Too many hobbies

My winter hobby.

My winter hobby.

Do you like to explore and learn new things? Do you see a video online of someone doing something remarkable, think “I can do this too!” and go do it (or wreck yourself trying)? Do you go into phases of intense obsession over a subject, only to abandon it a week later? Is your bedroom like mine, dusted with the skeletal remains of past hobbies? A smattering of guitar picks dusts your desk. Half a finished painting leans gloomily against a doorframe, as if waiting for its number to be called. You abandoned guitar because the strings made permanent callousey pads on your fingertips. And you gave up on art three summers ago after your insurmountable dissatisfaction with the way your lavenders blended into your indigos.

When you discover a new hobby, it’s like you’ve opened up a closet in your room you never knew existed, with all sorts of treasures inside. And opportunities. It’s all about the opportunities and the hope that you’ll try, see, hear, taste, and feel new things and sensations.

Like when you pick up a new musical instrument. The feeling of frustration when you first try making a decent sound. Then, the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction when you actually produce one. Then, the upward climb: mastering the song, then a more challenging one, then another, and another. Building your confidence as you progress.

But often times, this ascent is finite. You reach a point where it’s simply too hard. You don’t think you can do better. This is it. You were never a prodigy cut out for this anyway; it’s just a hobby. So you abandon your hobby, and it lies collecting dust and cobwebs underneath your bed.

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Ascending into your hobby. (Dorothy Takacs: CC BY-SA 3.0)

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A hobby put on hold for a stack of homework.

Hobbies are like relationships. There’s the initial honeymoon period, when your hobby is the most epic thing in the world. Then, other hobbies walk by and a glance from them gets your juices interested. Pretty soon, you’re cheating on your original hobby to try others. Finally, you’ve abandoned your original hobby altogether.

There are very few hobbies I have pursued solidly and continuously for years. My most frequent excuses are “I have no time”, “I should focus on work/school”, and “I’m not really good at this anyway.” I know a lot of little trivia about many things, but I can’t say I have expert knowledge about anything.

Do you have too many hobbies? How do you find the time to pursue them all? Which hobbies would you choose over others and why?

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9 thoughts on “Too many hobbies

  1. Pingback: Good days and bad days, high-energy days and low-energy days | breakfast with words

  2. It’s like being Jack of All Trades, without actually being extremely proficient in any of those trades! Story of my life. I think it’s fine though; at the end of the day I think I’d still rather know something about everything than to know everything about something. It makes life a little more exciting.

    To bring back something that’s been on my mind and open another can of worms, is it up to the Tiger Mother then (at least during childhood) to force you to grow in your hobbies? 😉

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    • Clarify that last question-do you mean is one of the good points of a tiger mother to force you to excel at chosen hobbies? And why has it been on your mind? 🙂

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      • Haha it’s been on my mind cause I half-read the book last week, several years late 😛 Yes that’s what I mean – since we are so predisposed to giving up on our hobbies when they get difficult or we run out of time for them, despite the fact that we love them, is it a GOOD thing for there to be a tiger parent present to force you to continue?

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        • Lol i didnt even know this book existed until this blog haha either. that’s kinda true, maybe it’s up to society to make following through when things get hard normal though. i feel like without society also following along then it just becomes a matter of following your parents because you have to, provided it’s more orders than support. does the ends justify the means? it didn’t for me. 😉 one cannot have too many hobbies though…;)

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  3. I think I used to do that with art (try several different kinds) but I never really liked art unless I produced something good, so inevitably, I put them down. However apparently I really do like art, i just hate sucking. I don’t enjoy the process of doing better. My actual hobbies though, I suck but enjoy a lot and look forward to getting better but enjoy slowly drawing out the process; I don’t believe I’ll ever put them down though. But I guess I wouldn’t be me without art; I don’t know if I wouldn’t be me without specific hobbies. Not sure what this says about myself, but maybe you can draw similar comparisons and insights. No one wants to think they’re cheating hobbies but touche.

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