Trees, plants, gardens, flowers was something I have loved for a long long time. However the liking remained unstructured and drifted into nurturing potted plants but I did not really try to develop it as a hobby for reasons unknown. Last year, I learnt about a course in Field Botany and I began that with great apprehension. Would I be able to get back to Science after all these years, should I give up precious evening hours on weekends (usually devoted to family outings), and so on and so forth.
Yet I did complete the course and gained hugely from it. Besides making new friends of all age groups, the best one was the greenery around me that I had taken for granted till now. I know the names of trees and their general flowering seasons and peculiarities. What I don’t know, I know whom to ask or which websites to refer to.
I have been walking up and down my lane for last several decades and only noticed its green canopy. It was absolutely thrilling to identify these trees and to discover that some were uncommon species.
My new found hobby has helped me truly enjoy natural beauty around me. Hence morning walks are different every month, due to the changing floral landscape on my route. The trees at any holiday destinations add to its enjoyment and enrich the experience. A surprising offshoot of this hobby was that I no longer needed to indulge in ‘small talk’ or gossip with fellow travellers (especially in group tours). Suddenly I was alone yet not really alone on my travels or outings. And the spotlight when enlightening others on various ‘tree’ peculiarities is wonderful as well! I have known people who have made a second career out of such developed interests and some have become authorities on their favourite subject. An opportunity to visit wonderful areas in Maharashtra that were off the beaten track was an added bonus.
As our children grow up many of us find more time on our hands – working moms included. This is the time to revive any old hobbies that may have taken backstage for various reasons. Else you may discover some new interests. Most cities now offer structured training by experts and joining such courses will be a good idea to brush up your knowledge or even learn something new. I chose Field Botany but each one of us will have our own special interests. Browse the Web and local dailies for advertisements of any courses or activities. You can even contribute your time and efforts for an NGO working in your field of interest.
Reconnecting with and nurturing your hobbies will be an enjoyable experience. It’s never too late to try something new… Go on. What are you waiting for?
Pic credit: Jeevan Jose (Used under a creative commons license)