Who are we? Dilettantes! What do we want? To dabble!

Baby Hana celebrating her first marathon in 2009

Let’s talk about hobbies. I don’t mean the various pursuits students collect to add sparkle to their college applications, or the side hustles that my fellow Millennials take on to make ends meet. I mean those things we do because they seem fun and satisfy some need other than putting food on the table or achieving the next step in our career path. Throwing pottery? Yes please! Playing bridge? Great! Making homemade pickles? That’s what I’m talking about!

While this podcast features conversations with people who are professionals in their fields, it’s also important to recognize that we don’t need to be professionals or experts at everything we do. We ought to allow ourselves to do certain activities purely for pleasure, rather than trying to monetize them or use them to advance our careers. This gives us the freedom to take risks and try things out of curiosity, without the pressure of needing to become proficient. As someone who started playing soccer (very badly and very enthusiastically) at the age of 30, I can say that I would not have jumped into that sport if anything significant were riding on my performance. Instead, I was able to enjoy participating in a team sport and learning what “offsides” meant, laughing at my inevitable mistakes and feeling delight whenever I managed to do something that helped my team.

This podcast is also a hobby, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t secretly want it to become a “This American Life” caliber phenomenon. The original idea for the podcast came from reflecting on the various hobbies I’ve gathered over the years and contrasting my experience with what it must be like to pursue them professionally. With that being said, I’d like to shine the spotlight on hobbies and hobbyists in between my conversations with the experts and professionals. For now, these will be featured in writing and not as podcast episodes, so be sure to check here for new content!

I’ll begin by sharing some of my own experiences and interests, but I’d also love to hear from my listeners about your favorite, most interesting, or weirdest hobbies! Submit your stories here to be featured.

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