Is It Really Just a Hobby?

By Andy Conrad

The word hobby is such an interesting word. It sounds like a casual afterthought, a nickname, or an abbreviated word that did not get a proper send-off. It makes me think it could be an inferior mode of transportation in Britain. Whatever you may think of its construction as a word, and in the context of our society, a hobby is often defined as something you do to bide your time before you go do more important things– like work.

man playing guitar
Hobbies bolster our existence and pursuit of greater meaning.

Hobbies are incurably deemed a waste of time. Have you ever encountered the sentiment that a hobby will likely get you nowhere? I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “It’s just a hobby.” The word hobby is tossed around to either minimize, compartmentalize, or rationalize an activity that rarely has a dollar sign attached to the front.

In a clinical setting and in everyday life, I caution those who throw that term around because our society tends to turn passions, purpose, and inspiration into elements which are inferior. In fact, hobbies bolster our existence and pursuit of greater meaning. This does not mean that passions are not work or cannot be work, but when one uses the word hobby, it is automatically relegated to a realm of dispensability.

When you hear the word hobby, simply consider what is behind that word and what a hobby might mean to someone, or yourself. It might be the one thing that gives that person’s life purpose or tethers him or her the world at large. Hobbies are not throwaway items, they speak to a person’s soul and speak from a person’s soul. A hobby can be a spiritual experience, mindfulness in the informal sense, one’s identity, an escape, a coping skill, or place of peace. Hobbies are the things that often bring not a single cent or accolades or even a pat on the back, but they make up a considerable part of what is amazing about people– their will to explore. Fear the hobby!

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