The Art of Being Bad at your Hobbies

When I started running, really running, about two years ago I was cruising at about a twelve minute mile. Now, two years, countless 5ks, three 10ks, and a half marathon later I still average a twelve minute mile on a good day. You may notice that I have not improved, because I have not. I run farther distances. Some days I feel really runnery and do a sprint work out. But then my neck gets weirdly sore and I go back to distance. Five miles ain't no thing. It will take me a little over an hour. That's just how I put one foot in front of the other. 

Young adulthood has held a lot of change, see all of my other blog posts. But in the year since graduating college, since I no longer have homework and sorority life to occupy my time, I have hobbies. None of which I am excellent at.

There is certainly a time and place for excellence. As a Christian, I believe that I am called to do all things to the glory of God. But I think this can look like settling for less-than-excellent when it comes to hobbies, or activities done for the purpose of rest. 

I have a few reasons for this, none of which are super developed. But I get a lot of joy out of and experience a lot of freedom in pursuing activities that I know I'm just bad at. I'm a very goal-oriented person, and it's just really good for me to have some non-goal areas of life. For example....

Painting. I met this girl at a wedding who paints wedding bouquets among other things, so I started following her on instagram, and in one post she encouraged her followers to "just pick up some brushes and paint," so I did. And y'all, it is usually very abstract, and very simple. But I love it. I started painting on cardboard instead of canvas, because it's cheaper, and I have a ton of amazon boxes just waiting to be recycled. I've painted lions, Pittsburgh's skyline, a door, flowers, and it usually gets thrown away or shoved into my "art corner." Also pro-tip for gathering gal pals: buy cheap acrylic paint, and on sale canvases, and get painting.  It's just the most relaxing time. Plus I get to use that creative side of my brain. 

Yoga. I love a good yoga class. But I never try to find a good yoga class, just one of those things. I used to try to follow along with youtube videos, but I would always get bored 12 minutes in, and end up checking facebook. But then a few months ago I started a nightly routine of yoga before bed. And it's amazing. I roll out my yoga mat in my room (I try to vacuum before or else I get distracted by the amount of hair I've shed that day), put an episode of the Office on my laptop and stretch it out. It would probably make an actual yogi crazy how little attention I pay to technique or actual yoga patterns. Mostly I just do a lot of warrior/downward dog/child pose/that one that I think is called pigeon. 

Running. When I took that running class at Baylor, it really bothered me that I was the slowest person. I wrote a great blog post about it, but that website is down, and I can't figure out how to bring it back. But trust me when I say, that the Lord really used that class to humble me. Running makes me happy, it's good thinking time, I love accomplishing little goals that have nothing to do with pace. Plus no matter how slow you're going, people still give you the runner's nod. 

Entertaining. I love having people in my home. I recently bought a book on etiquette/party-throwing by Kate Spade New York, and it is making me feeling very excited and very inadequate about future events hosted by yours truly. So I've moved "entertaining" from category "want to be known for how awesome I am" to "hobby." That way I can just get away with cleaning my bathroom and not having crisp hand-towels available to my guests. 

Which really brings this blog post home. This past weekend I was talking to a friend about how we used to be shining stars, and just don't feel like we are in our new respective cities, but how that's probably God's grace towards us. I am not called to be a shining star. I am not called to be the best at all that I do. I am called a beloved child of the King. And he gives me the freedom to hold the warrior two pose for a shorter time than I would at some fancy yoga studio.