I Have Hobbies Now

Monday, June 22, 2020

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, if you'd asked me what my hobbies were, I would've said reading & writing; I would've said that I don't have any other hobbies. But you know what I haven't done much of of under quarantine? Reading or writing. 

I've read just five books since this began, but four were reread on audiobook, which doesn't seem to count? My lack of writing speaks for itself, too, evidenced by the minimal posts seen here as of late.

Instead, I've been... you know, trying other stuff. I've been working a lot, & while I feel extremely fortunate to be employed, I've been working so much that I don't want to spend any of my free time in front of a screen if I don't have to.

Here's what I've been up to instead.

1. Spinning
Fine, fine, this was probably already a hobby. But I'm still going hard on my home bike! I've been alternating between Harness Cycle classes & Peloton classes, & I'm still using the Tip Yourself app (until it shuts down at the end of the month) to stow away $5 for each class I complete. I even did a Peloton "birthday party" with friends! 

2. Cooking & baking 
I know, I know, I've already told you all about this, too. Here's what I made at the start of all of this, & here are all of the carbs I've whipped up, & there's more to come, too! (For now, check out the "Cooking" highlight on my IG Stories.) Mike is also getting in on it, & he's better at it than I am. When our powers combine...

3. Trying other workouts
To be honest, I've never really liked yoga all that much - not until I took a class with Alicia at GrooveRyde earlier this year. They're offering online classes, & I'm also enjoying some of Peloton's short classes, which are helping me ease into the idea of it all. I've also been taking a four-week Peloton core-strengthening course, & I've been participating in a month-long arms challenge. 

4. Making tiny things out of clay
When I was a kid, my best friend Christina & I loved making little creations out of Sculpey clay. I ordered some at the start of lockdown & ended up making a ton of tiny succulents, just for fun... & then left a bunch of them around the neighborhood to brighten other people's days! 

5. Organizing gift projects
I've always liked doing this, but I've amped it up: organizing a Tribute.co video for my mentor upon his retirement, sending housewarming gifts to friends, assembling a gift basket for a couple whose wedding was postponed, even just sending yeast to NYC coworkers who couldn't secure any... I love putting together things that will make others happy, so this is making me happy. 

6. Pickling stuff
This feels like a bit of an exaggeration because I'm not doing real pickling, just quick-pickling, the kind where you don't even so much as boil water. None of my pickles are shelf-stable, but that doesn't mean they're not absolutely delicious. I've pickled red onions,carrots, & cabbage, but my favorite are these quick & spicy Asian pickles, which I've made half a dozen times now. 

7. Writing snail mail
I've always loved sending handwritten letters, & quarantine is a good time to revisit that love - & to really double down on it. I've sent so many cards to loved ones all across the country... & I've gotten some in return, which is a lot of fun, too!

8. Going on long walks
There's a new Towpath Trail near me, & a couple weeks ago, when I took a Friday off work (just because!), I explored it on my own. It was so liberating & calming - but next time, I'll remember the sunscreen so I can stay out longer. I'm furloughed this week & planning to do more solo walks.

9. Doing Jewish stuff
Can Judaism be a hobby? We observed Passover under quarantine, & I learned to bake challah; we've been lighting candles & attending some Zoom Shabbat services, & this weekend, we're participating in jHUB's Shabbat Staycation. It's been surprisingly important to me to be in community with others, even from a distance, & I'd like to continue it even when (if?) the pandemic ends.

Seems like most people aren't staying home anymore these days, but I'm still practicing pretty extreme social distancing. Any other hobbies I ought to take up?

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