On Friday I spent hours messing my kitchen, trying to create a winning chocolate cake for the Gratz Fair. I dropped batter on the floor and tracked it everywhere. I had flour in my hair and chocolate stains on my jeans.
From a monetary perspective, my creative attempt was a waste of time. Even if I had won first place (I didn't come close) the prize money wouldn't have covered the cost of the ingredients and the gas it took to get it there. But I didn't do it for money.
I love to bake. My grandmother baked pies for a living, and after spending hours on just one cake, I have a new appreciation for the amount of work she put into her craft. Anyone who thinks owning a bakery would be an easy job is dreaming.
But work can also be fun. There's a lot of creativity involved in baking. First I had to come up with a recipe idea. Then I added some special touches to make it unique. My favorite part is the icing and decorating the finished cake. I used fresh mint leaves from our front yard and pressed them into the cake around clusters of fresh raspberries. After almost giving up when things kept going wrong, I was happy with the results. Icing and well-placed decoration can hide all kinds of flaws, even a lopsided cake.
Lately, I've been discovering hobbies I never considered before-- photography, journaling, and baking. It's amazing how much joy these activities bring to my life. I wonder why I never bothered before. It makes me realize how important it is to have hobbies.
I remember a time in my twenties when I felt so dissatisfied with life. I don't remember having a single hobby. Could there be a connection between hobbies and happiness? There might be. Are you making time for those unpaid activities you love to do?