Having one or two hobbies can help give you a purpose in life.  It gives you an escape from life’s stresses by allowing you to immerse yourself in something you enjoy.  It takes you to your ‘happy place’ where you can shut out the world for some much needed ‘ME’ time.

You may have a stressful job, you may have lost your job, you may have split up from your partner or perhaps you have a long-term illness.  These are all highly difficult scenarios to navigate.  Having a hobby gives some stability and focus for a few hours to help cope with whatever else is going on in your life.  It really can make a huge difference to your mental wellbeing.

It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s totally personal to you.  But when you find something that gives you that feeling of calm and contentment you will know you have found it.

I’d like to share a few of my hobbies, passions and interests that may inspire you to try something similar.

One of my passions is horticulture and in particular a certain genre of the plant world.

I’ve been fascinated by insect eating plants, or to give them their more formal title ‘carnivorous plants’, for many years. 

My first experience was seeing a Venus flytrap when I was a kid.  It was in the garden section of a local DIY store.  Such a store was normally a pretty dull place to me, so I wasn’t expecting to see anything of much interest.  However, something caught my eye and I gave it a double take before having a closer look.  The next thing I remember was being reprimanded by a staff member as I was poking it with my finger, as other curious kids gathered around.  I’m sure the staff were fed up trying to protect these delicate plants from the likes of me.

This was in the days before the internet.  I’d vaguely heard of the Venus flytrap but had never seen one before, not even a picture that I can recall. 

Growing up, I thought all plants were slow moving and not particularly exciting.  I enjoyed growing a few vegetables but was always impatient for whatever they were going to produce and flowers just didn’t interest me. 

To see this toothed trap snap shut of this Venus flytrap was just so unexpected.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

As my collection has grown and expanded over the years I regularly divide them to form new plants.  I then pass them on to friends and family so they can appreciate these fascinating plants too.  My nephew, Laurence is also hooked, although only becoming interested in the last few years, he’s now very enthusiastic about his growing collection!

I will share some of what I have learned about growing carnivorous plants.  I still very much consider myself an amateur enthusiast and learning all the time. 

Having a hobby can open doors.  Your passion for the topic will be infectious and others will want to learn about it too.  It can start a new friendship group.  Perhaps you could turn your hobby into a profitable side hustle.  However it may develop, the bottom line is it’s probably doing wonders for your mental health and self-worth and you can’t put a cost on that.