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When I meet new people these days, I am trying to remember to ask them what their hobbies are. Although I am generally interested in what other people choose to pursue in their free time, I have noticed that a lot of people don't have hobbies. Or maybe they do have hobbies, and they don't want to share what they are.

If I am talking to another parent, I understand that the problem may come down to time. One recent study has found that parents self report that they have about 32 free minutes to themselves every day. That's not a lot of time to work on your hobby of choice, but I also wonder if there is a lack of energy factor at play here as well. If all your free time is put into a short block and it probably happens at the end of a long day, then I am guessing you may not have the energy left (mental or physical) to learn a new language.

But maybe there is another factor at work here - that no one wants to admit that they are not good at something yet. Learning to play an instrument takes a lot of time and devotion - no one expects you to play concertos overnight. But saying that you play piano as your hobby instantly invites others to start asking questions about it, which derails confidence levels if you are just starting out.

So, I am going to think differently about my questions to people around their personal pursuits of happiness. I don't want anyone to feel on-edge or pressure to answer. Because while I think it is important for everyone to have a hobby - something that they enjoy doing outside of work or being a parent - I also think it is important to feel good about having that hobby and not under pressure to be the best at it.

I want my son to see his parents involved in our hobbies and know that it is OK to have things we are not experts in, but still enjoy. I want him to know that we are still learning, too.

Do you have a hobby that you enjoy outside of work? Do you want to talk about it in the comments?

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