The dictionary defines hobby as “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.”
Ah yes, hobbies - I remember those, just about. I just about recall these concepts from days gone by, of something called ‘leisure time’ and something else called ‘pleasure’.
And then we had kids.
So, my fond memories of reading, photography, playing the drums, swimming, cycling, making jam and chutney, and going to Scrabble club are becoming more distant as I now replace them with washing, serving up endless snacks, picking up dirty socks, home-schooling, refereeing disputes and general crowd control. Not much leisure, not much pleasure, and certainly not much time!
So, hobbies seem to fill the gap left when you’ve done everything else you need to do, a gap which I don’t feel is very big right now. Maybe in a decade’s time I can pick up that book and swim a few lengths again. Until then, I’ll try to create the space for some other, smaller people to develop their own hobbies. Maybe I won’t tell them that they might only have a few years to enjoy them until it’s their turn to wash the socks.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just have to go and chop fruit into small pieces, wash up, stick some washing on and then get dinner going. Then wash up again, run the bath, police the twice-daily rigmarole of teeth brushing and stay in a dimly-lit room until a small person falls fast asleep. Then when I creep out of the room, I look at my watch and consider what hobbies I can squeeze into the short time before my own bedtime.
But then, doesn’t that beeping sound mean that the washing machine has finished?
I’ll just be a few minutes...