The Hub December 2016/January 2017 - Page 29

Scuba diving, stamp collecting, skeet shooting? What’s your hobby? Laura Foy does a little bit of everything. Her hobbies range from wood burning, scuba diving and underwater photography, to jigsaw puzzles, trivia, and cataloguing moths in the middle of the night. “I have different reasons for different hobbies,” says Foy, a Windsor resident. “My nature-based hobbies help me to relax and recenter myself. My creative hobbies are an outlet for my artistic side that I don't necessarily get to use in my jobs. My gaming hobbies (board games, trivia) are a social activity.” Like many hobbies, Foy finds the learning elements of her hobbies the most intriguing. “That’s what connects them all, whether it is learning a new game, or learning the name of a different kind of plant.” While Foy’s hobbies haven’t been career-focused, she has turned her hobbies into employment on occasion. “My love for scuba diving developed into underwater photography, and then I learned Photoshop so I could better display the pictures.” From that, Foy found work in graphic design. Her love of nature led her to work with the Essex Region Conservation Authority, and then into outdoors-based retail at the new Lee Valley store in Windsor. Tim Swaddling, operations manager at Action Hobbies Kingsville, recognizes that sometimes, it’s good to be busy. “I think the universal truth is that hobbies provide an interesting healthy alternative to some other more bad habits that can occupy people's time,” says Swaddling. Though not everyone turns their hobbies into employment like Foy has, the skills or knowledge you pick up on a hobby can translate to other aspects of your life. “Hobbies provide you with a challenge in your spare time, which is healthy to keep one's brain sharp. The skills involved in any hobby are all applicable to other aspects of life,” says Swaddling. “They certainly teach you to look at life a little differently.” In the heart of Windsor, there is a group of people who get together to work on a common hobby - model trains.