Carolyn Hax: When finding a hobby feels like a chore

My partner works 70-hour weeks as an EMT and doesn’t seem to have the same problem; he comes home, hangs out with me, goes to sleep, get...



My partner works 70-hour weeks as an EMT and doesn’t seem to have the same problem; he comes home, hangs out with me, goes to sleep, gets up and goes back to work. How do I find the hobby that suits my personality and gives me joy — and with it, the tribe of new friends I have been hoping for?

Hobby Envy: I’m so sorry your family-building plans didn’t work out for you.

Maybe a hobby isn’t the right direction for you now, though; maybe you’re better suited for a cause?

Just before reading your question, I listened to an interview with the superintendent of a large urban school system, and I was reminded — again, it seems constant these days — of the staggering amount of need among U.S. children. Need for food assistance, need for reading buddies or (when it’s safe again) one-on-one tutoring, need for counseling, need for health care, need for clothing and basic hygiene supplies, need for school materials, need for repairs to crumbling infrastructure.

Your efforts to build a family say you care deeply about children — and that’s something you can keep doing even if the children aren’t your own. Maybe now you can have even more, or just broader, impact.

You can start small by checking with your local school to see what their volunteer needs and protocols are. If that’s too painful right now, too soon, then consider something more arm’s length, like collecting coats or books or other supplies for needy kids. You have time, energy and a craving for meaning, which says you have so much to give.

This doesn’t mean, by the way, that hobbies are out. Keep dabbling, keep trying. And TV itself has communities, if you pick up a show with a following.

Re: Hobby: Are you a boring person or a contented person?

My feeling as a longtime reader is that you get a lot of questions from people who ask you how to get to Point B only because the societal expectation is Point B, when they are actually content being at Point A. It’s okay not to have hobbies and to spend your time watching your TV show du jour, if that’s what you want to do.

I hope you don’t mean to suggest it’s wrong to be boring, though.

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Newsrust: Carolyn Hax: When finding a hobby feels like a chore
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