When you were at school, did you have a whole bunch of hobbies that you did, not for any long-term career goal, but simply because they were fun and you enjoyed them? As a child and teenager, I probably did have an annoying amount of hobbies (including Irish dancing, kung-fu and ballet), but my main hobby was always music - playing piano and being a cellist in the local youth orchestra. So how I went over 10 years hardly playing a note, I don’t know. For some reason, when we "grow up", we leave hobbies behind. Hobbies are associated with something kids occupy their time with and it’s not exactly socially acceptable to have a "hobby" beyond the age of 17.
A few years ago, I realised over the course of my time training to become and practising as a lawyer, I had lost all my old hobbies. I envied the resumes of the young graduates entering the profession and all their interests outside of the law. So that was it. I bought a piano. It was one of the best things I ever did. I am not the greatest pianist in the world, nor will I ever be, but it all came back to me much quicker than I thought. It may not serve any career-orientated purpose (since, let’s face it, with my tiny hands, I’m never going to be a concert pianist), but when I’m on my own, playing a piece, I get lost in it. I am allowed to have emotions and for those emotions to be channelled through the music. I can imagine a story behind the music and can feel and live that story while I play. Yes I make mistakes, but it doesn’t matter. For that time, while I’m playing, everything else goes away. And that in itself is enough of a reason to play.
So here’s my challenge to you. Stop telling people you "used to" do this or that. Pick up the instrument you used to play, draw and paint again or take up a dance class. Why should kids have all the fun? You might surprise yourself.