Slow Hobbies

I enjoy simple things that can make a big difference. One of those simple things that Brooke and I have been focusing on in the past few years are what I like to call "slow hobbies." Now, a slow hobby is pretty self-explanatory, it's something that you do for enjoyment that takes a fair amount of time. For example, my most recent slow hobby is going on a morning walk with one or both of my girls. I'll spend about an hour walking with them in a stroller, with no goal of fitness, purpose or to get something done.

In the fall, I will add back in another slow hobby of mine - baking bread by hand (it just makes our house too warm in the summer!). You legit have to wait for the dough to rise. It doesn't get much slower than that. I've also done a lot of painting this summer, not art, but I painted two different deck railings and our garage. These are slow hobbies. Brooke likes to go thrifting, which consists of slowing perusing aisle after aisle in hopes to find one tiny little thing that is usually 75 cents.

Unfortunately, in our culture, we've replaced slow hobbies with idle distraction. We've decided that instead of going for a stroll, we will stroll through Instagram for 30 minutes. Instead of waiting for the bread to rise, we will pick it up on the way home after taking this kid to this thing and that kid to that thing. And instead of enjoying the hunt of a unique find, we will order it on Amazon because we need it NOW!

Some of this is out of convenience which I understand entirely, but I think some of the time it's because we've forgotten about what we enjoy doing because we spend too much time distracted on devices. The desire to always know what's going out there in the world has replaced our ability to figure out what we really desire in our own hearts. Honestly, I was at one point, probably one of the worst offenders. I spent hours on my phone, and if you had asked me at the end of the day what I did, I probably wouldn't be able to recollect much because the truth was I was distracting myself.

After watching a food documentary years ago, I told Brooke I wanted to start baking bread. As I learned to bake bread (my first loaf was more of a brick), I realized how long it took, and it was through that process, by default, that I was on a device less. On days I baked, Brooke noticed that my mood would improve and I noticed I was less anxious, stressed and probably less of a donkey to Brooke if you are picking up what I am putting down.

Today I 've added a few slow hobbies to my life, most of which I don't even share about because they are mine and mine alone. They are the quiet moments in my life where I find peace and refreshment in a world that is fast-paced and always "on". The thing is, we don't always have to be plugged in, regardless of what that little device makes us feel at times. We can find, and then choose the things that purposefully slow us down to give our hearts and souls room to breathe and find peace. Paint, write, draw, widdle, churn butter, bake bread, thrift, go on walks. Find a slow hobby to give your soul rest and your mind time to think. And after you find that first slow hobby, find another. And another. And savor every single one of them fully knowing that when life is fast, you will have that purposeful balance to give you peace and slow you down.

T.J. Mousetis