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How to Maintain Hobbies When Life Changes.

I read a lot of novels in college not because I was an English major, but for my own pleasure. Being a full-time student allotted me a lot of free time to read. If I wasn’t reading a book for class, then I read for pleasure. When I graduated college and entered the workforce my free time to read dwindled.

Ever since I joined the Army, I think I finished two or three novels. My days would start at 6:30am in the morning and for the most part end at 5:00pm, but many times I would be so tired from work that after eating dinner and relaxing a bit I would much rather watch some TV or play a video game before it was time to go to bed. I dealt with less stress as a college student, so I had the peace to read.

I usually leave work around 5:20pm. By time I get home, change clothes, eat dinner, take a breather it’s around 7ish. I have about three more hours before it’s time to go to bed if I want enough rest to wake up at 5:30am. So, I want to read more books, but I also don’t want to spend all my free time reading. I really into video games now so I often want to spend time on that. There are TV shows and movies on Netflix that I want to finish. Baseball season is starting. I still have many stories I want to write.

To help balance my interest in books and my other hobbies I figured that I can listen to audio books. I’m in my car an average of 6 times a day. From driving to PT, to driving home to shower and eat breakfast, to driving to work, driving home or somewhere for lunch, driving back to work, then driving home at the end of the day. From my home to work including traffic I spend about 30 minutes in the car. I get an hour and thirty-minute lunch.

I spend about 3.5 hours a day in my car. That’s 3.5 hours that I can use listening to an audio book. 3.5 hours in five workdays equals to 17.5 hours a week. The audio book I’m thinking about getting is The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter, which has a 16hrs and 15 mins running time. I can finish a book by simply listening to it in my car during my daily commutes.

This way I’m fulfilling a hobby and can use my after-work hours for other things. See, when life changes it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up the things you enjoy doing. You just have to find a new way to enjoy them.

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