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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Why I have no life: Confessions of a serial hobbyist

It's good to have hobbies.

Hobbies give you something to do when there is nothing to do.  They fill the time, they busy your hands, they keep you mentally sharp, they keep you from having too much money (not really a positive, but a truth), and they provide a creative outlet from which you can present your truest self.

Yes, it is good to have hobbies.  But how many hobbies is it really reasonable and responsible to have?

Well...

Once upon a time when I was doing my undergrad I had pretty much zero hobbies.  I was student teaching and working part-time and studying and just didn't have time for frivolities like reading for fun or enjoying the outdoors or whatever.  Pretty much my hobby was watching the evening news.  That was about it.  BUT THEN, after I graduated and moved to the hillbilly-middle-of-nowhere for work, I found that this dearth of hobbies was a serious issue.  I was now living completely alone, with no friends or family within a three hour drive, with a frigid sub-arctic Alberta winter setting in, and my only hobby was watching TV.  This was a problem.  And because I am never one to let a problem fester, I quickly developed a solution to the incredible levels of physical and social isolation... I got a hobby.  Or two.  OR TEN.

Started innocently enough.  The damn town didn't even have a Tim Hortons to hang out at, so I got into walking to the grocery store to pick up one or two things.  Walking became a hobby until it got too cold (and the snow got too deep) to go outside for reasons other than to go to work.  It was then that the slippery slope of ONE MILLION HOBBIES began.  I found a card-making kit at the store, and thought "gosh, wouldn't that be fun, to make a handful of Christmas cards...".  And as everybody knows, card-making leads to scrapbooking (just like dancing leads to sex, just ask the Baptists!).  And it did.  Then I found out the town had a pool.  There's another hobby.  Then I found out the town had a liquor store.  ANOTHER HOBBY (maybe, not sure drinking is really a hobby, it was more like a competitive sport up there...).

Things progressed from there... until at one point I was involved in... scrapbooking, card-making, walking, boozing it up, swimming, jogging, watching hockey, playing hockey, birding, crochet, knitting, playing badminton, skiing, baking, playing in a band, yoga, karaoke, Nintendo Wii, reading and (occasionally) beer darts.  Simultaneously (or damn near).

But then I moved back to civilization and a good number of the army of hobbies died off because I then had access to things like human contact.  And because I went back for my masters (AKA, the hobby and social life killer).  For a while I went back to having a social life.  I was significantly more in touch with other people, and also less drunk.

And all was well.  I had a nice, reasonable number of hobbies.  I knit, crochet, watch sports, do aerobics, read, blog and walk.  And that has been a fairly stable crop of activities for the last year.  I feel like I have just the right amount of time to do all of those things, do them well, and do them as often as I like. 

AND THEN I got the Elna...

She's a thing of beauty...
I haven't done any sewing in 15 years and now that I finally have the real estate for a sewing machine, I picked up this gem on Kijiji.  Think of all the shit I'll be able to make now!  Curtains and tablecloths and pillow cases and throws and valances and shams and skirts and tops and bags and accessories....

Is this the slippery slope back into uncontrollable hobby-ing?  Is this the straw (or rather, much heavier 80-percent solid metal sewing beauty) that breaks the camels back and send me spiraling back into a world when I don't go outside save to go get more thread because THE HOBBIES HAVE TAKEN OVER AGAIN?

Only time will tell. 

But you know what they say.... sewing leads to quilting...

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