Is Relaxing Considered a Hobby?
If it's not then I vote we make it one.
I don't have a hobby in the traditional sense. I'm nearly 32 and no activity has ever held my attention long enough to earn the title. I read. I travel. I exercise, and I game. But, if I have to take a survey of what I like doing consistently the answer is nothing in particular and I like it that way. In a busy life, I reject the notion that to be well-rounded you have to add more action to your plate. Solitude, rejuvenation, peace, and thought-flow are my "hobbies." But, "relaxer" has a better ring to it than "nothing much-er"
Relaxing is an umbrella term of low impact, generally solitary activities. Relaxing is no one thing. It can be everything or it can be nothing, and it can evolve with your tastes. I may relax for several hours a day and that can include a little of this and a little of that. I'll read for a bit, game for a bit, lurk for a bit, or talk to myself for a bit. Essentially doing no one thing enough that I can confidently assign a title to myself, which is another thing I love about being a relaxer. I don't have to worry about forfeiting my title if I haven't done it for a month.
Sometimes I ask people what they like to do and they start by saying "I'm a reader"....then they backpedal to "well, I like to read" then they start explaining, "I haven't been able to pick up a book in x amount of time." It's a justification that no one asked for but they're dutifully adhering to unspoken rules that determine when you can add the -er to an activity. "I'm a read-ER. Well, I haven't had the time to lately, so I just read." The label must be earned, and to do so requires a certain amount of dedication. I'm only dedicated to my peace and quiet.
So after 16-ish years, I've figured it out. Still, I wonder what the reception of my newfound hobby will be. As a relaxer, I may be subjected to hobby snobbery which is rampant among groups nowadays. For a short time, I rendezvoused with a group of people who held reading to the highest standards. It facilitated their intellectual facades and made conversations drier than the Merlot we drank. It’s not just them, society as a whole places hobbies on a spectrum. Reading, running and traveling are the gold standards while hobbies like crafting, gaming, and comics get a bad rap. Isn't the point of a hobby for it to be an outlet? If you feel good doing it then it's just as valuable.
I'm certain that if I start telling people I relax as a hobby that they'll think I’m lazy. "You regularly stop working, talking, moving, and deliberately thinking for extended periods of time on purpose?" Hell yeah, and it feels soooo good.