Early on in my life I noticed that everyone I knew, young and old, had a hobby. People knitted, embroidered, painted, sewed, etc. Having a hobby was not on my radar. In my younger days, I was too busy playing with the neighborhood kids. We played sports, made up games. We were rarely bored. Who had time for hobbies with so much fun stuff to do? My parents roped me into taking piano lessons for 6 years. When participation is under duress, the activity can never be called a hobby.
For some unknown reason, I got it in my head that I was supposed to have a hobby. Every allegedly normal person seemed to have one. I wondered if there might be something wrong with me for not joining the society of hobbyers. Maybe I was simply born without the hobby gene. In any case, the issue has plagued me to this very day.
Over the years, I attempted a variety of hobbyish activities. My first endeavor was rug hooking. I designed and made several scatter rugs. It wasn’t very pleasurable. My tendency was to go at it until a rug was finished. I skipped over ‘enjoy the process’ part as I was compelled to see the end result. That turned out to be my M.O. with every subsequent undertaking. I did dabble in several craftsy projects. It was always the same story. My compulsion for completion overrode enjoying the ride. The only exception was my baking phase, which was always about the delicious finished product. I finally smartened up and let the whole hobby thing go. So I thought.
Fast forward to the present, the horrid hobby issue resurfaced. There was a significant period of time between a couple of courses I teach. I felt the need for some creative outlet. My friends had an abundance of brilliant ideas of what I should do. You probably know what that’s like. And there was that ‘should’ again. Nothing really appealed to me. Then I remembered many years ago, I was fascinated with the dulcimer. A possibility, perhaps.
Serendipitously a friend had one and was willing to lend it to me. I could determine the seriousness of my intent without having to purchase one. Attending the Dulcimer Academy of You Tube, I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Even strummed a few songs. However, after a couple of weeks, ennui set in. The dulcimer experiment was over.
Suddenly, a scarey blast from the past hit me. What if I resussitated my piano skills? Hmmm. IfI got a small keyboard, I could play at my leisure, or not; whatever my mood fancied. Off to the store I went and purchased a just right keyboard that fit into my apartment very unobtrusively. This lack of obtrusiveness made it easy to ignore the just right keyboard. I managed to play a few tunes before outfitting it with a lovely dust cover. Every once in awhile the just right keyboard calls out to me. We make some music together and go our separate ways til the next time. The next time has yet to roll around.
There are two morals to this story:
One: If you don’t love and enjoy what you are doing, stop doing it. Something will call your name. When you hear that call, listen.
Two: What matters most is how we live our lives and treat others. Everything else is an accoutrement.
Comments are welcomed.