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  • Writer's pictureCoach Elizabeth Brink

Certified Hobby Collector

I hear people with ADHD 'confess' their many hobbies, and wonder why we feel so bad about hopping interests.

I love hobbies. I’ve never really had one, I’ve had dozens!

What I like about hobbies: dreaming, researching, planning, gathering materials (especially secondhand wins), and telling everyone about it. What I don’t like about hobbies: doing them.

Here are my top three favorite hobbies that almost were:

1) Sewing: probably the one I wanted the most and tried the hardest at. I’m still not releasing it entirely, but I’m nowhere near my dream level of “making my simple Old Navy swing dresses myself.”

2) Blogger: I’ve had blogs since before Blogger was a word. They used to be called online journals. I never could settle on a topic or main theme, but I enjoyed sharing painful stuff with strangers. (I was born ready for social media.)

3) Stationary: I had an elaborate array of paper, fancy scissors, and pens. I might have made less than 10 cards ever. When we left Boston I gifted my stash to a friend’s pre-teens and never looked back. I now doodle with my kids’ markers while on the phone.

My mom rarely held back when something interested her. We had three full-sized kilns in our garage growing up for her handmade porcelain (creepy) dolls. Several different pieces of exercise equipment were stored in our dining room with the fully automated embroidery machine.

I admired my mother's creativity and courage in trying new things. It didn't occur to me that hobby hopping was shameful until I could afford to chase my own.

The fabric I acquired in 2013 could supply a boutique for several months. I own a regular sewing machine AND a serger (a very complicated machine used for making clothes).

I felt embarrassed by my excitement in dreaming of sewing all my clothes because I had yet to make more than two things (neither of which fit properly).

Turns out, making clothes is hard! Ensuring they fit is too much work for me. But! I did make stockings for my family using my own pattern, which felt awesome. I still need to sell the serger.

What hobby supplies are you holding onto? I look back and feel the joy and energy it gave me to dream and try.

There is a big 'ole lie floating around that you must complete what you start to feel good about anything. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

Neurodivergent brains are fueled by interest. We never know if this one will be The One that sends us into the career or hobby we carry into our future. In many ways, that does not matter.

What if the joy of pursuing a new idea IS the hobby?

What if your ability to dream, research, ponder, and experiment is one of your greatest strengths?

What hobby will you research next?

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