Sunday, October 17, 2010

Women and hobby

Over lunch, a friend of mine laments that she does not have any hobby. Aside from juggling a banking career and a family with 3 young kids, she doesn't have time to cultivate a hobby. Unlike most women I know, men however seem to have time for golf, biking, running, playing futsel, playing badminton and the recent fad of riding a Harley cladded in leather.

I am not here to blast men. Instead I would like to encourage women to learn from them. Men have no qualm demanding time for themselves.  They act like it's their birth-right to have time to do what is fun. Women on the other hand feel guilty finding time for ourselves.  Like my friends, most of us who manage a career and family barely have time. And we succumb ourselves to accepting that our own needs are less important than the needs of others around us.  We give and give, not knowing we are depleted. We get more serious as we take on more responsibilities life thrust our direction. We forget to have fun.

It's time for us to carve time to do what we enjoy, what makes us happy. Think through what you really like to do when you were a kid. What magazines and articles catch your attention?  Take classes that are outside your comfort zone. Be open to invitation from friends to join them for workshops and events.

Several years ago after my second child was born, I was also trapped in a situation where I don't have any hobby aside from bed-time reading. I was not particularly passionate about any interest and I am not one of those lucky fews blessed with talent.  I've since then embarked on a joyful journey searching for my interests.

- Painting
I signed up for a basic painting class and spent many Saturday mornings playing with paint.  Realized I am not Picasso but it was nonetheless fun playing with paint and seeing the canvas filled with my creation.  I've stopped the class but I've since learned to appreciate paintings more.

Hadiparana Art Centre (+6221 7196354) in Kemang offers several art classes. (

- Scuba Diving
A few young colleagues invited me to join their scuba diving class. I've always loved the ocean and scuba diving lesson was inviting. We took the class and went for the PADI certification at the islands near Jakarta. Build some great friendship from the lessons we shared. I've since then went diving in Bali a few times and loved the serenity and beauty of the deep ocean. 

Bali Scuba (+6236 1288610) offers PADI certified classes and organize diving trips in and around Bali. (

- Golf
I picked up golf for practical reason it is good for networking. There are many driving ranges and many golf instructors that give golf lessons;  you can find certified instructors who are pricey and also those who teaches based on experience but have no certification. It depends on how much you are willing to spend and how serious you are in perfecting this sports. Ultimately, it comes down to practice, practice and practice. I've not caught on the golf bug and now only play once or twice a year.  Check out the many golf academies in town or simply go to one of the driving ranges and you will find instructors that suit you.

- Yoga
I was trying to find ways to unwind. After a long day, I used to feel physically exhausted but my mind was still running amok. Walked into Bikram Yoga class one day and it transformed me. I've since then sleep through the nights like a baby, learn to breathe better, have better posture and can actually now touch my toes. Flexibility has definitely improved. I now look forward to sweating the whole week's of stress and toxic in my weekend classes. 

Yoga at 42 (+6221 7197379) offers hot yoga classes conducted by certified instructors. They also offer ashtanga yoga and several other yoga classes. (

- Running
This is the easiest and cheapest pastime I've picked up.  Started running after I signed up for the 10K run in the annual Singapore Marathon and was addicted to running since then. For me, running is therapeutic. To just let go, and run. To feel the breeze and the sun. 

If you would like to join a serious running group, check out Jakarta Spirit. ( 

- Writing
It is now so easy to write. Facebook is a good media. Or check out Twitter which allows you to share your thoughts, observations and anything interesting. Did I mention you can shed your inhibition since you can be anonymous on Twitter?

There are so many activities we can pick up and I am sure everyone's interest is different. What is important is to do what is fun. To bring some joy and laughter into our lives. Let's not find excuse and let's enjoy life.

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