Episode #105: The Importance of Hobbies as an Adult (with Elise Blaha Cripe)

This week, Elsie is joined by our honorary “third sister,” Elise Blaha Cripe. She’s a goal setting expert and she’s extremely ambitious about her hobbies. I hope you all enjoy this episode!

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

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Show Notes:
-Here’s a link to Elise’s podcast, Instagram, Make 36 Project, and her blog.

-Here’s the famous Ira Glass quote (it’s a great one!)

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

-Here’s a link to Malcom Gladwell’s book, The Outliers.

-Here’s a link to Elsie’s stationary bike. I will do a mini episode this fall about the 10-mile bike rides and movies thing—I’m finishing my 30th ride today!

-Here’s a link to Elise’s favorite pen and Elsie’s favorite pen. Do you have strong feelings about pens like we do?

-Elise’s best books she’s read recently: Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones and The Six, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. And favorite recent podcast, We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle.

-Here’s a link to Elise’s planner, Get To Work Book.

Thanks so much for listening!

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Episode 105 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today, I’m joined by our honorary third sister, Elise Blaha Cripe, to talk about the importance of hobbies. If you’ve been meaning to start or try a new hobby. This episode is for you. We’ll explore why starting new hobbies is an important part of adulthood. And hopefully we’ll talk you into starting your own next creative adventure. Hi, Elise!

Elise: Hi. I’m so happy to be here. Superfan!

Elsie: Yeah. Elise’s podcast was probably the first podcast I was ever on. Did you start it like, seven years ago?

Elise: Like, at least. Yeah. In twenty…early twenty fourteen.

Elsie: We refer to Elise as our third sister because she is also an O.G. blogger. So we started blogging together at the same time in our own little alternative universe in — like 15 years ago. So, yeah, times have changed. But one thing that I love about Elise, she’s an extreme goal setter and she’s an extreme hobby enthusiast. So I thought we could start off by you could explain to our listeners just some of the hobbies that you’ve done or started as an adult.

Elise: I love this topic. And I’m so excited that this is what we’re chatting about because I think about hobbies all the time. I’m definitely one of those people, you know you and Emma have talked about this, how you started something as a hobby and then it kind of turns into part of your job. And then there’s there’s plenty of things that haven’t become part of my job. But I relate to you guys a lot with that. So different hobbies over the years that I have tried, some that I still do: gardening, making pizza, making bread — like so many different types of bread — and then now sourdough. Sewing, like all sorts of different sewing projects, quilts were big for a while. I sew a lot of my own clothes knitting. So like knitting blankets, but then also knitting like garments and sweaters. Pottery is a big one that I started a couple of years ago and took a break from. I’m sure we’ll talk about that more. And then like cross-stitch, embroidery. For a while, I was like into running, pilates. That’s like a sampling of some of them.

Elsie: It’s incredible. Yeah, that’s such a long list and it really, really inspires me. I always love following you because it’s so motivating to see someone trying something new, learning it from scratch and then becoming like, would you say like a soft core expert, you know? On a lot of things?

Elise: (laughs) I always say, like, this has become like such a cliche line I have that’s like I’m not really an expert at anything, but I feel like I’m an expert at trying things. And let’s say you dabble in painting and you sort of learn what it looks like to start painting, you know, the gathering the supplies part and feeling excited. And then you you hit a plateau and you’re not good and you kind of come out of it because you get remotivated. Like that cycle, I think is the same basically for every craft. And so I’ve gotten used to sort of what that looks like, which I think helps. Like I’m less intimidated to try something new just because I’ve tried so many new things.

Elsie: Definitely. That is a really good point. Something I definitely want to talk about is the feeling of being bad at something feels so bad. And I think it keeps a lot of people — I know it has me at times — from really getting into something because you either want like…I’m always searching for a way I can be good at something the first time, which usually doesn’t exist. Right? So, yeah, I think that that’s really, really challenging. What do you do to like get through that or do you just feel like you got used to it?

Elise: Yeah, I remember hearing a podcast episode. I wish I knew exactly what it was, but it was Ira Glass was talking about…you get into a hobby or even like a job, like you want to try something because you see other people doing it well. Right? Like you want to try ceramics because you’re so inspired by this like, amazing Jonathan Adler vase you saw, right? So you see the best and then that motivates you to start and then you start and your skill is nowhere near where you want to be. And I think that’s incredibly demoralizing. It sucks. (laughs) It feels like a waste of time and it feels like a waste of money. And I think part of it is acknowledging that. Part of it is knowing that. And even as someone who knows it, I also still know that I don’t share my fails. Sometimes I’ll talk about them like after, but I don’t share really ugly photos. I don’t want to put really ugly photos of fails out there. And I often…when you’re in it, like when you’re actually trying to learn and it’s going badly, you don’t want to like discuss it, right? So a lot of a lot the time like when you tell the story of your mistakes or you tell the story of your accidents or your trials, you always do it after and it’s usually when you have something successful to show. And so because of that, we just don’t get to see a lot of people’s, like, messy garbage work. They just get to kind of gloss over it. So I think that’s a problem because I think it makes it feel like it’s rare to not do well. But of course, it isn’t. Everyone does it. Everyone starts at the beginning. And I think kind of knowing that like knowing that as a blogger for so long, I know, like, a lot of the behind the scenes helps. And then the second part is, like, I often think like maybe it’s going to take me like a year to get good at this. But if I don’t do it, then in a year, I’m still not going to be good at it. Right? Like, so I kind of try to think about the future, me instead of the current me.

Elsie: Yeah, I think that’s a great point. People always write to us and ask why we don’t share more fails or why we don’t share more of like the middle of the process. And I think that it’s important to understand that it’s too hard to…it’s too hard to get feedback on that stuff. That’s why I don’t. Because it’s too…it’s frustrating when people are just, like, constantly sending you. “You could do this better. You could try this.” And you’re like, I know that. I’m just practicing. (laughs) Like, I’m just sharing this thing. So I, and I do think that it’s like kept me from sharing a lot of things that are like almost good, but not quite. And that is like a shame, you know? And I do think that that’s sad. And probably for people, they never see the really, really bad stuff. So I guess I could try sharing that more. I think that that’s a great point. Maybe we can all just, like, know that it’s there, even if we can’t see it.

Elise: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think I think that’s right though. Like the feedback on the stuff I know isn’t good is almost unbearable, you know? (laughs) Because there’s no there’s not a lot of room. It’s different. Like if you could have a discussion and talk through it, but to share share it with the Internet is really hard. And so then yeah, there’s just there’s not a lot of examples. And I don’t…I don’t know that you have to start sharing all your messy middle, but I think that if you’re in the back of your mind, you can if everyone listening can keep in mind that we all have a messy middle, that might help. Yeah.

Elsie: Yeah. I think that’s a great point. We definitely all have it. And I like what you said about a year from now, it’s like we start practicing something that we suck at over and over and over again. A year from now, we might be feeling kind of good at it or, you know, picking it up for the first time still, which both those things happen to me all the time. But I do think that, yeah, that’s like a reason to start now, just to start getting through it. Like I really like that like, 10,000 hours book. What’s it called? It’s like Malcolm Gladwell or something.

Elise: Yeah.

Elsie: It’s like the most famous book ever and I can’t think of what it’s called.

Elise: Yeah. But how basically anything takes ten thousand hours to, to get good at to get to the point that you are an expert. Yeah. I think it’s Malcolm Gladwell. Yeah.

Elsie: Yeah. Oh it’s The Outliers. That’s what it’s called. OK, I’ll put this stuff in the show notes, I’ll put the Ira Glass quote to because I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s a great — it’s a wonderful quote if you haven’t read it. I want to talk about time. Because so many people write to me and they, you know, with the cookies, you know, the little like icing cookies that I do. People are like, how do you have time for that? And I’m like, I don’t have time for that. It’s it’s just like, you know, it’s kind of a matter of like squeezing it in a little bit on this day. And then the next day there’s like a couple of hours on my lunch break or whatever. You know, nobody has time like that. So what would you say to people who maybe have a full time job, maybe have a kid or two, and they’re like, I would love a hobby, but I don’t have time.

Elise: I love this question. I get it also all the time. I was thinking about this like different ways that I make sure I schedule it in, but I have like a non traditional job. So a lot of times my work and my play can really blend. So I wanted to talk about it more from my husband’s perspective because he works full time out of the house and we have two kids and, you know, so it’s a much more of a normal schedule and something that has really helped us make time for hobbies. So he has a couple of different hobbies. But this specific hobby, he plays video games. And we have just made it part of our routine that Thursday nights and Sunday nights after our kids are in bed, he plays and he logs on to Xbox with his friends. And that’s like a set thing. That’s part of our schedule. And so the first thing I would remind people is that. You can block it off like you can decide that, you know, aerobics is hugely important to you and that’s the thing that you have to do on Wednesday night instead of your normal routine of whatever it is, scrolling and watching TV or whatever. So kind of committing it like that, I think is hugely important. I think that telling people, like telling your kids if you have them or your roommate or whoever, hey, this Saturday I’m going to ice my sugar cookies or I’m going to throw pots or whatever, making it clear to the people around you that this is a time that you need, I think is really important. And then the last one, this is something that I have made a point to do is I really let my kids see me working on my creative hobbies all the time. Yeah. And I think it’s like I think it’s really important that I’m not trying to, like, squeeze it in where, you know, keep it out of their way and only do it when they’re napping — well they don’t nap — but only do it when they’re busy. I think it’s important that they just see that, oh, this is important to mom and she does it. And a lot of times, like they’re involved, it’s messy. It takes forever. It drives me nuts. But like, they’ve gotten older and they’re less like in it and they’re able to just kind of be near me as I’m working, you know? And I think I think that’s because their entire lives, they’ve just watched me do my various projects. And now it’s just…it’s as normal as anything else. And I think that has really helped.

Elsie: Yeah, that makes perfect sense to sort of like train your kids over time that you get to have hobbies, too. So, yeah, it’s not a surprise to them. I think that that’s brilliant.

Elise: Something that like you said specifically about the cookies a couple of episodes back was how, you know, you don’t do the icing cookies…I don’t even know what it’s called, but you don’t do it all year like you do it in a like in a season. And I think a lot of times we think of hobbies as something that we have to do every day, or if we don’t do it every week, it doesn’t count. And I just don’t think that’s true at all. Like, I think you can pick it up and get into it again and then kind of put it away. And that can still be like a very satisfying hobby.

Elsie: People get…we, you, people, everyone, (laughs) we get the idea that if we don’t do it perfectly, if we don’t do it or twelve out of ten, then it’s not worth doing. And that’s completely and totally not true with hobbies, especially things like for me, my hobbies right now: throw my kids better birthday parties. And then I see other bloggers, you know, on Instagram or whatever, and they have like caterers, you know, and they have like snow cone truck and like, you know what I mean? It’s OK that my party isn’t a twelve out of ten, though, because I still feel like I had, I don’t know this like, amazing experience setting it up and doing everything. I think that that’s really hard for people is just to think if I don’t do this better than everyone, then I shouldn’t do it, you know? But that’s not true at all. And like my cookies, it’s definitely one of my most fulfilling, joyful hobbies. I do it maybe I would say like six times a year and my cookies are not as good as some other cookies on the Internet. (laughs) They’re just not. But it’s so much fun. So I would just encourage people to be pretty good at something. You know, I think that is like it’s still so much fun, you know? And a big thing that I’m obsessed with is to just stay curious and interested and keep active on having more and more hobbies. Like that’s something that is probably like my honestly like my number one goal in aging is that I want to be interested in things and active in learning new things, like that’s my number one thing that I’m obsessed with. And I think that if you won’t let yourself do things that you’re not perfect at, you’re going to miss out on hundreds or maybe thousands of fun things in your life.

Elise: Exactly. Yeah. And if you — the comparison one is always so rough because you can always find someone who’s better than you at every single thing always. Right? And like, it’s just part of it. And I think this is actually…this is like so in the weeds. But you mentioned like we were both bloggers a thousand years ago, and I remember like watching you, you and A Beautiful Mess, like, skyrocket and thinking like, you know, on the one hand, like, I wish that was me, but on the other hand, thinking like, oh, like that’s possible. And I that I’ve always tried to, like, lean further into the like “that’s possible” side as opposed to like feeling sad that it didn’t happen to me, it’s kind of like, well, now, you know, like how big it can get if that makes sense. Or now, you know, like how good you can be. And I just found it like, so motivating and it’s made me way more able to, like, be excited, obviously, for other people’s success and also just like want to keep going, you know, like it just feels like it’s expanding as opposed to it feels expanding to me instead of limiting. So maybe like a mindset shift.

Elsie: Yeah, I think that that’s really, really inspiring. I love that. You’re like my ultimate girl crush. You know that, right? I love you so much! I know Emma feels the same way. All right, let’s just take a quick break.

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Elsie: So Elise has this project. Her podcast is basically just about this project right now. It’s so fun to listen to so you can listen to that, I’ll link all of it. Will you kind of tell them the whole thing of what Make 36 is?

Elise: Yeah, I will. OK, so let’s see. Cliff Notes. In twenty fourteen I did a project called Make 29, which was like the exact same thing but seven years ago. And the gist was I turned twenty-nine on February twenty-second and every month for a year I was going to launch a new product in quantities of twenty-nine or two hundred and ninety. And I did it because my business is kind of…

Elsie: Like where did you even think of that? It’s so creative.

Elise: You know what it was is I, I was like what, what do I want to do. Like I truly couldn’t figure out what I wanted to sell, like where I wanted to take my business. And I often find that if I have like — obviously a goal is hugely important to me. But then if I have strict rules around the goal, I do better. So making that like limited edition felt good and then once a month felt like semi- good realistic at the time. And so I for a year I did all sorts of different things, like I sold twenty-nine knit blankets and I sold two hundred and ninety like letterpress prints and posters and like all sorts of stuff. And then at the end of the project I realized that I just really liked working on big projects and like setting goals. And so from that is where it Get to Work Book which is my planner business came from. And so. I’ve been doing Get to Work Book now for six years, and last summer, right in the middle of COVID, my husband was deployed. My kids were home all the time. And I was just like, man, I’m losing it. I need some sort of, like focus, like some sort of creative focus. And so I kind of thought back and I was like, well, I could just basically do Make 29 again, only I’ll do it when I turn thirty six. So I’m doing the exact same thing. But now the additions are 36 and 360 and my focus this time around has been more on helping people also like, be crafty and creative. And so there’s been some normal things like I did letterpress prints to start it off, but then I sold a cross stitch pattern and cross stitch kit for the March edition. And then for April, I mentioned like my husband, he roasts coffee as a hobby. And so we were like I asked him to help me roast coffee, you know? And so we sold like a coffee subscription for April and then I sold a quilt kit for May. So it’s like all of my hobbies (laughs) coming together. It’s sort of like a hobby showcase. And it’s fun because I get to try a lot of things. I get to see what sells. I make money and I get to kind of think through, like, what do I want to do next? Like I’m still in the middle. And so I don’t quite know where it’s going, but it’s been really fun.

Elsie: I love the idea. It’s so different. I’ve never heard of anyone doing anything like this before. So I subscribed to the coffee, or I got the coffee subscription and it is delightful. It’s like we get coffee four times, right? It’s amazing.

Elise: Yep, every quarter.

Elsie: And we got the first one already and it was so delicious. So yeah that was really, really inspiring. And I missed the rainbow quilt kit, but I don’t know if I would have, I probably would have taken like six years to make the quilt. You know what i mean? It would have been like my guilt quilt, but it was — that one was so cool too, because it was like you got all the colors to make a rainbow quilt. And yeah, you have to look at Elise’s quilts. If you haven’t yet, I will link to her Instagram. There’s so many good ones.

Elise: Thank you. That’s so sweet. Yeah. It’s, it’s fun because it’s like because everything’s so different. It’s like hopefully there’s something for everyone, you know, like, like oh I like coffee but I’m not interested in the rest. I’m like, great. It’s fine. There’s a lot of stuff.

Elsie: I know when you have the pottery one that one’s for me. I’m going to be like waiting there at my computer.

Elise: OK.

Elsie: That will be so exciting. So yeah. I wanted to ask you, what your thoughts are on like attaching your hobbies to goals? Because it seems like you’re really like goal-oriented with your hobbies and does that help you to just like keep engaged with it and keep busy with it? Do you think you’re, like, doing it more than you would?

Elise: Yeah, yes, I think so. I was thinking about this before the call because so many of my hobbies are based on something that like — they’re based on like something you kind of get at the end. Right? I think that’s why I like DIY home projects because I get to hang them on the wall or I get to see them. I like making garments because I get to wear them. So I, I am fairly results-focused. So I enjoy setting the goal. I enjoy working towards it and then I enjoy having the thing. But there are other hobbies that I, you know, have that I think would be more casual, you know, like gardening or reading books or even like sometimes I get really into puzzles. Like those are still hobbies, even though there isn’t a thing, there isn’t like a result at the end. And so I, I definitely have more casual hobbies. And I think if you’re listening to this and you’re feeling overwhelmed, something to remember is that you know, just reading like just going out for walks, like that’s a hobby. It’s something that you’re choosing to do in your spare time for fun, like for enjoyment. And so it doesn’t have to be something that results in a big reveal.

Elsie: It doesn’t have to be productive.

Elise: Yes, exactly. There doesn’t have to be an after to your hobby. And I think potentially it can be more satisfying if it’s just part of your life. Right? I think ideally we’re turning our hobbies into habits a little bit. So they’re just a thing that we do.

Elsie: Yeah.

Elise: So I do try to think about that, but I’m like an Enneagram three. And so for me, the planning and the working and the making progress and sharing, that’s just part of how I’m wired. And so that’s part of how motivated. But that definitely is not going to be the case for everyone, and I think that’s so OK. (laughs)

Elsie: You want to hear my hobby that I just started, that’s not productive?

Elise: Please.

Elsie: It’s enjoyable. It’s not like like what you’re saying, like a DIY when you’re like, I’m going to paint. Like, I recently decided that I might be thinking, I still haven’t committed, but I might paint the trim in my house myself because it seems like a crazy amount of money. And I was like, I don’t want to do it at all, but I know that I can. And I know that if I did, it would take a long time, but that at the end I would feel this like very big satisfaction in my work. That’s productive, I wouldn’t say it’s a hobby, but it’s a productive goal. OK, so this is my unproductive one. So I’ve been riding my little stationary bike. I got it last summer when we first moved here and I love it. It’s like it’s a little inexpensive stationary bike, like nothing that’s special about it. It’s kind of like the cheapest version of a spin bike, like what you would use at the gym. Like you can adjust the tension and do all that. And it tells you like how long you’ve been going and like but it’s very minimal. It’s not like a Peloton, it doesn’t have a screen, it doesn’t play videos for you, it doesn’t talk to you, it doesn’t do anything like that. So anyway, I have been writing it four days a week since the fall and I was like, OK, I have a baseline. This is like the most athletic I’ve been in a long time. I’m like really proud of it. And then I was like, I want to start doing ten-mile0 rides, but also I don’t want to do it. So what I did is I made this chart and I made this goal that I’m going to do a hundred ten-mile rides. And what I do the entire time I do the rides is watch cheesy movies and it’s awesome. It’s like the best goal I’ve ever made. The first movie I watched was Knives Out. I watch movies like that like any basically any movie on Netflix or Hulu that Jeremy wouldn’t watch. I watch that kind of stuff. Like the other day I watched the version of Bewitched with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, and it was amazing, which, by the way, that is some house porn. She has a really good cottage in that movie, so everyone should look it up. But anyway, yeah, I think that’s a great example of a goal where it’s like I’m getting something out of it, but it’s like very much just for me and it’s like I’m not going to like have really like anything to show for it at the end of it, except for, like, a happier life.

Elise: Yeah, for sure. Do you have…I know you’re big on like a prize at the end or a prize when you finish.

Elsie: Yeah. The prizes.

Elise: And so have you picked a prize or no prize at the end?

Elsie: No, I didn’t pick a prize for this because I feel like watching the movies is the prize…

Elise: Is the prize.

Elsie: …for me right now. I just love it so much. And for so many years of my life, exercise has been like kind of like a not a punishment but like not a delight. You know, it’s been like somewhere in the middle or maybe like not fun. And this is like a delight. So I’m just enjoying it for what it is. And I’ll probably definitely buy myself a prize at the end. Don’t worry, but I haven’t thought about it yet. (laughs) Becuase I only started…I’m like almost to my tenth one, so it hasn’t even been that many. So I’m one-tenth of the way to my goal.

Elise: Yeah, that’s great. I think, I think too like just figuring out how you’re motivated and the types of things obviously like what you like to do. I think a lot of times we just we think, oh, that looks cool without any sort of thought about if we even want to do it or if we like to do it. And I think that’s important. And then giving yourself permission to quit like just stop, like the hobby…

Elsie: Okay this is another thing I want to bring up. So what happens when you start a hobby or let’s say like it’s a hobby that costs some money? Like you’re like, I’m going to start making jewelry and you buy a bunch of stuff and you get all your stuff together and you start doing it and you just, like, hate it. You know, that happens sometimes. What do you say to that situation?

Elise: Yeah, I think it definitely happens a lot. I think the first thing is if you can try something before you invest in it, the better. So pottery is a good example where I took a class at a studio…

Elsie: It’s so expensive. It’s the most expensive hobby I’ve ever gotten into. I’m like…

Elise: Right. And you haven’t even done your electrical rewiring yet. Or maybe you have. I don’t know. (laughs) But it’s — so if you can take a class at someone else’s place and use the material, see if you like it, is good. Before you buy a sewing machine, try to borrow one, borrow one for a friend. Ask if you can have it for a month. Any time you can do that. When I bought this pottery wheel that I have, I knew that if it didn’t work or if it just ended up gathering dust, I could resell it and I wasn’t going to make all the money back, but I was going to make, like enough back. And so thinking like that, like, a lot of times there is more life in your tools. So that can help. But I also am like a huge sunk cost person. Like, I’m just like, that’s over. I made a mistake. I’m not going to also, like, beat myself up and feel terrible and keep doing this garbage hobby even — just because I spent money, like, then I’m out the money and I’m sad. And so a lot of times we like you mentioned, like the guilt quilt. (laughs) I totally get that. Like I think so many people have that project where they bought the supplies and they haven’t used them. And I just advise you to pass it on, like give it to a friend who might be interested, donate it to goodwill, like get rid of that guilt supply that makes you sad because it’s keeping you from doing so many other hobbies, like you have to just kind of cut it loose. And it’s a bummer. But you’ll feel better. You’ll feel like you ran ten miles because you got rid of it.

Elsie: Yeah, I totally agree with that. All right, let’s take a quick pause for our sponsor break.

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I have always been the type of person since I — since childhood. I don’t know, but since I think I was born this way, where like something I love to do, if I’m like uninspired or if I’m just like in a funk — anything bad like in my life, had a bad day, had a bad month, whatever is go to either like Michael’s or Joanne or like Staples and just like browse through the aisles of supplies, like I love supply shopping, like there’s just something about it. And I always you know, that’s why Jeremy always makes fun of me, because I always like started a journal, start a journal, start a journal. One time he was cleaning out my stuff, OK? And he found like ten journals that had like two pages written in them, which that is like that’s the seven. But anyway, yeah, I guess I didn’t really have a point there except for that not most hobbies are not expensive at all.

Elise: That’s true. And also like most hobbies aren’t going to stick. And that’s part of it. And I think that’s there’s another thing you kind of accept along with the fact that you’ll be bad, is like it may not work out, you know, and I always say, like, if you try it and it doesn’t work out, then, you know, and you don’t have to, like, wonder, oh, should I do that or am I interested in that? You’re you’re just not. It’s OK.

Elsie: Yeah, definitely. I think that that’s that’s a very good point. And, you know, if you get into something like I have like a ton of painting stuff. And I have like a painting room, I’ll always have like a painting like space in my house and like my kids use it and I use it infrequently, like I get really into it. And then I don’t touch it for like a year. And then I get really into it and then I don’t touch it for like a year. And I’ve been like that for more than 10 years now. So I know. So if that’s you, I would just say that’s normal too. And that’s OK, too, to have a hobby where you just like get super into it. Like do you do that with sewing or anything else?

Elise: For sure. And I was going to ask you, when you’re talking about the cookies, do you notice that when you come back to it every year, you’re better at it?

Elsie: Honestly…

Elise: I’m not I’m not saying like you’re like great, but do you feel like you come back to it and it’s easier?

Elsie: Yeah, I think, like, now I don’t even really have to look at the recipe because I’ve been doing it for about three or four years now and it’s pretty easy. And I do think that maybe like over time you’re sort of like collecting little creative ideas and filing them in the back of your brain even when you don’t realize it. Like I was saying earlier, one of my, like, reoccurring topics in therapy is that I really want to be a lifelong learner. It’s the most important thing that I want to have until the day I die is like I hope that, like on the day I die, I have some kind of little, like, paint set that’s not opened that I just bought, like that would make me so happy. So can you share with our listeners like your intentions for hobbies and your goals as you’re growing older?

Elise: Yeah, I love that. I feel the same that I always want to be trying. I have a story I’ve told this before but, the neighbor. My in-laws live up in Sacramento and their neighbor is this older lady and she passed away last year. But we went over to her house and it was filled with all of these paintings. And she was like in her eighties. And I was like, oh, have you always painted? And she’s like, Oh, no. I picked it up a couple of years ago. I was like, oh, my gosh, you know, and like, every wall of her house had these paintings. And I was so inspired by that. And then, like my dad at 60 joined his church choir, he was like, I’m going to sing. I want to sing. Right? And I’m so motivated by that. And so I feel the same for sure. I think if I had a dream, like right now, if I pictured it, I would have this, like, massive garden that was just like overflowing. I mean, in my head, that’s always my dream. You guys talked about vision boards like that’s like my my vision board dream. And I’m not near it yet. Like I have, like, my little garden bed that so far is alive. But that’s a place that I want to get to. And I, I feel like thinking like it’s going to take a long time, is exciting, you know? Instead of being sad about that, I’m excited by that. So that’s something I think about as a big future hobby I would like to have. Um, yeah. And I’m always inspired when you guys talk about, you know, how you hope that you’re still blogging in 60 years. Like, I hope I’m still sharing and like taking pictures and setting little goals and trying to meet them because it makes it feel — like that’s what is fun for me. Like I feel like that’s fun and I don’t, I hope I change, but I hope, you know, some of those things that are still exciting are, you know? Yeah.

Elsie: Absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s beautiful. I was going to do one of our segments that we always do. And then I was like, wait a minute. I think what we need to do is have a segment where we just discuss our favorite pen, our go to Pen, because…

Elise: I love it.

Elsie: I know. I just know I just know that our listeners are going to like this and they’re like, what’s your favorite pen? Just tell us. Just tell us. Just tell us — that’s what they’re thinking right now. So, OK, we both have an all-time favorite pen. It’s like, kind of like the only one. Do you feel that way?

Elise: Oh, yeah, for sure.

Elsie: Ok, so you go first.

Elise: Ok, mine is the Pilot G2 and there’s a ton of Pilot G2’s, but I need the extremely fine point, which is the point three eight. And I think everything else is terrible. I’ve discussed this at length with people, (laughs) but this is the one. I just feel like it’s crisp, it’s clean. It gives me my best handwriting, you know, like sometimes you have garbage handwriting, sometimes you have good. And this is the best absolute favorite. Pilot G2, point three eight. What’s yours?

Elsie: We’ll put these in the show notes so you guys can just click them. OK, so mine is the Papermate Flair. I looked at the package and it says it’s medium, but I think that it just kind of comes one way. So when you see it, you’ll just like, you’ll recognize it, it’s a recognizable pen that you’ve seen and it comes in either a pack of all black or a rainbow pack. And then sometimes there’s like giant rainbow packs. which is fine, but I pretty much only like the black one and the other, the colorful ones, I keep them around like for my kids and stuff, but I would rather use like a purple one or a blue one than any other pen, that’s for sure.

Elise: Interesting.

Elsie: Yeah. If it’s all I have, I can live with that. So the thing I like about it, it’s like a tiny fine not like super tiny, but it’s a pretty fine felt tip pen. So it’s kind of like writing with a really tiny little marker. And so, yeah, one of my first jobs when I was like maybe like I don’t know, twenty-one or twenty-two was making fonts and I would make like whole alphabets of fonts. And I seriously think that the amount of money I made for them was like either eighty dollars or one hundred dollars I can’t remember, for each font, for each whole font. And I thought it was great. I was like I can make 10 of these a month! This is my job now. (laughs)

Elise: (laughs)

Elsie: So anyway, I’ve always just loved this pen. And I also agree with Elise, like it makes me feel like my handwriting looks like my handwriting and it’s good for drawing, too. I love a journal so — and I like to like draw in my journal. I like to draw my room ideas, my DIY ideas, kind of like any idea it has to be drawn out. I like charts, things like that. So anyway, before we go, tell me the best book you’ve read this year. So twenty twenty…is it 2021?! (laugh) Right now?!

Elise: Oh my god, it doesn’t even matter, I don’t know.

Elsie: (laughs) It’s 2021 I think so the best book you’ve read so far this year and the best podcast you’ve heard lately.

Elise: I love it. OK, my favorite book, I just read it, it’s fiction. Like a super easy beach read, fun. It’s Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Read and she has two other books that are like pretty popular. People may have seen them around, but they’re all good. So if you read Malibu Rising, and you like it. Her other books are Daisy Jones and the Six, which is really great. And then The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Those are like really intense titles, but they’re all like quick fun fiction reads — would recommend. And my favorite podcast. So I just started listening to Glenn Doyle’s podcast. It’s called We Can Do Hard Things. And at first I was like, I don’t know, like it felt like I was going to be a little self-help. And self-help is great, but sometimes I have to be in the mood. Anyway. I ended up like bingeing her first…there’s only like six episodes. But the most recent, it was called like the episode is called Fighting Well. And it was her and her wife and they were talking about the five fights that they have over and over and over again. And I know I loved it. Like I can listen to other people talk about their relationships forever. And so I love listening to those. And then I love listening to kind of their problem-solving and the way they approach their fights and obviously how they approach like making up. And it was one that I like sent to Paul. I was like, I really need you to listen to this. Like, it’s so important you listen to this, because I just…not that I thought they had anything like mind blowing, but it was so relatable. And then I felt like it made me think about, you know, kind of how I approach, like fights or how I approach conflict just in general. Wouldn’t even have to be with a spouse. But it was great. I loved it. So I would recommend that too — Fighting Well.

Elsie: Nice! This week’s show notes are going to be really full of useful links. So that makes me happy. You can find the show notes at abeautifulmess.com/podcast. And we also have a transcript every single week. OK, so before we go, I am a long-time fangirl of your planner Get to Work Book. I get one every year. It’s my favorite planner. Hands down. So would you mind just telling our listeners just a little bit about what makes your planner different?

Elise: Yeah, for sure. So I mentioned Get to Work Book I created when I was doing that big project. And so I call it like a day planner plus a goal-setting workbook. But that might be overwhelming for folks. But basically the main bulk of the book is weekly spreads that have columns for Monday through Sunday. And I use my weekly spreads as my to do list. It holds everything. There are tons of photos. If you go to @gettoworkbook on Instagram, you’ll see like a lot of samples and ways people use it. And then at gettoworkbook.com, I have a short kind of walk-through video that talks about all the features. I don’t think it’s the perfect planner for everyone, but I think it can be a really good fit and could be worth a try. If you’re like, you know what, I need some sort of planner, because now I have so many hobbies! (laughs) I need to write stuff down. Yeah, it’s a good one.

Elsie: Yeah, everyone needs a planner. OK, so where can our listeners follow you and find you?

Elise: Yeah, I’m most active on Instagram, I’m at @elisejoy there, and then if you just go to elisejoy.com, you’ll find links to a podcast we talked about. I did blog for a very long time and I don’t blog very much now, but there’s a lot of archives and I have a newsletter that I send out maybe twice a month, if that’s what you like. If you like getting something in your inbox, it’s all at elisejoy.com

Elsie: Nice. Thanks so much for joining us! OK, we’ll be back next week.

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  • I loved this episode! It inspired me to make time for hobbies and not to worry if it’s perfect. Such wise advice! Here I go, crochet!

  • I just LOVE what Elise said about letting your kids see you doing your hobbies. During lockdown in spring 2020 I bought myself two paint by number canvases. I am not artistically inclined hence the paint by number aspect but I really wanted to create something to commemorate this (hopefully) once in a lifetime event. I made time each afternoon, usually for about an hour to an hour and a half and I sat in the living room and painted. Friends could not believe that my two kids (ages 6 and 4) would just let me have my time and do this haha! But really, they enjoyed seeing Mom have fun with her hobby during this stressful time. Sometimes they would bring their own crayons and coloring books to color beside me or even just sit and watch me paint! My 6 year old loved to know what number I was doing and what color I would do next. It became a very fun part of our afternoon.

  • Loved this episode!! So inspiring! And I have the exercise bike too and I’m going to try your challenge of 10 miles 100 times. We can do it!!

  • I felt like Elise was talking about me when she was running through the hobbies she has tried or does. I always say that I am a dabbler of many things, but a master of none. I’ve got so many hobbies, too. Haha!

    I love the pens both of you referenced. My other personal favorite is the uni-ball Vision rollerball. I’m definitely picky and particular about pens and writing utensils in general. Something that I find absolutely cringeworthy is when you go into a doctor’s office or somewhere and they give you a form (single sheet of paper) to fill out on a clipboard and hand you a ballpoint pen to write with. I will fill it out anyway, but I cannot stand this combination. Haha! I totally relate to Elsie’s supplies enjoyment. I love to wander around the school supplies area at Target, even though I don’t need anything.

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