"Like so many of us - particularly those of us that are women - I’ve always been bothered by the idea that I don’t really have any pastimes you’d call a hobby."
Like so many of us - particularly those of us that are women - I’ve always been bothered by the idea that I don’t really have any pastimes you’d call a hobby. This is in stark contrast to most of the men I know who all seem to have big, expensive, all-consuming ones, like cycling or vinyl or golf. (Fact: the age that once-cool guys inevitably take up golf is surprisingly young. One minute he DJs underground clubs on the weekend, the next he’s all excited to get up at 6am on a Saturday to go on hot boy walks while chasing a tiny ball with a stick and wearing slacks.)
Wikipedia’s definition of what constitutes a hobby is “a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time”. Of course I have activities I do regularly for enjoyment during my leisure time, but they almost all involve wine, which feels like a grey area. And I refuse to include those activities that everyone does: hanging out with friends, reading, watching TV, socialising (lol), interior design?? As an employer, can I give you some unsolicited advice? Please don’t put these on your CV. We all know they’re a cop-out, and don’t think we can’t read between the lines. I know a girl who’s going to spend her WFH days binge watching Grand Designs UK when I see one, Ashley.
"Of course I have activities I do regularly for enjoyment during my leisure time, but they almost all involve wine, which feels like a grey area."
Wiki kindly goes on to list examples of hobbies for those who are struggling with the concept. It includes:
“Collecting themed items and objects”
Do shoes count? What about handbag snacks? Screenshots?
“Engaging in creative and artistic pursuits”
This is where I come undone. My home is a hobby graveyard. Its nooks and crannies are littered with the detriment of creative and artistic pursuits that I pursued with gusto for a period (usually just the period it took to accumulate the necessary beginner’s tools and often the unnecessary advanced ones too, because I am nothing if not an optimist) and then abandoned when I was shocked to discover that a) I did not have the required skills, even latently, or b) it’s hard to crochet anything when your hands are more inclined to want to play around on your phone for an hour before bed instead, or c) that committing to painting the sunset in watercolour every night (every night!) is actually just a very dumb, messy idea. I did it one time, almost, but the evidence of my folly —a collection of paints much too expensive to throw away because you’d be stunned to know just how many colours you need to correctly capture the nuances of the setting sun year round—taunt me from the bottom of my wardrobe every time I open it.
Exercise that’s done for fitness’ sake doesn’t count, because that has a purpose and a hobby needs to be aimless and purely for pleasure. So… nah.
“Pursuing other amusements”
This is annoyingly vague. Like what? Spending money I shouldn’t? Rewatching Saltburn? Perfecting my TikTok algorithm? Googling my minor ailments? Remaining steadfast at beginner level French for multiple decades? Lying awake in bed at night wondering what my hobbies are? All of the above! So I guess my hobby problems are solved, thanks Wiki.
Anyway, if you, too, are hobbyless, may I suggest you read our story on the subject in this month’s issue to find one. In the meantime, I’m off to spend $437 on a ceramics starter kit.
Enjoy the issue,
Miah Madden is a young actor who's looking at the big picture and, as Courtney Thompson learns, is already wise beyond her years
Vikings: Valhalla star Sam Corlett returns home to Australia and talks life, art and the weirdness of fame with Courtney Thompson
Want to reduce chronic pain, unblock emotions or reshape your body? The answers, writes Sherine Youssef, could lie in your fascia, a secret (and largely overlooked) sensory organ that remembers every human experience from the womb to the grave
Mel Jarnson has lived all over the world, but as Noni Reginato discovers, her latest role – face of the new Aje summer campaign – hits close to home