Your hobbies and interests can tell a lot about you. However, some hobbies lend themselves to showing-off better than others. If you’re a gardener and have neighbors, everyone around knows the extent of your green thumb. (Unless deer come through and eat all your perennials, but that’s another topic.) The key words there are everyone around. All your neighbors might be aware of your garden prowess, but your loved ones ten states away might not be. The same goes for quilting, photography, woodworking, and the like.
When you share the hobbies you’re passionate about, you’re sharing your memories. You’ve spent countless hours pursuing your crafts or pastimes. Show or tell your loved ones why.
Build a portfolio to show off your hobbies and interests
Take pictures and/or make displays. Put the pictures in a photo album (traditional or digital) or scrapbook. You can also post digital photos of the results of your hobbies or interests to a Pinterest board or share them on Facebook. If you hobby lends itself, assemble a physical portfolio. There’s an added connection for loved ones when there’s something to finger and contemplate. (Example: Places I’ve Been Pinterest Board)
You don’t have to be an expert at something to make your passion worth sharing. You’re sharing the traditions as well. For instance, birthday cakes are a big deal around my house, but I’m no expert at making them. It’s still fun to look back at pictures of my attempts of a space shuttle, fire-truck, dragon, and turtle cake.
What do you get out of your Hobbies?
In your scrapbook captions, journals, or Treasure Chest writings, make sure you explain what attracted you to your hobbies and interests and what you get out of them. Why does it matter to you?
Don’t assume others will automatically “get it.” Explaining why you’re passionate about your hobbies might require going beyond the obvious enjoyment of working with your hands or feeding a hungry family. I love gardening and my husband likes the result, but when he helps out, it’s just plain work for him. I have to explain the connection I feel with the soil and the inherent joy of nurturing.
Likewise, people might not get why you spend hours up to your elbows in sawdust and stain when you could just go buy a bed frame at IKEA.
Do you love the process of creation, the intellectual requirements, or the lack of same? Do you thrive on the alone time with your craft or is it the result that makes your heart sing? For instance, a nature photographer might love being outside capturing and sharing beauty, but portrait photographer might enjoy the social nature of their work.
Some of our best memories and bonding comes from passing on a passion. Sometimes we want to go beyond sharing—we want to convert. Genealogy comes particularly to mind. Explain how loved ones can join in. Find the first couple of generations of the other side of your niece’s family tree or buy your son-in-law a beer-making kit. Even if they don’t end up loving your hobbies as much as you do, they’ll at least have a better idea of what it is that you love. My husband doesn’t keep bees or own a ham radio set, but he talks fondly (and proudly!) of his memories of his grandpa’s hobbies.
As long as you’re connecting and sharing, it’s all good.