I am fortunate enough to be able to say that I love my work and that there really isn't another job I'd rather be doing. As a result, I often work too many hours, start work early, or work into the night. No matter how enjoyable work may be, that's not a good thing. Life should not consist of work alone. It's important to strike a balance between work, home, relaxation and one's hobbies. Hobbies, in particular, provide a nice balance to work, and we should take them more seriously.
I remember when I was a kid and I couldn't wait to go to the hobby store. They had all sorts of wondrous and fascinating things that I could barely break away from. There were model railroads and model airplanes, all sorts of games and crafts, soldiers and other implements for war games, arts and crafts supplies, chemistry and electronics kits and tons more. Being a kid, I usually didn't have enough money to buy most of the things I longed for, but just being there and looking at it all was a thrilling experience.
Over time, as I got older, I sort of lost that youthful ability to get excited over games and hobbies. I think we all get jaded a bit over time, and things don't look as shiny and exciting as they did when we were younger. Also, the toys we play with get bigger and more expensive, like cars or equipment-intensive sports or trips to far-away places. Sometimes we just give up on it all, and that's really a shame. A few years ago I made a conscious effort to get back into hobbies, and it's really made a difference. Hobbies can be expensive, of course, but the enjoyment you get out of them are worth it.
Hobbies and playing are really not just for kids. There's so much interesting and fascinating stuff out there today that no one should have a problem finding something to engage in and enjoy. Photography, for example, offers almost endless opportunities both indoors and outdoors, especially with all the new digital imaging tools. Wargames have become infinitely more sophisticated and it's possible to go all out with rules and miniatures and buildings and fortifications of an era. Television can be far more today than just watching TV; you can build and enjoy impressive home theaters with incredible audio and integration into home media servers, video games, and home networks. Playing a musical instrument has always been a great hobby, and today even more so with all the audio and electronic editing programs and interfaces. Scrapbooking is becoming fashionable again, and it's more fun than ever with computers. Astronomy, likewise, can be combined with electronics or other hobbies like camping or treasure hunting. Gardening or cooking doesn't sound very exciting, but they, too, can develop into most enjoyable hobbies.
One thing that I'll probably never get back is the thrill I had with those old time hobby shops of my childhood. But thanks to the Internet we now have something that's as good or better - online hobby stores that make sure there can still be fun in our lives. I often spend hours perusing some of my favorite sites that specialize in offering fun stuff. I like the ones that are organized well and don't harass me with popups and come-ons so that I can browse and dream. Life's not all about working, and we should never forget to have fun and play.
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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