Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hobby Lobbing

When I found out in early Feb of 2005 that I was pregnant with my son, I knew that some of my hobbies would probably have to bite the dust (at least for a few years). To be equitable, I laid off all of them and made them reapply for their old positions, with decreased benefits and lowered pay scales, of course.

Hobbies That Made the Cut
Reading - This was the first hobby to get re-hired. While I knew that I wouldn't be able to read as much as before, I knew that I could never completely give up reading. One of the great perks of co-sleeping in the early months, is that I would go to bed with my son around 8:30pm, then read for a few hours while he slept. I was probably one of the best read new mothers around because I was kicking back at least a book per week in those days.

Knitting - This was another hobby that I knew I couldn't give up entirely. Again, my knitting has waned quite a bit and I have to keep myself to simple projects that can be picked up/put down quite easily. What I miss most is taking knitting classes - I loved learning new techniques and meeting new people in classes. I also miss doing complicated projects, but it is too hard to knit with a toddler AND keep careful count of rows and stitches. So, hats, blankets and scarves it is, then.

Blogging - Oddly enough, I actually blog more now that I am a mother than before. Blogging is a very easy hobby for me because of the fact that it can easily be picked up/put down (are you detecting a theme here?). Also, the community aspect has been heightened for me as I have met more and more Blog Friends - some of which have become Real Life friends. I've always compared blogging to pen pals, with more instantaneous results - no buying stamps and no waiting for a response, eh?

Traveling - I love, love traveling. My favorite trips are the long weekends, with a focus on a particular city. I usually don't have extensive agendas, just a short list of "must-sees", then everything else is spontaneous. I traveled throughout my pregnancy with my son and I knew that I wouldn't want to stop traveling just because I had a kid, so I was very careful in my selections of stroller (A Combi City Savvy worked well for us) and baby carrier (our Baby Bjorn Active Carrier has seen many miles through airports). My #1 piece of travel advice with a kid is "less is actually more". I limit myself to one carry-on, for example. Not trudging loads of stuff around leaves me less stressed and I can focus on paying attention to my son. And for sure, breastfeeding is an advantage while traveling because you don't have to tote bottles, formula, etc. I've really enjoyed traveling with my son - we went on about 9-10 trips before I was grounded from traveling due to illness in my 2nd trimester. I am hoping to get back in the game this fall and have purchased the double version of the Combi City Savvy towards that end.

Hobbies That Were "Reassigned"
Raku - Raku is an ancient form of Japanese pottery. I can't say that I was particularly talented at it, but I did enjoy digging down in the clay and getting dirty. And I decorated a bit of my house for minimal cost. I still miss opening a brand new hunk of clay, cutting a thick wedge of it and rolling it - all while I try to imagine what it is I want to make. I wrote about how raku came to an end for me here on my personal site, Rancid Raves.

Communiversity Classes - In Kansas City, we have a community college thingie called Communiversity. I was pretty into it for awhile and took a wide variety of classes for total kicks - wreath making, water colors, basket weaving, baking, cooking, etc. I had so much fun taking classes and even discovered some great new hobbies - such as raku. I miss taking random classes for fun. It was a period of my life that I will always remember with fondness - learning new things and meeting new folks.

Television - Oh sure, I still watch TV, but I am watching FAR less of it and am now very picky about what I do watch. New shows get a 3 episode minimum and my standards are pretty high for keeping a show on the DVR's recording list.

Movies - This one? I do miss. I think I have seen ONE movie in the theatre since my son was born. ONE. The problem is not a matter of time, but rather that of priority. I have ample babysitting time - that's not an issue. The issue is that we have an awesome TV with surround sound - it's hard to justify burning precious, precious babysitting time sitting in a theatre for 2 hours, when I could be doing other things. Ironically, I think the last movie I saw in the theatre was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Of course, I will be using precious, precious babysitting time for new movie coming out, because Hello! Harry!Potter! But, um, yeah.....yeah - my movie theatre habits are pretty pathetic since I've had a kid.

I know that someday, I will be able to pick back up some of these hobbies and there are even more hobbies for me waiting to be discovered. So, in the meantime, I will just hang out and wait for my old pal Free Time to come around again.

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