My daughter is pretty excited because I have promised to bake brownies with her tonight after I finish my work. I have been cooking for the leisure of late. Do I like to cook? Yes, since it is a shared household duty, cooking still remains a task I like to do whenever I have to. However, with work, motherhood and writing, cooking as a hobby had taken a backseat for me these past few years. There was a time when I would try new recipes, bake cakes, learn to make different types of bread and pies because I enjoyed it. I have picked up this hobby again, not out of boredom, but due to this new weird lifestyle thanks to social distancing that has forced us to be housebound hermits, and to beat the stress thus induced.
- Every one of us has hobbies that took a backseat due to lack of time or will.
- Our hobbies change/evolve with age, lifestyle and situation.
- In times of social-distancing, one can pick up these long lost hobbies.
- They can be your escape from both boredom, stagnation and stress.
- Besides, when has a sliver of creativity in life hurt anyone?
With work, motherhood and writing, cooking as a hobby had taken a backseat for me these past few years. But with social distancing, I have rediscovered it.
There are so many hobbies that we pick up and drop in our lifetime. They change/evolve with our age, lifestyle and situation. For instance, when you are pregnant and the doctor has advised you bed rest, one can go back to reading books, crocheting, sketching. Or if you are a new empty-nester, re-decorating the house, getting yourself that terrace garden that you always wanted becomes a pet project. If you are in between jobs, perhaps you could write that book that you always wanted to, or join a class to learn a new musical instrument, paint, or do pottery.
When I was young, my father set up a weekend clinic in a town nearby our home. Every Saturday he would travel to this place for a day-long session of examination and re-examination of his patients. It became a hobby of mine to collect his weekend tickets then (the solid cardboard ones that had information punched on them). One summer I took to collecting stamps, and then old rare coins caught my fancy in another school break. In my twenties, I discovered the joy of writing, but when it became a profession, it ceased to be a hobby. I would have been looking for another hobby, had I had any time at hand from reading books (a way of life, not a hobby for people like me), social media and digital, entertainment. Life seemed packed. There was no window to squeeze in a new hobby.
But all that stands changed amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Forced at home and having lost the will to network, I realised I had that window now. Besides, I desperately needed an escape from the onslaught of news, which found its way to me either via WhatsApp, or television or the anxious members in my household. That’s how I rediscovered cooking, not feed, but to pass the time. It started with 10 strawberries in my fridge that were duly turned into half a bottle of jam, because we were stuck in the house and had no electricity. As I look back on my last ten days, I realise that cooking for pleasure has kept me from thinking about the current situation, even if temporarily, because I was too busy fussing over the shape of my samosas or the tart in my arrabbiata sauce.
So go ahead and reconnect with that lost hobby or find a new one. Grow plants, take up recycling, or pottery. It doesn’t have to be mainstream, as long as it brings you peace. A college mate of mine used to rearrange her almirah in free time, and then there is a friend who makes these beautiful ethnic necklaces and bracelets from beads. In times like these, every one of us needs a distraction, all the more because our screentime has collectively gone up, time has slowed down and anxiety levels have shot up. To beat the compound effect of these factors, why not go back to the time-tested method from childhood of picking up a hobby?
The views expressed are the author’s own.