Minimalist Healthy Hobbies/Interests

It seems that every hobby or interest out there involves the accumulation of possessions. Half of them have the word “collection” somewhere in the name: Coin collecting, Franklin Mint Plate collecting, bottle cap collecting, stamp collecting, porcelain doll collecting. Even the ones that don’t make it THAT obvious, have some underlying collecting aspect to them.

Even if ones interest is something as simple as chess, likelihood is that they have a hoard of Chess supplies somewhere in their home. To play Chess, the only thing one needs is a chess set (a board and 32 pieces) …… that’s it. AH, but the likelihood is, they have a few sets: A formal set, a travel set, a BIG set, and the untouchable marble set. Additionally they will also have an entire shelf of books delving into various chess strategies. Documentaries of famous players. Also, gotta have the time clock thingy. They have their coffee mug with a rook on it that was a gift from their niece.

The truth is, ANY hobby can get outta hand and expensive with the amount one can collect from it. While a hobby like Chess in no way requires the accumulation of possessions to grow in that passion, it is a basic human compulsion to acquire more of the tools of the passion we love.

With all that being said, I’d like to offer some ideas for minimalists interested in pursuing new hobbies, interest, and even potential passions that they don’t have to clear a big space in the closet for. Many of which I have dabbled in from time to time. These are:

  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Web design
  • Coding
  • Yoga – A matt, a couple blocks, a pillow, internet access, and soothing music, boom
  • Sporting of any kind (Soccer, Volleyball, Running, Cycling, Roller-skating, etc) – Most of these all you need is a ball and attire.
  • Gaming (video, board, card) – It’s all digital these days.
  • Reading novels – Don’t have to keep the book once it is read, and we also have e-books
  • Photography – Again, it’s all digital.
  • Astronomy – All one needs is a good telescope, and lots of digital reading material.
  • Investing – Like pennystock and such.
  • Community Event Volunteering.
  • Dancing – Learning new types of dance.
  • Meditation
  • Learn a new language

Even the ones I have listed above can take up much space if we let them, but I chose these specifically because it’s not necessary to collect an abundance of stuff to continue to excel and grow within them.

Weather the Storm

It is easy to keep a simple and disciplined life when we are set in a pattern that is uninterrupted by external (or internal) variables; the only difficulty is starting/establishing such a life. The true test of someone’s strength however, is in their ability to adapt to changes in their pattern of life. Their ability to stay disciplined when other temptations rear their ugly heads. Their ability to remain calm, and approach obstacles with rationality, and not freak out, when things don’t go according to plan.

Now that is easy for me to say, as even I have been known to FREAK OUT when a life changing event comes along that I did not plan for, and did not cause. But this is still true nonetheless.

When something happens to us that shakes our very foundation, I have found that it is important to remind ourselves that it is ok to mess up. It is ok to fall. We are still important, we are still loved. THAT knowledge will give us the strength to pick ourselves up and grow again. That knowledge will permit us to remain positive and focused, so that way we sleep the night, and approach a new day with a positive attitude.

Real Experience

“It’s one thing to see it on the page of a book, or a TV screen, but it’s another thing entirely to see Saturn’s Rings live in the night sky through a telescope.” Me

The above quote was after an experience I had in my early college years after a professor had a whole bunch of us students over his house for a “Saturn Viewing.” Truthfully the view of Saturn was not as glorious as it is in the books and one the screen, But the rings were obvious and very pronounced and that was more than enough to make me giddy.

There is no substitute for real life. Real connection and real experience can not be found through a speakerphone, a screen, or via any digital means. Or, more precisely, there are elements, subtleties that are missed when experiences and connections are made digitally. While all of these wonderful technological advances increase the potential for real connection and experience, if not used responsibly and in moderation they will inevitably replace real connection and experience.

Technology can be an great resource to start a connection, but in the end you gotta be there in person.