I have mentioned before that I felt like I was missing hobbies. I am a young working professional, I can happy hour with the best of them, but really, is being able to drink a delicious Bud Light considered a hobby? In a perfect world, sure, but in my reality, probably not. And I could say that my "exercising" is a hobby, but it's really just a reactionary measure to the previously mentioned happy hours. I still dread it. I still make up excuses to not do it. So nope, that's not a hobby either. And those are about the only 2 things I really want to do when I get off work daily.
In an effort to complete my 101 in 1001, I have decided to add a few more hobbies to my repertoire. Plus I need something to do that doesn't involve taking a taxi home. On a Wednesday. At 9pm. Anyway. I'm also on a very strict budget, so I thought I would share with all of you some of the hobbies I have picked up that are time-friendly, don't require a ton of brainspace, and can be done on a budget!
1. Sewing. Although this requires a bit of an up-front expense, I got my sewing machine for under $100 at Wal-Mart and have been very satisfied! You can get fabric for incredibly cheap if you are patient and a good bargain searcher, and you can spend HOURS trying to figure out how the hell to thread your bobbin.
2. Crafting. I've picked up some crafting abilities between my mom and the blogs I read obsessively for DIY projects I can tackle. I've started hunting through garage sales, estate sales, and the junk I have in my house to find things I can spruce up. A couple cans of spraypaint and some scrapbook paper and you're in business! Sewing machines can also come in useful in the crafting department. Look at that - one machine, 2 hobbies!
3. Exercising. I know, I know, I just went on and on about how exercising isn't a hobby for me, but that isn't entirely true. Running 2 miles to work off the 2 glasses of wine I had at happy hour isn't a hobby. Going to a Step Class, or swimming laps, or playing a game of pick-up volleyball are absolutely hobbies, and they are pretty dang cheap. It's still warm enough around here that if you have a swimming pool, you could grab some hand weights and do your own workouts, it's a great time of year to join a gym (and you can join for about $30/month), or just grab a few friends and ball. Easy!
4. Cooking. You already buy food, right? Why not turn it into a challenge? One of the bloggers I follow has recently started a cooking challenge for herself that has forced her to step out of her comfort zone - what a great idea to motivate yourself! Bring in some snacks for the office, suggest a bake-off... whatever you feel like! I'm sure someone will appreciate your efforts! And don't forget - for every cooking victory there will be quite a few failures.
5. Volunteer! This doesn't have to be for a specific organization, or for a "good cause." Every cause is a good cause! Get involved with your university's alumni association. Join your sorority or fraternity's alumni chapter. Donate blood when the Red Cross is in your office building. I jumped into a role in my sorority's alumni chapter, I volunteer with LifeTeen, and I've recently begun working with a GT alumni chapter. All of these things have been incredibly rewarding, and offered me many opportunities to meet new people and expand my network. Plus it's been a ton of fun, and I don't sit at home wondering why I don't have any new friends or hobbies.
6. Read. One of the things on my 101 in 1001 list is to read books outside of my normal reading. That means non-chick lit. Real books. I've done an okay job so far, but this is the cheapest one so far - read some reviews on a topic you're interested in, reserve a few books online at the library, and wait for them to come in. Then all you have to do is read. You may love the book, you may hate it...it doesn't matter, it's all about the experience!
7. Photography. I admittedly know nothing about this, but I do know that regardless of your camera, you can take some pretty dang good pictures. Plus, there are a few free editing programs out there that can help jazz up any pictures!
8. Wine/Beer. I absolutely think this can be a hobby. My favorite beer & wine store offers tastings throughout the week with education that goes along with them, and to me, this is a great way to enjoy a beverage after work. Many times food is involved, so for $20 you get dinner and a few drinks. And again, you can take what you learned and pass it along, or use it in the future!
9. Sports. Watching, participating...join a flag football team, or a kickball team, or a bowling league. Plenty of options, and for $50-$75 for the season, this is a pretty affordable option. Another 2 birds 1 stone, because what a great way to also meet new people!
10. What do you do?! What are your hobbies? I'm interested to hear, and always wanting to add more to my list!
When I really sat down and thought about what I was doing with my free time, I knew I needed to do something besides go home and sit on my rear. For my own sanity! So my advice to you, my little friends, is to be conscious of how you are spending your free time. It doesn't mean you're spending it wrong, just be aware! Nothing wrong with a little rear-sitting, but try to balance it out, too! You'll be better for it :)