REVEAL Q1 2017 - Page 6

The Hobby Experiment When You Realize You’re Boring...or just really need a hobby By Taylor Gates McKenzie I can pinpoint the exact moment I realized that I had become really boring. I was on an ill-fated Tinder date, sitting across from a nice guy I could see myself really liking. But, once we’d talked about our careers (which took all of five minutes), I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about. Nothing. I realized something that night - having a career is great, working hard toward goals is important, but that old cliche about ‘all work and no play’ is still very, very true. For young professional women, there’s a lot of pressure from ourselves, our bosses and our coworkers to be ‘on’ 24/7. This breakneck speed is sustainable for a while, but at some point you’re going to burn out. (Or, in my case you’re going to go on a date with a nice guy and bore him to death because all you can think to talk about is1 CAP Rates.) It’s not that you need to have a hobby so you’re interesting on your next Bumble date - you need a hobby (or two) to not only balance out your life, but ultimately, to help your career. Imagine coming home from work being excited to work on those hand-lettered thank you cards for an hour or two, instead of obsessing over that needy client’s latest crisis that you really can’t handle until the morning, anyway. We all need outlets - an excuse to spend some energy on ourselves rather than our bosses and coworkers and clients and family. Hobbies, whether something you do on your own in the peace of your apartment or something that gets you out of the house and socializing, bring balance to all aspects of your life. They give you something to take your mind off of the stress of day-to-day life, and they might teach you a skill or help you get in shape or make a difference in your community. But, finding a hobby you love shouldn’t just be an ‘aside’ from your professional development, because you’ll find that your hobby becomes an important factor in that development. Speaking from personal experience, the craziest thing about a hobby is that once you get into the habit of taking just a little bit of time for yourself each week, work suddenly gets better. You may go into this little ‘hobby’ experiment thinking that time away from the grind means the time spent at the office is busier and more rushed. But in reality, you’ll find yourself more focused and able to problem-solve more efficiently if you’ve taken some time for yourself. You’ll be in a better mood walking into the office, and those little fires you spend all day putting out won’t seem like five-alarm blazes anymore. While your ability to knit a sweater or hold crow pose isn’t exactly a marketable skill for your resume, the benefits of living a wellrounded life will shine through in both your personal and professional lives. Taylor Gates is a New England girl living in Vinings. She works in commercial real estate marketing by day and, when she’s not helping her clients close deals, she’s busy working on her new lifestyle blog for young professional women, heading up to the lake, exploring the city, or hanging out with her Pomeranian, Moxie. Reveal | Q1 2017 6