Finding pleasure in leisure. By Maeve Galea
There’s a moment in the opening scene of Netflix’s Beckham that would send a shiver down the average woman’s spine. From behind the camera, director Fisher Stevens asks, “And do you have any … hobbies, David?”
It’s the dreaded question that many of us have had to face; sitting awkwardly next to a new colleague at the pub, getting our eyelashes tinted by a chatty beautician or – perhaps worst of all – on a first date. And we fear it precisely because we’ve all had that sinking feeling when we realise that, no, actually, we don’t.
Thankfully for Becks, the inquiry doesn’t faze him. The conversation is taking place in the fields of his Cotswolds estate, where he’s unrecognisable except for his hazel eyes glinting behind the thin mesh veil of a protective bee suit. As a retired 48-year-old multimillionaire, he has endless time and money to dedicate to his leisure pursuits and passions – namely harvesting homemade honey, Lego and Lionel Messi.
But for many of us – women especially – while childhoods and adolescence are spent zigzagging from soccer training to hip-hop class, by the time we reach adulthood we abandon these pursuits. Sure, we might be regulars at boxing or Pilates, but our reasons for attending are usually rolled up in maintaining our health and fitness. A hobby, by definition, is different – it’s a regular leisure activity or pastime that is engaged in for pure pleasure.
Unlike the men in our lives, women are unlikely to be in the habit of spending an entire Saturday on the golf course. Throw in hustle culture (and the lie that to continue a hobby into adulthood or pursue a new interest we should seek to monetise it), plus the ever-present imposter syndrome that stops us from trying new things, and it’s no wonder that women are severely underrepresented in the hobby domain.
But we’re missing out. Psychologists have been spruiking the positive effects of getting lost in an activity for years, with research showing that people with hobbies often have an enhanced sense of work-life balance. The best part? There are a whole host of hobbies to try, and being not-the-best at something is actually a blessing as you won’t be tempted to turn it into a side hustle. Instead, try dedicating yourself to something just for fun, and relishing in the joy of mediocrity.
After all, has anyone actually tried DBee’z Sticky Stuff?
I’ve been known to fall for the odd finance bro, so it wasn’t my first time on a green. But this was much more fun: there was a bar, less walking and an unbuttoned vibe (and ‘par 3’ means it’s golf for the athletically challenged: i.e. me).
When I was 12, my grandfather had me pegged as the next Lydia Ko, so unsurprisingly I was the only one able to get out of the bunker. I was also the only one wearing appropriate golfing attire. What was with the legwarmers, Io?
IO, TIKTOK EDITOR
What? My background is in dance, which is another way of saying that when it comes to hobbies, I’m in it for the costumes. Post-game, I realised I do love tees, clubs and chips, just not necessarily the golfing kind.
Golf is actually amazing for team bonding. We walked, we talked, we dodged errant balls. And, even as (mostly) beginners, we completed the whole course in 90 minutes. Plus, the bar was our 19th hole.
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