By: Lisa Martin
Writer Anna Quindlen sums it up nicely: “You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.” Most working moms I know want a life–a life that includes work but is not completely dominated by it. We want to be fully engaged in, and feel passionate about, all aspects of our lives. Yet we often find it difficult to give ourselves permission to pursue our interests –activities or hobbies– outside of work and family obligations. Perhaps we think engaging in our hobbies is too self-indulgent or not important and we fail to create adequate space and time for them.
But when you take up a hobby, whether it’s training for your first 10K run, singing in a choir or creating funky jewelry in your spare time, you reap the benefits of inspirational self-nurturing. By helping you to find a better balance and more meaning in your life, hobbies make you feel good. Here are five great reasons to stop procrastinating and start that hobby you’ve been contemplating.
1. To play and feel lighter Playing means enjoying yourself for more than a minute or two, for the sole purpose of finding pleasure. It’s something you do just for you and it makes you feel good physically. Just look at your children to remind yourself of the magical powers of play. When kids play you can see, hear and feel their happiness and contentment…it practically vibrates off them. As we grow older, we often lose our playtime to the responsibilities of adulthood… working hard and being productive, striving to make a difference and tending to others. Yet, when you make playing a priority in the form of a hobby, you can face life and work with more enthusiasm and lightness.
2. To become more interesting and interested Expanding your interests allows you to focus on things outside of your normal routine. Hobbies beat out boredom. There is excitement and challenge in learning how to paint, write short stories or sail. Committing to a hobby, whether it’s adventure traveling or joining a book club, will give you something to look forward to and spur you on to achieve greater goals. When you participate in an activity that is engaging, your passion and enthusiasm becomes contagious and makes you more interesting to others.
3. To enhance self-esteem Many hobbies allow you the opportunity to gain new skills, giving you a sense of accomplishment and confidence that makes you feel better about yourself. Hobbies that involve physical activity such as hiking, gardening and mountain biking strengthen your body and coordination. And getting in better shape can also make you feel good. Creative hobbies like pottery, quilting and writing poetry fuel your imagination and rid you of that “something is missing” feeling…and that makes you feel great.
Next time you are wondering whether taking up a hobby is a good use of your time, think about all the benefits that come from branching out, exploring something new and nurturing yourself. Give yourself permission to pursue an interest or an activity that is just for you. And see what happens when you dedicate a little time for your own personal growth.
Copyright 2006. Lisa Martin. All rights reserved.
About the Author: Lisa Martin is a certified coach who inspires working mothers to achieve success thats balanced. Author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers Lives, Lisa is a sought-after expert and speaker on work-life balance issues. Known for her very personal and practical approach, Lisa coaches working mothers to know what they want and get what they want.
With 20 years of entrepreneurial and corporate experience, Lisa is also the founder and president of The Briefcase Moms Group a work-life coaching and training company that helps organizations attract, engage and retain working mothers. A mother herself, Lisas powerful presentations and programs have helped thousands of women define success and balance on their own terms. http://www.briefcasemoms.com
By: Anne Clarke
Obviously, any bowling rules will be relevant and important, but keeping score? You have to learn all of the bowling rules there are, but before I tried my first game my father showed me how. You will learn many bowling rules as you continue bowling—from your very first day!
There are 10 “frames”, (i.e. turns you get) in a bowling game. A score of about 120 in the 9th frame the absolute most points this person could get would add up to 150—however, the player would have to roll three strikes in a row when he or she plays the 10th frame, if this happens the player continues rolling the ball—achieving 30 pins for each strike he or she makes. The basic notion of this bowling rule is also recognized by other players, but by adding only 10-pins to the score.
Bowling rules for bowling attire:
a) There really is one essential kind of bowling attire is that the players wear bowling shoes when they play. This is why having the appropriate shoes is up on the top of the list of bowling rules. When someone does not follow basic bowling rules and wears their street shoes on the floor. If a ball drops on his or her foot, well it is likely that he or she will never make that mistake again. Seriously, a heavy bowling ball can fracture your toes—and sometimes people drop things.
Another one of the most important bowling rules is to use the proper technique for bowling.
a) Bowling rules about technique:
Primarily there are a couple of simple, physical moves that will improve your bowling skills. They are different depending on whether the person is right-handed or left-handed—but quite basically the same bowling rules of posture, pressure and release.
b) Bowling rules about mental preparation:
Perhaps it sounds pretty ridiculous, but concentration on your bowling can really help when you are trying to get that high score. Re-think the physical bowling rules, and then envision your ball rolling down the lane towards a perfect strike.
The saddest bowlers are the ones who toss the ball carelessly and have poor technique. Usually, in such circumstances, the bowling ball will end up in the gutter—so knowing the basic bowling rules is very important.
About the Author: Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, recreation, education and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles about bowling and bowling merchandise, please visit Bowling Rules.
By: Mark Ransome
In today’s fast-paced stressed life, even children need to take a little time off with some form of relaxation. However, instead of raising a couch potato who listens to MP3s, plays video games, surfs the Internet or just watches TV, encouraging a child to take up a constructive alternative, such as, a hobby could open a whole new dimension to his life. Parents should support their child in discovering the rewards of having a hobby.
What is a Hobby?
A hobby is a pastime or activity that a child does in his spare time for individual accomplishment. It is something they have an interest in and that they enjoy. It differs from an activity that is forced on them. For instance, a parent may think that her son needs some exercise and signs him up for soccer. While her son may not mind playing soccer, he is not especially enthusiastic about it either. This is not a hobby for him; whereas, a daughter begs to take up ballet. Here she is not only getting exercise, but she lives and breathes ballet. That then makes it her hobby.
What kinds of Hobbies are there?
1. One type of hobby is collecting, such as, key chain, lunchbox, autograph, stamp, trading card, comic book, postcard, doll, spoon, patch or coin collecting.
2. There are educational hobbies. A few of them would be amateur radio, bird watching, genealogy, chemistry or astronomy.
3. Then there are creative hobbies. They could be painting, photography, playing a musical instrument, cooking, scrap booking, building models, HO gauge trains, kite building, wood carving, needlepoint, knitting, sewing and crocheting.
4. Also there are physical hobbies, for example, playing sports, yoga, bicycling, running or hiking.
5. Next there are the games. Many of which can be played in competition. Several are chess, checkers, bridge, gin rummy, backgammon and scrabble.
6. Some are then a combination of hobby types. For instance, hobbies that are a blend of the collecting and educational varieties are rock and mineral, fossil, butterfly, feather, shell and arrowhead collecting. Gardening could be considered both physical and educational; whereas, the art of dance is creative and physical.
What are the Rewards of Having a Hobby?
1. It can promote relaxation.
2. It can encourage physical exercise.
3. The hobby may further advance creativity.
4. Through the process of self-discovery, a child may realize a talent they did not know existed.
5. A hobby can teach. A child may learn about the particular subject they are engaged in and perhaps become an expert. They can learn organizational skills through setting up a collection or planning the next phase of their hobby’s development.
6. It may aid a child in increasing the drive and persistence to attain their goals.
7. Due to self-achievement, the hobby can help in building confidence. For example, when a budding gardener takes some seeds, cultivates the soil, adds the right amount of water and proper sunlight and wins first prize for growing the largest tomato at the fair.
8. It can also aid in developing social skills like how to handle competition with learning to win politely or lose gracefully.
9. The hobby could result into a lifetime passion or eventually turn into a career.
There are very few downsides to having a hobby. Unless, of course, the child becomes obsessed to the point where everything else in their life falls to the wayside. It is the duty of a parent to keep their child on track with what is appropriate and not to allow them to become too fixated on their hobby.
To further the desire to take up a hobby in a child, it is important that the parents have a hobby themselves. They also should attempt to expose their child to various experiences so that possibly their child may form an interest in some area. When an interest seems to develop, parents should support it wholeheartedly. Perhaps take a trip to a museum, show, or exhibit that features the hobby.
However, parents should not demand absolute perfection from the child. They should allow the child to try, fail, and learn from their mistakes. After all, it is their hobby and they should be allowed to explore it their own way. A child who discovers his own personal pursuit will surely reap many rewards from his hobby that he otherwise would not have experienced.
About the Author: Mark Ransome writes articles about trains and model trains for the web site Model Train World. More information on model train help can be found on his blog; http://modeltrainhelp.blogspot.com or http://modelrailroadhelp.com
By: Michael Russell
The blank piece of paper. It’s the hardest thing for the writer to deal with. Sometimes he can stare at it for hours on end and by the time he is done staring it’s still a blank piece of paper. Welcome to the world of writer’s block. Any writer worth his salt has gone through it. The thing that separates the successful writers from the ones who don’t make it is the ability to get through it. Hopefully, the following tips will give you some ammunition to deal with writer’s block.
Please note that this list is by no means written in stone and the only options available to you. They are just some exercises that many writers agree can work.
The one thing you can do to get through writer’s block, believe it or not, is to just walk away. Put down the pen and paper or keyboard of whatever it is you use to put your thoughts down and just take a walk. It doesn’t matter where. If it’s a nice sunny day, take a walk to the park. Sit on a bench and observe your surroundings. Don’t just look, but really observe. Concentrate on the birds. See if you can identify some of them. Stare at a blade of grass or a flower and watch how it moves in the wind. Do whatever you can to get your mind off your writing. By the time you get back home you will many times find that the ideas just begin to flow.
If getting away from your writing isn’t in your nature then there are some exercises you can do while you are writing that can help jog some ideas loose. One of the best methods is to stop writing whatever it is you are working on and start writing something completely different. If you’re writing a murder mystery and can’t come up with the final revelation of how the murder was committed, stop writing about the mystery and start writing a poem, or a to do list for people who want to get into the writing business. Get your mind off of the specific thing that you’re writing about but still keep your mind active in the writing mode. Many times you will find that the idea you are looking for will just pop into your head.
Another thing you can do to get past writer’s block is to do a writing exercise. Think about the topic you are writing on and make a checklist of all related topics that you can think of to that topic. For example, let’s say you’re writing a non fiction book about mole and wart removal and you’re looking for related topics to add to the book to reinforce the methods discussed for mole and wart removal. Think about what things are associated with health in general. Make a list. You’ll probably come up with diet, cleanliness, exercise and a number of other things. This will give you additional ideas for things you can include in your book such as a chapter on diet and exercise. Maybe a section on the immune system since moles and warts are usually caused by weak immune systems. By simply thinking of related material you’ll be surprised on what you can come up with. Don’t just focus on the main topic. Expand your mind and your book will expand.
These are just a few of many things you can try to get through your writer’s block. We’ll try to cover some more tips in future articles.
By: Holly Burnham
Knitting is such a passive hobby we aren’t necessarily focused on preventing injury. We can sustain injury and pain from our beloved passion.
Discomfort you are probably blaming on arthritis, a pulled muscle or ‘old age’ could very well be caused by knitting.
If your lighting is too dim you may be contorting your body in an odd position to try and get your hands under the best light. Personally, I did this for too long. I tried using a regular pole lamp for years and realized it just wasn’t giving me the light I needed….so I took that away and started using a table lamp on the end table next to the chair I knit in. A few days later my lower shoulder started aching and I realized I had been twisting my torso toward the lamp. I finally bought one of the new ‘day spectrum’ lamps and life has so much improved for me. I’m not saying you need to go to the expense of purchasing one of these lamps. I’m just suggesting you think about your lighting and if it’s sufficient.
We also tend to rest our arms on the arm rest of our chairs as we knit. This might be lifting your shoulders up toward your ears too much and could cause neck and back pain. Your knitting position is habit. Try keeping your hands closer to your lap and see if it might not feel better. If you are working against an old habit, it may take a while for this to feel ‘normal’.
I’ve read many times we should take frequent breaks from knitting to stand and shake out our hands and arms and stretch our necks and back. I do that now and I can knit for longer periods without pain.
I’ve tried warming my hands under hot water before grasping those knitting needles. This helps me….you might try it.
There is talk about different needles weighing less than others. It’s my opinion it’s not the weight of the needles that cause the problem, but rather the weight of the project we might be holding up as we knit. I try to use circular needles almost exclusively as I find I can knit closer to my lap and I don’t have to carry the weight of the garment as I do with straights. Again, just a personal observation.
I encourage you to take some time and think about your knitting routine and how you can improve your posture and tools to make knitting more of a pleasure than you already think it is.
About the Author: Holly Burnham is a self admitted yarn addict. The addiction will be life long and there is no hope of remission. Her constant knitting has put the cleanliness of her home in peril. Her yarn stashes are havens for generations of moths. At the risk of contracting this affliction, visit her at http://www.knittinghaven.com