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Although easy to be swept up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life it’s monumental to set aside some time for yourself. An activity or pastime purely for yourself that needn’t have a purpose other than to spark joy.
There is a plethora of hobbies out there that are a gateway to finding communities and making friendships with like-minded individuals. Whether the interest is shared virtually or in real life, taking time to self-indulge is important – for the mind and well-being.
Yet it’s easy for us to believe that there aren’t enough hours in the day – after a 9-5, housework, and a continuous stream of mundane tasks and responsibilities that come with adulthood.
A mindset projected onto mum of two Jen Walshaw on her Instagram account @muminthemadhouse. Jen shared with followers:
“A couple of weeks ago, someone commented that they wish they had as much spare time as me to enjoy their hobbies and that I was lucky that I had so much time to do things I enjoy. This got me thinking or should that be overthinking. Was it a compliment or did they really think I had loads of spare time?”
Although the comment may not have been a backhanded compliment, it’s interesting to see that mums need to justify how they can partake in hobbies. Particularly when they choose to share their hobbies online.
Jen learnt how to sew at a young age. Her childhood spent “falling asleep to the rhythmic clack of the yarn running across the needles” from her mother’s knitting machine that was positioned on the landing.
“She knitted all our jumpers back when then all I wanted was shop-bought clothes,” recalls Jen. Who now would love nothing more than to “share secrets and love of sewing” with her talented seamstress mother who tragically passed away when Jen’s children were only toddlers.
Although raising two small boys meant that Jen was often “too busy to sew”, motherhood is what awakened her creativity. “Watching my two sons getting lost in the process of making and not being concerned about the result helped me so much. I used to be hung up on perfection and they taught me it was all about process and that practice makes progress,” explains Jen.
Whose re-entry into sewing went from repurposing her husband’s work shirts into art smocks to making a London-themed quilt. “I didn’t choose sewing as a hobby, it chose me,” she enthuses.
A rediscovered hobby to “relax and find joy in a busy world,” Jen found that sewing has countless opportunities to socialise and connect with fellow crafters. Such as weekly meetings with her Sewing Coven and participating in the Saturday Night Craft Along, an event hosted on Instagram for crafting enthusiasts to share their creations.
“It is inspiring to see what other people make and I love getting a glimpse into their processes too. I love meeting people in person that I met during online quilting retreats and classes. In fact, some of my closest friendships have started online,” explains Jen.
Jen is no stranger to building relationships and communities online, having started a blog following a health scare and frequently posting on Instagram. Her grid is an insight into her life, a place to share opinions on relevant topics and document her creations. Becoming a blogger is an “unexpected and welcome career change” for Jen, one that is flexible and full of opportunity. Now that her children are teenagers and don’t need hyper-vigilant parenting, sewing is a hobby that Jen can immerse herself in more and more. A form of escapism from her digital career, Jen explains that her hobby is a way to “switch off and have fun.”
Throughout childhood having a hobby is encouraged but pushed to one side in later life as busy schedules and responsibilities mount. However, a hobby shouldn’t be a luxury but a necessity, a pastime to explore interests outside of work and connect with new people.
Be inspired with a magazine to find the right hobby for you.