(all this delicious food is courtesy of revs de cuba in milton keynes. go now. i mean it.)
when i was 11, i had to fill in a form at school to display in our final year booklet. it asked me to list my hobbies down, and recently i found it. boy, did i go in with that list. singing, dancing, acting, helping at drama club, painting, art, running (not sure i did actually like running, but i was optimistic back then...) the list was miles longer than everyone else's, and i remember filling it in honestly.
so it got me thinking, if i had to fill in that list now, what would i put?
i am unsure that 'netflix and eating sultanas in bed' constitutes as a hobby. why is it that as we grow older we allow the things that make us happiest fall by the wayside, and focus on the boring things in life. once we graduate, we once again have free time after work. hours and hours of time that we can fill however we want to, but i for one am often guilty of planting myself in front of my laptop for hours on end, rewatching x factor auditions and then acting surprised when i see it's 10.30pm and definitely bed time.
we need to remember that 11 year old spirit inside us all. the one that made us excited to have some time to spare to do the things we love.
i'm not saying that wasting hours watching youtube isn't great sometimes, and i absolutely live for sunday afternoons where i watch copious amounts of tv. but it's time to reclaim our evenings, and remember our hobbies. because after all, learning doesn't have to stop the day you get that degree.
i recently bit the bullet and decided to learn a new skill. coding. it was nerve wracking the day i first stepped into class on a wednesday evening in central london, surrounded by people i didn't know, and part of me wanted to hide behind my laptop and click my fingers to be back in my little bedroom watching youtube. but i stuck it out, and now i absolutely live for my little coding classes, learning things i never knew and speaking to women from all walks of life.
i also recently re-discovered my love of reading (which had been slightly diluted by an english degree that forced me to read, realised in hindsight perhaps it wasn't the best route for me). a few friends and i have a little book club that consists of a book a month, then a huge chat about the ins and outs of the plot and themes (this month we hosted it at revs de cuba in milton keynes, and let me tell you - literature, tapas and cocktails are a match made in heaven), and it's usually followed by tequila and 3am finishes in mcdonalds. but all of these hobbies keep me entertained, inspired and happy that i have something else to fill those evenings with.
social media is a huge hindrance to maintaining a hobby or a skill you once loved. we are all victims to the smart phone handcuff, the one where you find yourself lost in a vortex of instrgam, whatsapp conversations, and 'can you believe she tweeted that', until our eyes are blurry and we can't be bothered with other activities. it also alerts us that there are always other things out there, and always people doing things we want to do. let's stop wishing, stop being envious of others, and start living for ourselves. and hey, just think of the sick instagram you could post later, heralding your own hobby...
time is tight, and it runs away with us so quickly. we can't wait around for things to fall into our laps, and it's a tragedy to forget the things you love the most. so let's make a pact - for a few hours this week, put away your phone, hide your laptop if you have to, and give your remote to your hosuemate. step outside, go for a run, join a local yoga class, pick up your favourite book, arrange a horse riding session, step into a new city, book a european adventure... whatever it takes to make you feel like you've done something for you. make the 11 year old inside of you smile, and feel proud of the person you've become.
because after all, what would your list say?
until next time xo