Coping With Loss – Chapter 7 : Hobbies

Regardless of if you are someone who works eighty hours a week or live as a stay at home mom, everyone needs a hobby. Having one, gives you the chance to wind down from stress or find brief stints of happiness when you’re feeling down. They are passions you don’t do for a living, but spend enough time with, you might almost consider it.

I have a handful of hobbies, almost borderline problematic. While hobbies are known for being somewhat expensive, I have managed to find resourceful ways to keep them budgeted. My two main hobbies are video games and drawing. You can probably argue that gaming is less a hobby and more of a form of entertainment, but I pride myself on being rather good at it. I spend roughly twenty-five or more hours per week playing games and roughly five to ten drawing.

I have been playing games since I was a child, roughly around four or five. My first console was a Sega GameGear followed by a Sega Master System that my father once owned. From then on video games have been a big hobby of mine, causing me to go so far as working part time for a family members coffee shop at the age of ten just to afford it. I was passionate about playing them, increasing my skills and enjoying the opportunity to share my hobby with others. I was fortunate to have a mother who understood this passion, and while she did encourage me to go outside often, she never told me playing games was a waste of my time.

Looking back, most of my fondest memories are ones that involve me playing games. On the opposite side of the coin, drawing was also given the same treatment growing up. I first started drawing when I was forced to accompany my mother to work when she wasn’t able to get a babysitter. One day, she handed me some paper and pens, told me to draw her something, and from there I was captivated by the ability to bring to life the things I imagined in my mind. Like all children, I was terrible at drawing, and learned a lot through mimicking art styles I liked or tracing complicated things like chairs or houses. I eventually picked up a handy skill; the ability to copy others art style. As I continued to hone my craft when I felt bored or creative, and with the support of my family, I eventually found myself somewhat confident in my hobby. I would draw things for people, make up silly comics or spend hours just doodling whatever came to mind.

It slowly became a form of relaxation, a way to escape the troubles I had by drawing myself into worlds I wish were real. It is still something I do today, and something I still find to be just as relaxing and enjoyable. Though these are just two of the many I have, they are the ones that mainly shaped me into who I am today. The biggest factor being the support I was given early on by my mother (and other family members), which took what could have been a way to pass the time into a hobby that I constantly work towards improving in. I am thankful that I have multiple facets to which I can relieve my stress or boredom without having to question if I am just simply wasting my time.

Since my mother’s passing, I have found myself indulging in my hobbies far more often than I used to. One of the more recent ones I have started is gardening. I wanted to make some of the empty land in the backyard a little more green, so with the help of my sisters friend, we built planter boxes. While it was during the time my mother was going through the last few weeks of her life, I was thankful she was able to see them before she passed. She really liked how they looked, and said that she was interested in trying the fruits and vegetables that I would eventually grow in them. As of now, my garden is only half complete, with one planter box half full, and another still devoid of planting soil. I am hoping once the summer ends I can plant some winter crops, maybe even learn how to add a protective layer to the boxes if the weather gets harsh. There are so many things I want to do with gardening, but most importantly, I want to share the rewards of my hard work with those I care about.

While I have many hobbies from my past, I try to never go back and do the particular things that I fondly remember. I don’t just go back and play my Nintendo 64 to relive my childhood, and I don’t draw terribly for some nostalgic feeling of youth. I have my hobbies because they were nurtured by someone who understood me and my level of enjoyment gained from them. Hobbies can be useful in taking your mind off the things you want to avoid, but they can also encourage you to move forward and better yourself. To carry on the encouragement given to you by those no longer here, and the drive to do something that you have a solid connection with. While working on my garden does remind me of the one I started it for, that doesn’t mean I should prevent myself from doing it if there is the chance it will become something I enjoy.