I have always wanted to have a really cool hobby. I don’t know… it just seems like stamp collectors and quilters [props to the other Annie Downs!] and antiquers all have super cool hobbies and can go to conferences and speak their own language and such.

I’m jealous.

Since writing is my full-time gig, I’ve been looking for a hobby not involving words. I love.love.love. to read, but when I sit at a computer and write all the livelong day, those 26 letters camp on my last nerve. So I need a break from the letters ALL THE LETTERS IN MY HEAD. So reading quickly loses it’s relaxation points during a season of intense writing.

I tried to learn piano, but my fingers are just a smidge too chubby to really enjoy the experience. Like little sausages, they are. I dare not display my guitar skillz here in Nashville [pitiful stuff], and I tried to be a painter once but even my unconditionally supportive sister Sally recognized my lack in that department.

So. All that rambling to say I felt hobby-less. Which is like homeless, except totally different. As my friend Jeremy says, I have what we like to call a “first-world problem,” this whole lacking a hobby thing. [People in third-world countries aren’t really pouting about what to do with all their free time. I am, without doubt, a spoiled brat. But, a brat with no hobby. And now we’re back full circle and you feel sorry for me again. See how I did that? Hobby-less. That was me.]

photo courtesy of Real Simple

Until…

I realized I have a hobby.

ORGANIZING.

I love to organize. To stack and file and straighten. To put away and throw away and collect together. I love it all.

I have been helping a few of my freelance friends here in Nashville set up their offices, organize their calendars, and categorize their email inboxes.

For some, this would be torture.

But for me? There is no more lovely a sight then that of an empty inbox and a color-coded calendar hanging on the wall. Throw in a clean file cabinet, and I.AM.DONE.FOR.

I guess you know it is a for real hobby when you won’t let people pay you to do it. Or when you think, “if there was an organizing conference, I would TOTES go.” [that’s weird, but true.] I was talking on the phone last night with the family I will be staying with in Scotland and the father said, “well, I could use some help organizing a bit in my office.”

I said, “Dear sir, you have gone and made what was going to be an absolutely perfect trip even more perfect-er. How dare you.”

[No I didn’t. But I thought it.]

So now, not only do I get to live in Scotland and have tea with the Queen and the Lochness monster every day, I also get to organize an office.

My creative brain pays the billz. My organizer brain gives me rest and rejuvenation. I spend all day trying to CREATE new things- organizing allows me just to put already created things into their right place. Chaos to clean. That’ll be the title of my next book.

[No it won’t.]

I am, without doubt, an absolute freak.

But at least I have a hobby.

Amen.

. . . . .

What I really want to know is what is your favorite hobby? I bet you do something really cool with your free time. Tell me about it!