Sometimes I think that my one true hobby is having hobbies. There are some that have stuck with me through the years, mainly reading. Interesting to note that I turn into a slightly awful person when I’m reading, unaware and unwilling to share in what’s going on around me. I read an entire book this last Saturday. It wasn’t a particularly long book, about 300 pages in fairly large print, but once I got hooked there was no breaking away. The funny part, I think I’ve read that particular book about six times already.
I think I get hooked on hobbies just like I get hooked into books. When I find something new I want to try, I jump right into it, finding online instructions, video tutorials, buying supplies, trying, failing, and trying again if I really want to. I immerse myself in the subject until I get bored or find a new project to try, and the cycle starts again.
Most of the hobbies I’ve tried out are crafty in nature, though music has been a large factor over the years. My most current hobby is quilting. It started as a way to carry on a tradition in my family and quickly turned into something I enjoy. I was really terrible and impatient with it at first, but I’m hooked on it now, and getting kind of OK at it even. Other semi-successful hobbies that I’ve learned and keep in the wings are playing the cello and other instruments, crocheting, and making videos. I’m not extraordinarily talented at any of these things, but I really like doing them and they’ve made it onto the “permanent hobby” list. Next to try is cross-stitch, and I don’t need to hear about how I’m an 80 year old stuck in an under-30 year old’s body. I know this.
I’ve experienced plenty of permanent failures as well. Painting, knitting, making mason jars look cute, other things I must have decided to forget about. If you’ve been reading this column from the start, you’ll remember I have a hard time admitting failure. Alas, as I get older I’ve started to run out of room for the remnants of these failures and I’ve learned to give up pretty quickly if I’m not enjoying it.
The beauty of it all is that if I want to try a new hobby the information is right at my fingertips. The internet, the ultimate enabler, never says no. Instead it says, oh I see you like this, maybe you would like this as well? A double edged sword; all the information in the world, and only enough time for one hobby at a time… or three.
I plan to keep on hobbyin’ until I can’t hobby no more. I once read that learning how to do new things helps to keep Alzheimers and dementia at bay, so maybe having hobbies as a hobby isn’t so bad after all.