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true life stories ~ hobbies of mine

I’m thirty-two years old, and I feel like I am just now realizing what a hobby is, and the importance of having one – or several.  When I was younger, I’d sort of stumble around when asked what my hobbies were.  I’d try to shape the things I enjoyed doing into some sort of acceptable, normal hobby.  “Um, reading books.  Yeah, that.  And doing makeup?  Is that a hobby?  Because I like doing that.  Uhhh.  Hanging out with my friends!  That’s a hobby, right?”

But I have come to define a hobby, for me, as something that calms me, relaxes me, brings me joy and peace – and honestly, something I am not an expert at, so there is no pressure for perfection.  Just pure and simple enjoyment.

Along with several other things, nurturing plants and cooking have become my hobbies.

I have a million house plants.  Okay, not really.  But I have a lot of them.  When I come home for my lunch break and see the sun streaming through the window, filtering through the leaves of my plants, my soul is happy.  It’s true.  House plants make my soul happy.  And trust me, it’s taken me years to develop my green thumb, and I am far from being a pro.  In fact, I barely know anything about plants.  I have several I purchased simply because they were/are visually appealing to me.  I have two plants from my brother’s funeral over three years ago, and they’re still going strong.  I love them.  I have a beautiful plant {the one in the first photo} that was given to me by a sweet, sweet friend to help ease a heartbreak I shared with her.  I have a few small, colorful cacti that I purchased not just because they’re so darn cute, but also to prove to myself {and my roomie/sis} that I can now keep cacti alive – because years ago, I managed to kill more than one cactus plant, and I didn’t even know that was possible.

And the cooking… How do I explain my love of cooking?  When I was a teen, I thought I was a good cook if I could make yummy chocolate chip cookies.  Whenever I would help my mom make dinner, it mostly consisted of chopping vegetables or something like that.  Not very glamorous.  Boring.  Now, my soul thrills a bit whenever I chop vegetables and see the pretty colors piled up on the cutting board.

And really, this post is partly a shout out to my mom.  Because she never really cooked with recipes. At least, not much.  She might start out with a recipe or an idea of what she would want to make, but then she would adapt according to whatever ingredients we had on hand from our garden or the infamously cheap grocery store Aldi.  I used to get frustrated because I would want to try to help her cook, and she couldn’t point me to an exact recipe to follow.  I’d be standing at the stove, saying, “Okay, what do I do next?”  And she’d kind of take over, throwing in some of this and a bit of that.  I’d joke that I was never going to learn to cook, but in reality, that’s exactly how I cook now.  I rarely use a recipe.  I pin a thousand recipes, but when it comes down to it, I use them much more for ideas or inspiration for what to do with ingredients I already have on hand.

So, basically, I just have fun with it.  And that’s why I consider cooking to be a hobby of mine now. :)

These delicious stuffed peppers, for instance, I made by just throwing together some veggies {some fresh, some frozen} and sausage, along with lots of seasonings.  I cooked that up on the stove top.  Meanwhile, I cut some bell peppers in half and cooked them in the oven for a bit, then added the veggie/sausage mixture and cooked a bit longer, just keeping an eye on it.  {Side note: I do a lot of cooking, not much baking.  I like to be able to taste and adjust as I go.}What about you?  What are your “hobbies”?  Or, in other words, what do you do just because you enjoy doing it?

~abi~

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