Positive Vibes — Let’s Have Fun!
John: If you make great decisions with your life, you will draft Ron Oester. Strange way to start, but let me back up a bit.
My time is important as is my leisure time. I want to do things that I enjoy, but that also make me think and challenge my creativity and data analytical pursuits. This is completed through my favorite – and only – hobby – Strat-O-Matic Baseball.
Strat, as it’s called, is a baseball simulation sim, which not only gives you the ability to manage real life major-league players from the dugout, but also allows you to play general manager and build the team of your dreams.
The game itself may not be important to you, and that’s okay, but I bet there is a part of you that feels stressed, or wished you had more time, and in that time, you want to do what you enjoy.
So many people I talk to about this, wist back to a time when they didn’t have a care, before life got in the way, so to speak. About a time that they didn’t have to act like a grown up.
Now, I am all for putting your big boy pants on and handling your business with honesty and integrity, but there comes a time when you want to go back to the magic of your youth, when you believed in Santa (still real), when pop was cold in a bottle and cost a quarter, when you drank from the hose, and popped wheelies with your big wheel. You are trying to recapture something that is still magical.
It is there, you just have to find it.
Also, my hobby helps me at work. All of my data is kept on spreadsheets and I analyze them constantly. Playing against better players helps my thinking skills and keeps my mind sharp; like playing chess or poker against really good players would. You learn match ups and that helps you play the long-game, like certain aspects of a business does over various years and seasons.
And my wife is totally supportive. Okay, so it’s dungeons and dragons with a baseball feel, but my wife knows that I have great friends, a great time and it is something that I enjoy. She has her own pursuits, I have mine, we have ours and it is all gravy. Don’t ever be ashamed of anything you love. Chances are, someone else out there loves it too.
Sandy, for you it may be writing, or dancing like you did when you are younger, or reading trashy romance novels – doubtful, I know, but do you still encourage people to dream, reconnect to a time when they were younger to help recharge their batteries and help their creativity? If you find something that helps you professionally, all the better, but not a requirement. And what do you tell someone who does want to do that but is worried about what someone thinks about it?
Sandy: Hey John, it sounds like you’re having great fun with your hobby. That’s terrific, because that’s what hobbies are all about. They are activities that get us out of our daily routines and give us something fun to focus on. As you said, it’s nice if your hobby helps sharpen your mind or creates new friendships or develops new skills, but it doesn’t have to do these things.
The purpose of a hobby is to do something fun, that makes you happy and helps relieve whatever stresses you might be dealing with every day.
With hobbies, as with everything else, balance is important. If a person spends all his/her time on a hobby and neglects other things because of it, that’s not good. Also, if the hobby is one that is destructive in some way (like obsessive gambling or drinking/partying too much), that isn’t good either.
It sounds like your hobby meets your needs. It relieves stress and keeps you engaged in something other than work. It connects you with people you might not have otherwise met, and they have become friends. And you have fun with it. It is just right for you.
I definitely encourage people to relax in whatever ways work for them. It may be doing something they did when they were young, or it might be a new thing they’ve never done before. Either way, it’s about relaxing and finding the fun.
You asked what I’d tell someone who wants to pursue a hobby but is worried about what others might say. Of course, you know I’d tell them that as long as their chosen hobby is legal and non-destructive to themselves or others, go for it. It’s nobody else’s business!
My hobbies are mostly solitary. I’m an introvert, so, as much as I enjoy spending time with people, it drains me. To relieve stress, I like to walk/hike, read (you’re right, NOT trashy novels.), work in the garden and spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the beauty of nature. I also find it relaxing and fun to spend time with the very special people in my life.
I think the bottom line is that having a hobby is a personal decision, and is valuable for many reasons, so go for it and have fun!
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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