When I was a little girl, my parents stressed the importance of having hobbies. I wasn’t quite sure why I needed to have hobbies. After all, I had my friends. Maybe they were my hobbies. In my little girl naiveté, I pictured a hobby as something boring that one did as they got older once they were confined to a rocking chair. For some reason, knitting always came to mind. And knitting didn’t rock my boat, so it seemed I was doomed to a life without hobbies.
Of course, as I approached adulthood, I began to understand that my whole life couldn’t be consumed by hanging out with my friends. Down time with hobbies was something to cherish. And so my journey into “hobbydom” began. Back in the day, my go-to hobbies were playing guitar (I fancied myself the next Joan Baez) and reading. Okay, okay, I know that reading is the default hobby for everyone but, I truly adored reading. I would sometimes read two or three books in a week! Once it became clear to me that I was not, in fact, going to be the opening act for Joan Baez and that I had better pursue a more traditional vocation, my hobbies took a back seat and I focused on career.
Now I finally truly understand the value of hobbies. I treasure the time away from my long and sometimes stressful work days when I can pursue one of my three favorite hobbies.
First and foremost for me, there is photography. I am willing to bet that among the readers here, there are a lot of you that love photography as much as I do. It seems that the artistic aspect of dentistry lends itself to artistic flair outside of the oral cavity! I have quite a few dentist friends that are amazing photographers. Photography brings me serenity and—pardon the pun—focus. In my everyday hustle-and-bustle world, I often miss what is going on around me. With my camera in hand, I stop to focus, literally and figuratively, on the beauty that surrounds me every day. This is a hobby that brings me great joy.
I also have rediscovered the healing effects of reading. I have also added audiobooks to my life to allow me to indulge in “reading” during my three hour daily commutes. Reading allows me to temporarily leave my world and see it through someone else’s eyes. New to me at this time in my life is that I am as apt to pick up and devour non-fiction book as I am fiction. After facing a day where things may have not gone as I had intended them to go, immersing myself in a great book is just what the doctor ordered.
And finally, although, to be clear, I am completely open to the addition of new hobbies, I love to hike. Sitting in a car for three hours a day gives a semi-permanent L-shape to my posture that definitely needs to be straightened out. Walking in the woods helps my physically and mentally. Problems don’t seem nearly so insurmountable when you are communing with nature.
Hobbies are not only fun. They are, as I have discovered with the wisdom of age, valuable. They allow us to regenerate and regroup. What are your hobbies? Do you take time in your day to indulge yourself in your hobby?
Here’s to finding the time to enjoy your hobbies!
Claudia Anderson, DDS