We all have hobbies.
But I have discovered something interesting about how we perceive our hobbies, and possibly, why we have them.
I know a lot of people who have hobbies they participate in…but do not like. Or at least, they do not explain their hobbies in a manner that would make any other sane being not already into the hobby want to take them up.
I suppose it is possible this is only an issue with the PERSON and not a judgement on the hobby in general. It makes sense to me that, somewhere on this planet, there is a person who plays golf, isn’t good at it, and doesn’t care. I have not been able to find this person.
And that is why I think maybe it isn’t the hobby so much, as much as our EXPECTATION of what the hobby can bring us. Let me back up…
Golf…to me…is a 4+ hour waste of time and minor physical effort. I could be at home fixing something, physically exerting myself at a level that will benefit my physical well-being, or…quite frankly…sleeping late. Any of these would be preferable to a game where virtually no one is happy the entire day.
But I can see, in a very detached way, that someone would be able to say “I need get nothing done today. It is sunny and I will wander about the course. And of course, there is beer here.” Yes yes, says I, why not swat a tiny ball a few thousand yards?
So what’s the problem?
The problem with hobbies is…we turn them into work. This is the menace living in our frontal lobe. We’re driven to be ‘better’ at what we perceive ourselves to be good at. It’s simple competition…or possibly pride. But in the end, the thing we started to do to relax becomes stressfull.
For me personally, I have had this happen to several of my hobbies. I took up Blacksmithing, offered up my services, and at one point had a gentleman in New Hampshire order 88 custom drawer pulls for his custom home. Each of these took 4 heats (about 10 minutes) to complete, minus the drilling and tapping and cutting through-bolts to fit. By the time I was done I hated this job.
Or did I?
I can make that drawer pull…today…in, oh, maybe 5 minutes each. So the effort WAS worth it. But the LESSON was more important.
Don’t let your hobby become your job.
Embrace it, but don’t obsess about it. Live for it, but not to the point failure in it crushes your soul. And probably more than any other thing, be an ambassador for the hobby. Be the peron you wish someone else had been when you stood there trying to figure it out.
Oh, and if you think you have nothing else to give? If you’re feeling like you’ve “got this covered”, it’s time to add another hobby.