A Question I’ll Never Forget

This past summer, I attended a wedding. While I was sitting eating dinner with my date, one of the bridesmaids husbands cleared his throat to start a bit of small talk. He came out with the words,

“What do you do…”

and I immediately became prepared to speak of my job or my schooling. However, he finished the question and completely caught me off guard.

“…for fun?”

I honestly didn’t know what to say. I had an answer prepared for what I originally thought was going to be the question – a good one. Every family member, old friend, or stranger asked the same typical one, but this question threw me for a loop (my date too!). He stared us down and waited eagerly for an answer, as we looked at each other in a way that could only be described as dumbfounded shock.

It took us both a couple of minutes to think of something to say, and as the conversation became focused on skiing and MN winters, I sat in a state of deep thinking. Such a simple question caused my mind to veer off into the land of serious contemplation, and I couldn’t help but ask myself a question, “Had I lost sight of the things I love to do?”


All it takes is one moment for us to rethink the lives that we’re living, doesn’t it? My mind still often wanders to that particular moment, and I think about 2 very important things.

  • We are so much more than our school & job successes
  • Those successes mean nothing if we’ve lost sight of what we love

The word “hobby” for some reason sounds juvenile, but who are we without them? Didn’t those come first? When you were little and picked up a pencil to draw for the first time, or found that competitive math brought you joy, or playing games with your friends was when you laughed the hardest. Kettering University talks about Why Hobbies are Important. If we prioritized those little things we love, the things that truly matter, would our success mean more? Heck yes!

We read all the time about successful people who are unhappy. We know that having all the money in the world doesn’t equal happiness, but the question that still seems to float around is, “Well then… what does?”

After you get your degree that you worked so hard for, you finally get a job, and maybe you slave, and work, and wait, and finally you make it somewhere you always wanted to be in your career. You still work long hours, you make a crap-ton of money, and you consider yourself successful. Are you happy?

Probably not! James Sama talks about what to do about it.

“Where do you wish you were during those work hours instead?” 

Painting? Taking photos? Writing a novel? Signed up for a local mathletes club? If it’s something tour thinking about when you think about a happier version of yourself, then it’s something you should be making time for. Kettering University and James Sama talk about two very different things, but together they form one very important truth: Your hobbies will nurture happiness, and your success will then mean so much more.


1 thought on “A Question I’ll Never Forget

  1. It’s interesting how often people ask what you do when they first meet, as if they are trying to gauge what kind of person you are based on your profession. What an awesome way to circumnavigate that trope.

    For your blog post I enjoyed how you formatted the quote. I was trying to do something similar with my posts but didn’t have the same effect.

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