Being an adult person with a full time job who also spends a lot of time parenting small children, can make me feel like finding the time to learn a new skill, or get lost in a new interest, or do anything at all that isn’t optimized for maximum efficiency or earning isn’t time well spent. And yet, ironically, as a parent of young children, I’m also eager for my kids to embrace exactly the kinds of pleasure-filled, carefree, utterly inconsequential-but-still-satisfying hobbies that I too often deny myself.
In the gifts that we choose and the books that we read and the creative ways that we try to fill long winter afternoons, James and I both try to model a love of learning and curiosity and craft for our kids in ways that we’re less great about making happen for ourselves. For my part, as the writer of a blog like this one in particular, I find that it can become particularly easy to turn just about everything into work, timing projects for moments when there’s good light for picture-taking, or thinking of ways that I can share the process, or craft a story, or finding a good spot for fitting something or other into the editorial calendar. In part, no question, this is something that I deeply love about my work—the freedom, the creative control, the flexibility—but it also means that I rarely take the time to do something that’s truly just for me. And so this year, I’m trying my best to do more for myself alone.
Writing about taking up a new hobby while 33-weeks pregnant and perennially exhausted might sound like a fool’s errand, but hope springs eternal and I’m hoping I can make it happen. By way of encouragement and in celebration of learning something new, I’m hosting a giveaway with Rose Pearlman on my Instagram page this week. We’re giving away a copy of my book, Simple Matters, a copy of Rose’s new and masterful book Modern Rug Hooking, plus a beautiful rug hooking kit put together by Rose herself. The kit includes a 9-inch Reusable Rug Hooking Hoop with pre-stretched monks cloth, a #10 Regular Oxford Punch Needle with box, stitch guide and instructional booklet, 6 ounces of hand-dyed Seal Harbor Rug Co. yarn, and a cotton/ linen bag for storage. All of the details on how to enter can be found on Instagram.
And whether the hobby is rug hooking or fly fishing, I’m curious to know what some of you might be up to. Please feel free to share in the comments.