We all need to do something that isn’t work in order to stretch our brains and keep our sanity. If you are in the market for a new hobby, choose one that’s productive, where you are making something or learning a new skills.
I have a few that I am working on. The first is photography. I realized that if I could take good pictures, I might be able to sell them to go with some of my articles. And, I could use pictures on my blog posts instead of paying for stock photos. And so, I bought a second-hand camera (of course!) and started practicing. For Christmas, I had some coupon codes for Shutterfly, and I used them and some vacation photos to make fun presents for my family.
Photography isn’t the cheapest hobby; even second-hand cameras get pricey. However, it’s a hobby that I can use for work and for fun, so it has benefits beyond simple forcing me to think about images and not just words.
My other productive hobby is needlework. I knit, crochet, and sew. Again, these aren’t necessarily the cheapest hobbies in the world, but I enjoy using my hands to construct something – it is so different from writing! And, as my skills improve, I can make items to give as gifts and keep my family warm in the wintertime.
My husband gardens. Each year, we get some produce to eat, some flowers to decorate the house and give as hostess presents, and plenty of hops that we trade with homebrewers for their beer. He loves nothing more than spending an hour in the yard after a hard day of work; the fact that it generates something useful is secondary, but it is important.
Learning new skills gives you power, too. I know that I can learn new skills that are very different than what I do all day because I have actually done this! And I know that I have improved my marketability with photography and my ability to take care of the household with the needlework.
The more you know how to do, the more power you have. If you can crochet a scarf or take lovely pictures, then you can make a thoughtful present for someone even if you are short on cash.
March 8 – March 13 is Women’s Money Week 2013, and every day, a bunch of bloggers – including me – are writing about different issues affecting women and their money. I’m cross-posting this on my personal blog as well.