When Hobbies Turn into an Obligation

hobbies as obligations


I just read an essay by Steve Edwards titled On the Experience of Entering a Bookstore in Your Forties (vs. Your Twenties). It’s about how our meaning of books change as we get older. While I didn’t ponder the question “Who do I want to be?” when going to the bookstore, now that I’m thirty and realizing that my life will change, my question when going to the bookstore is “Do I have time to read all of these books?” I always find more than one book while browsing the shelves at Barnes & Noble, and I know there are probably more waiting to be opened and read that I haven’t found yet.

Then I go home, find the list of books that I’ve been meaning to buy off Amazon, and that same question enters my head.

Do I have time to read all of these books?

Then I get scared that I won’t reach my goal of reading 15 books a year (making that up) and go do something else. I don’t want to fail.


Maybe I need a new approach to my hobby of reading–one that doesn’t make me scared about how old I am, and all of the books I’ll be missing out on. And perhaps not look at it as a task I have to do, but WANT to do.

Do you treat your hobbies as obligations? Something that HAS to get done rather than doing it for fun?


A Reminder to Myself

A friend and I can talk about all sorts of things except one: dating and anything related to romance.

Why? Aside from just not talking about it, my friend gets embarassed to broach the topic, which makes me uncomfortable keeping the conversation going. So, while I can vent about my ex and liking guys to my other friends, and they’ll gladly chime in with their own stories, with this one, I’m not talking about it at all, or very little.

Hence this post–and this is a reminder as to why I shouldn’t discuss love with her.

Over lunch last weekend, I told her about me liking my doctor, and even though I know to not say anything to him, she made me feel terrible. As SOON as the word left my mouth, she cocked her head to the side, gazed down at the table, grimaced, and said, “I wouldn’t do that…”

Well, I’m not her.


I was already embarassed to like him (he’s married and has kids), and her reaction made me feel worse. Like my feelings didn’t matter–that I was wrong to have them. What’s wrong with merely liking someone? Last time I checked, romantic feelings were a very common thing to catch…for anybody, regardless of their job title.

When she asked me how old he was, I thought, ‘Hello! How old do you think is? 70? Nooo…’ (In case you’re wondering, he’s in this thirties. Like me.)

I immediately regretted my decision to tell her my secret, and wanted to take it back. I’ve never had anyone invalidate my feelings. My other friends wouldn’t care–in fact, they’d probably tell me stories about them liking someone in a position of power.

Because of that, my friend made me question myself and ask, “Is it normal to have a crush on your doctor??”

(According to my mom and Google, it is.)

This girl is one of my best friends and for her to have that reaction and comment on my situation hurt.

Jen, don’t discuss love with this friend.



Have you ever had your feelings invalidated? What did you do about it?



End of Year Reflection Photo

2018 was the year of emotions, the bulk it defined by my first breakup, which, as you all know, is a sad, lonely, confusing, angry, frustrating ordeal. All of those negative emotions stay with you for a while. Some move on faster than others, but for others it takes a while for the pain to go away and to let the positive in. I’m in the latter category.

Sometimes I forced myself to not think so much about my situation, relegating it to the background and trying to be present in whatever happy moment was occuring right in front of me. It was tough. I realized that I wasn’t dealing with any of it, just hiding them.

And at night, the emotions came out. All that pent up negativity.

I was focused too much on him–what he was or wasn’t doing, how his life was going.

Not good.

But now I’ve learned to be selfish and focus on myself. I’ve also come to realize that the breakup needed to happen. I’m not happy about it, but one day soon I’ll be at peace with it.

What else has happened…I found a lot of books that I wanted to read. I’m currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, and it’s a heavy book–literally–but so well written that it’s difficult to put down. I encourage all of you to read it. I’m more than halfway through and I feel empowered to do something meaningful with my life.

Looking ahead, 2019 will be the year of travel, to California in March, and the East Coast in October. (There might be an Elton John concert in Vegas in September…)

Happy New Year to all of you and see you in 2019!!!

Spooky Time…


Halloween is a WEEK away!!! I enjoy seeing people in costume and stores and the office being decorated in orange and black everything, but I don’t participate in dressing up. I do, however, hand out candy to the kids on my street.

I don’t get excited for Halloween because I don’t like being scared. I’m a wimp when it comes to horror movies and haunted houses. But I do like reading about ghosts and other paranormal activities…when it’s daylight out. Makes the stories less terrifying if I read them during the day.

Anyone else like me?

Case in point, I was browsing Popsugar and started going through a slideshow titled 13 Iconic Horror Movies Inspired by Real-Life Events, and as usual I was fascinated–and a little spooked out! But what intrigued me was the story of Annabelle. You know, the doll that’s possessed?

The real Annabelle isn’t like her movie character, at all. And her backstory is gripping.

And it made me think to not go to Connecticut…(The Haunting in Connecticut, anyone??)

So, I guess I’m a closet horror “fan.” I find ghosts and things interesting, but will pass on the movies and houses. Does that make sense?

Do you like being scared? What’s the scariest movie, haunted house you’ve seen/experienced? Or, have you ever seen a ghost???