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Lockdown stories

Hobby or Not?

We’ve been married for over 3 years now and I’ve always taken pride in how well I’ve known my husband. I always know what he’s gonna say next. His responses come out of his mouth later, they¬†are first muttered in my head.

In the last two months of lockdown, we’ve been together all the time, mostly. Be it working from the same living room, cooking in the kitchen together, cleaning together, sleeping and many other things that I need not mention here, it’s all been done together. 

Lockdown has affected both of us differently. While financially it has hit both of us, mentally it has affected him more than me. We both have been working from home, so we are definitely strained between household chores and office work. And, we dearly and immensely miss our house help.

I have kept myself engaged with various hobbies like  gardening, photography, blogging and bird watching. And like a super excited kid, I would go around telling him the titchest of my achievements like – spotting a new bird or getting a comment on my blog. I have kept myself excited and him involved in my eensy – weensy doses of happinesses.

Yesterday during a conversation, I asked him about his hobby (I anticipated the answer) and he instantly said “cricket”. He hasn’t played cricket in over a decade but that was his passion. He loved playing cricket as an adolescent boy but had to quit it unwillingly for higher education. He never took up another hobby after that.

The conversation was bizarre to me, somewhat indigestible. We’ve spent a substantial amount of time together, we’ve travelled together, we’ve partied hard, we’ve talked for hours together, we’ve been crazy together but in this togetherness I think he has been living with my hobbies. This irks!

So today I asked him to choose a hobby for the next few days and he couldn’t choose one. I was livid thinking that I was going to this person every other day with a new hobby and he couldn’t think of one for himself. I chose a few for him and he still did not show any interest. 
I bought some plants today and have asked him to take care of those. I know he will, while not whole heartedly but he will. During these difficult times, it’s so important to have a hobby which holds your interest in life other than your work and relations. It’s important for your mind and heart.

Helping him choose a hobby for himself has become a mission for me. At times, adults are too busy being adults – taking care of their lives, the lives of their loved ones and following their goals that hobbies ebb en route.

Happiness is unquestionably not equal to hobbies, but if happiness is distant, will a hobby help, is the question? May be. Or May be not. But with certitude I can tell you, it would be far less stressful.