For most people, there are many obstacles you have to get past in order to do anything outside of work, let alone have a hobby. Some of the biggest obstacles include time, energy, and money.
Work takes up a lot of time; for most people, 40 hours per week. Sleeping also takes up a lot of time, let’s assume 8 hours per night for the average person, adding up to 56 hours per week. Since there are only 168 hours per week, that means that just work and sleeping takes up over half of the week. After work and sleeping 8 hours a night, only 72 hours remain. But, you still have to commute, eat, take care of responsibilities, and many other things. Now, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American commutes 25.4 minutes to work, and let’s assume the same from work to home. So, let’s round that to about an hour everyday just traveling to and from work, making the total for commuting 7 hours per week. Then, lets assume an hour for eating dinner, an hour for eating lunch, and half an hour for breakfast. Let’s also assume an hour everyday at minimum for responsibilities like chores, showering, and etc. (I know I use more time than that being married, a homeowner, and having pets.) That adds up to 17.5 hours a week eating and 7 hours a week for responsibilities. Taking all of that into account leaves 40.5 hours per week total of free time. That sounds like a lot, but that means only about an average of 5.75 hours per day. It still sounds like a decent amount of time, but you have to remember that there’s still a lot of time consuming tasks we haven’t accounted for. (i.e. bathroom usage, preparing/purchasing food, etc.) Plus, these calculations are assuming the time is being used with almost perfect efficiency, and that none of the time is being used for a social life, dating, attending church, or anything similar.
Now, let’s assume that you’ve somehow found enough free time to pursue an interest and/or hobby. After you’ve finished all of your chores/taken care of all of your responsibilities, eaten, and done everything else you need/want to do, you are probably exhausted and just want to sit down. This is probably especially true after a full day of work. But let’s assume it’s your day off. Even then do you have any energy left? You’ve probably saved the more time consuming chores for this day or maybe you’ve been working for at least the last couple days. I know even on my day off, I usually have to force myself to muster up enough energy just to get my responsibilities taken care of. But since we’re talking about hobbies and personal interests here, you probably have a little more motivation for them than for other things like chores.
Finally, do you have enough money for a hobby? The average American lives paycheck to paycheck and has at least some debt. After bills, groceries, fuel, and etc., how much money do you have leftover for other things? Remember, regardless of what your interests are, your hobby will have expenses. Now I realize that some hobbies are more expensive than others, (For example, racing cars will probably cost more than painting) but there are still expenses of some sort with all hobbies. Now there’s also different levels of expenses with all hobbies, you can buy different quality supplies, materials, and tools; you can buy more or less supplies, materials, and tools; you can buy new or used items; so on and so forth. You can go big and expensive or smaller and cheaper. But you will still have expenses.
Now I bring all of this up, because as I work towards pursuing my own interests and hobbies, I find these obstacles and challenges very discouraging. Especially when I see others make posts in the Facebook groups I am a member of and/or videos on YouTube channels I like to watch. These posts and videos are often things I’d like to make and/or try. But often those who post these things have expensive equipment that I know would take me months to save up for, and that doesn’t even include the cost of the materials and/or any other necessary supplies. Also, as I start trying these things out and working on the projects that I want to do (and can afford), I find that they take way more time and energy to complete than I think that they will. (This can make them take even longer to complete. I’ve been working on a simple end table for about three weeks now!)
But what one has to remember is, most people don’t start at the top level with all the skills, experience, and expensive, high quality tools; and those YouTube channels didn’t start making enough money to replace a full-time job on day one; they had to start from the bottom and work for it. So don’t be discouraged when you see others who are successful while you are just starting out and may be struggling to find time, energy, and money. Rather, you should look up to those who are successful and be encouraged to work towards the level they are at. Remember, they were once where you are at and through hard work, they made it. So why can’t you?