19 in 19: Birdwatching and Other Hobbies

Life isn’t meant to be tedious and boring, so whether you’re seven years old or seventy, we’re all encouraged to find something to occupy the empty spaces in our days (as if we all had the luxury of that..)

With an overwhelming to-do list, you might question my logic, but I can assure you firsthand that adding a hobby to your inventory will relieve stress- it’s not like you have to finish a fifty-problem math assignment or mop the bathroom! Finding a hobby means rewarding yourself, so choose something that you like doing.

Growing up, I played sports because that’s what everyone else did. Softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, swimming, you name it, and my friends were the stars of the team, but I was perfectly happy just being a part of the group.

Until I realized they expected me to go to every practice and every game, which was just way too much of a commitment for me. I had other things to do with my time, like draw pictures and ride my bike… besides, I didn’t need to go to practices because I didn’t enjoy playing! I loved watching, and that’s how I will enjoy team sports for the rest of my (almost) adult life.

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My swimming phase.

But sports are just one option on the long list of hobbies to consider. Exercise and competition are part of the benefits of athletics, but anyone can be athletic with the right pair of shoes and a gym membership!

Throughout the course of 18 years, I’ve realized that the best hobby is whichever doesn’t feel like one.

When it comes to doing something you love, it will come as natural as breathing. Before you know it, you’ve covered the whole canvas, finished an entire book, rode 15 miles on your bike, and knit every dog in the neighborhood a sweater.

Finding a hobby is about taking your mind out of the humdrum, half-baked chores of daily life. My list is building everyday, and has included (but not limited to) the amusement of: birdwatching, cardio, meditation, stamp collecting, list-making, baking, gardening, yoga, and reading. Now that I think about it, my favorite hobbies of nineteen years might match up to those of a ninety-year old, and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Strike up a hobby, and see what comes from it. You may discover that birdwatching is more fun than you think.

Wholeheartedly,

Madeleine

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