The New York Times

The Case for Having a Hobby

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Last spring, I forgot the word for hobby. I was on a hike with friends, and I was explaining how much happier my spouse had become recently after starting a band with some friends.

“It’s just nice for them, I think, to have this creative outlet that’s not their job,” I told my friends. “It doesn’t have to be something that brings them money, just something that lets them unwind and have fun.”

My friends reminded me there was a word for that.

For many of us, expectations of an “always-on” working life have made hobbies a thing of the past, relegated to mere memories of what we in our free time. Worse still, many hobbies have morphed into the dreaded or as paths to , turning the

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