Before I dive into today’s topic, I want to thank all those who took the time to either comment on my last post or send me personal messages. I appreciate all of the kind words and helpful suggestions I have received and I feel blessed to have such a compassionate and generous group of readers. Due to the sheer volume of comments, I probably won’t be able to respond to each one individually, but please know that I am extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to write to me. It truly means a lot to me that you care so much about me and my well-being. I will respond to as many of you as I can in the coming days.
I would like to continue on the topic of hobbies and pastimes today. I was originally going to share a new interest I’ve recently started to explore, but since I received so many wonderful ideas for new activities, I thought I’d share some of them here first. I know that not everyone reads the comments on this blog, but so many great suggestions were offered to me that I’d like to pass them along. I know many of you also wrestle with ways to spend your time besides shopping, so perhaps some of the possibilities below will resonate with you. I will share my new hobby in a post next week (and yes, it’s included on the list below).
There are So Many Things to Do Besides Shopping
I wasn’t kidding when I said that I was flooded with ideas! Some of the suggestions I was given were things I’d thought of before, while others were brand new to me. Over time, I will definitely try at least a few of these great ideas and I will be sure to share my experiences with you.
I have broken the suggestions down into categories to make it easier for you to peruse the list. If you’re like me and struggling to find ways to spend your free time and meet new people, I suggest that you select three to five possibilities and explore them one at a time. That’s what I intend to do and I’m excited to try some new things and report back.
- Sewing, knitting, or crocheting
- Craft projects (such as making cards)
- Photography and photo editing (maybe start a daily “sparks joy” photograph project)
- Trying out new hairstyles or make-up (watch YouTube videos for ideas)
- Making jewelry
- Writing classes (or alternate writing projects besides blogging)
- Adult coloring books (apparently, these are big in the UK – new to me!)
- Music lessons (piano, guitar, voice, etc.)
- Take an art class (in person or through com)
- Making models or building model airplanes, kites, or birdhouses
- Home improvement projects
Volunteer Work (check out Volunteer Match for ideas in US cities)
- Shelving books at a library
- Organizing at a food bank
- Hospital volunteering
- Socializing animals at a shelter or breeder
- Speaking to young girls about clothes, style, and color
- Helping women with clothes through Dress for Success (they have worldwide chapters) or a similar organization
- Administrative work for non-profits
- Join your neighborhood association (they often need help with “beautification” projects)
Outdoor / Athletic Activities
- Gardening (there are gardening groups and clubs to possibly join)
- Dance class (Zumba is one idea)
- Walking (you can even join a walking group)
- Yoga classes
- Tai chi
- Water aerobics
- Bird watching (or other naturalistic activities like mushroom or fossil hunting)
- Church (or church groups)
- Meditation (try an app such as “Stop, breathe, think”)
- ASMR relaxation (autonomous sensory meridian response- examples here)
- Take a class in an area that interests you
- Reading (perhaps join a book club through the library)
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Learn a foreign language
- Visiting museums
- Go to plays or concerts
- Get a dog or puppy (you’ll be involved in training and the regular walks will get you outdoors)
- Traveling (even day trips)
- Join a Meetup group (see http://meetup.com for groups in your area – you can start a group, too!)
Food for Thought
I hope this post has provided some food for thought for those of you who are looking for new things to do besides shopping. While the list above is quite extensive, it’s certainly not complete. There are many more options available to us and we are really only limited by our imaginations.
Looking at the wonderful list of ideas, I see many that would appeal to me. I am always concerned with how I might feel physically at any given time, but I see lots of possibilities that don’t have to be tied to a rigid schedule. And many of the available options may involve meeting new people and being more social.
Some Perspective on the Comment
Before I sign off for today, I want to make a few key points. For one, the quote I referenced in my last post was not directed toward me personally. Rather, it related to shopaholics in general and I saw myself in it. A few of you made some really good points in relation to that quote, however. You said that it was judgmental and unduly harsh, which is definitely true.
Grechen (of Grechen’s Closet, one of my favorite blogs) really said it better than I could in her comment on my last post. For some much-needed perspective on the topic, here are a few excerpts of what she had to say:
I agree that unhealthy shopping (shopping to fulfill a deep emotional need, and buying what you cannot afford) can potentially be a sign of a relatively “empty” life, but it’s not always the case.”
“Fashion & shopping are easy targets because they’re mostly seen as frivolous and self-involved. People love to pick on us – those of us who love clothes & shopping – because they can’t understand why we care so much, or would want to spend $x on “just clothes.”
“If you filled in “shopping” with any other hobby like reading, gardening, racing, gaming, etc., would we feel so guilty about engaging in it? Like “Seriously, they’re just books, how empty must your life be if reading is your only hobby?” Can you imagine anyone saying that? And if they did, we’d say, so what? Because reading is a “lofty” endeavor, as opposed to shopping…”
“This is a long way to say that we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about doing what we love, whatever that may be. And it’s certainly no one else’s business what our hobbies are.”
I wholeheartedly agree, Grechen! I don’t plan to stop having shopping be a hobby. I enjoy it and shouldn’t have to apologize for that. But I do want to integrate some additional hobbies and interests into my life and find new ways of meeting other people. I just want to put shopping more into balance in my life.
On the Topic of Balance…
Speaking of balance, Louise posted this wonderful quote that I’d like to share with all of you:
Balancing Act: Every day, do something physical, something pleasurable, something intellectual and something for someone else. It will bring balance to your life.”
I love that. I think that following this formula on a daily basis would lead to a balanced life, and a balanced life is often a happier life. There are hobbies and pastimes (many of which are referenced in this post) that could fit into each of the areas referenced in the quote. So if like me, you’re looking for more balance in your life, integrating new interests could be a step in the right direction.
Stay tuned to read more about my journey toward a fuller and more balanced life in the coming weeks and months. I will continue to write about wardrobe management, personal style, and shopping-related topics as well. I’m not changing the direction of this blog, so you don’t have to worry about that. There will just be more full life posts added into the mix. I hope that what I write about will continue to resonate with you and inspire you to make changes in your lives as well. Thank you for your belief in me, your encouragement, and your support. It means a great deal to me.