Anyone else recently take up a new pastime? Tell me so that I may be jealous. I'm missing a hobby of my own at the moment.
|Oh, my poor neglected tub o' yarn.|
So, my hobby-turned-jobby turned into an actual job. Which leaves me hobbiless. I have a bunch of quasi-hobbies—reading, watching reality TV (while drinking wine), playing Angry Birds (also while drinking wine)… But those are passive occupations, requiring little of me aside from my attention, so I don't qualify them as hobbies. Walking and running are more physical upkeep than pastimes to me, cooking is as pleasurable as always but still a household obligation, so I don't count those, either. I find myself with occasional graphic design projects, for myself or others, but they're more diversions, not so much what I think of as a hobby.
A hobby is a long-term activity, in my view, one that requires you to continuously learn and gain competency. Like the study of a foreign language, yoga, painting watercolors, rock-climbing, poetry, amateur filmmaking, martial arts [wistful sigh], quilting, non-essential cooking, sailing, community theater, skateboarding, carving the faces of foreign dignitaries onto walnuts… You see where I'm going with this attempted definition. Something persistently challenging and hopefully creative. Something you look forward to while you toil away at your day job, and occasionally fantasize that you might one day make a living from.
Well my new day job, miracle of miracles, is still as creatively fulfilling as it was before The Call. So by the end of the day or the work week my mind is tapped, hence all my passive "hobbies". Staring at a page or screen is all I've got in me. I used to knit (I can produce a variety of impressive items, all of them roughly rectangle-shaped), practice Taekwondo, study French, sew, and try my hand at a variety of visual arts projects. I've always tended to grow bored easily then seek out new challenges as soon as I felt I'd grown competent with (if not mastered) a given skill. But now my brain's mush after fifty hours of working on projects that, generally speaking, I have massive creative control over.
Hmmm, suddenly this post sounds really douchey. Let me be clear—I'm not complaining! But I do miss having a hobby in my life. I've shifted to having projects instead, since that implies a challenge with a finite lifespan—an end. I very much feel that writing is something I'm still in the midst of getting good at, and I just don't have the energy to cultivate any additional creative skills just now.
What happens when your hobby turns into your profession? Does it become your "calling"? Your "passion"? Your "life"? I don't really know. But I do know that I'm just a little jealous of my manfriend, sequestered this very moment in his room, strumming away, with the promise of years of creative growth and challenge spread before him, should he choose to continue on his musical journey. I guess for now I'll just have to live vicariously. Possibly while drinking wine.