every woman who posts here has something “else” that she does, in addition to her duties.

What’s your thing, and how do you tell when it’s too much – and how do you not feel guilty about it when all you want to do is dive into a big pile of textile and come up sometime next summer?

Posted in: Homemaking