Recently I was at a party during which a Nice Person was trying to drag small talk out of me, exhausting for both of us, and I began to feel sorry for her that she ended up next to me. She asked if I had any "hobbies," causing me to blurt in a near-autistic response: "WHAT?"
Before being retired nobody ever asked what I did, and if it came up that I was a teacher of art, that was the end of it. Nobody wished to know more. And now, suddenly, people are mildly curious: what are you doing?
And I am like: you didn't care before. why bother now?
To answer the question nicely, I should have said "There is a lot of space in my days now that didn't exist before, although I was just half-time when I was working and already an adept daydreamer and time-waster, one foot already in the Lazy Room, walking the dogs and studying the sky above."
Instead I told her that I photographed my Barbie dolls. I suppose that was a sort of test, which she passed-or at least she did not back away- and then talked to me for another agonizing 30 minutes, in which I found out she had a friend just like me, and a partner that preferred his boxer to her.
Anyway. What's up with asking about "hobbies?" Isn't that an antiquated term? I don't like that word. Never ask anybody that! Even if they collect stamps, because it isn't a hobby, it's an interest, or better yet a passion. I like it that some people are passionate about stamps, and they should never have to call it a hobby.