Monday, February 05, 2007

I Need A Hobby

When I moved away from home to go to college in 1996 I gave up my hobbies so I could concentrate on school. After one year of school I moved to Toronto to work for a year. My goal was to save as much money as possible to go back to school. This required lots of working irregular hours. Not much time for hobbies. In 1998 I went back to school.

When I graduated from college in 2002 I got a job with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. I decided to start working on my degree, but not until the fall. I figured after four years of straight school I deserved a break.

During that summer I did some Java programming and taught myself PHP and started working on MySQL. During that time I also really worked on improving my guitar-playing skills. Then in September I started school at Algoma University. I haven't had time for hobbies since.

Then last month I finished my last class in university so now I have effectively graduated. I don't have a whole lot time on my hands. But I do have more time than what I'm used to.

Recently it occurred to me I don't have a lot of hobbies. I think I should pick up a hobby or two. A hobby being defined as an activity that is different from your profession in which you engage for the pure enjoyment of the activity.

I guess I do have a few hobbies already:

  • Coffee Cup Art
  • Music (I play guitar and drums)
  • Blogging

These two hobbies are questionable:

I consider this one questionable because some people say that everyone should read anyway, so hobbies should be activities other than reading. I was recently reading a time management book that said that everyone should read 25 books per year, as well as maintain two hobbies. If one of those hobbies becomes your profession, get another hobby. I'm not sure if I really buy that line of reasoning. I think most people wouldn't, so reading would be a hobby of mine.

Computer Programming

I consider this one questionable because it is close to what I do for a living. Now, I do program for fun, as well as profit. (However, I do own a computer programming business, so for tax avoision purposes, all programming I do is work.)

Here is a list of activities that will most likely never be a hobby of mine:

  • Anything athletic. (Although I used to play a variation of the game of golf. In golf you hit the ball towards, and ultimately into a small hole a few hundred yards away from where you originally hit the ball. The variation I played was that when I hit the ball it would go into the woods, water, or a parallel universe. Although I think I gained some skill in the golf-club throw sport.)
    This also includes watching Sports. The SuperBowl is this Sunday, and I'd rather have my appendix and tonsils removed by a Chuck Norris style operation (ie: he removes them with one fowl swoop of his fists) than to watch it, except for the fact that I would start getting some much needed sleep within the first twenty minutes of watching it.

  • Computer games (including XBox, PlayStation, Nintendo, etc.) I don't know why, but those just have no hold on me.

Apparently, my lack of hobbies makes Christmas shopping for me a difficult task. But since I generally ask for cheques for Christmas, it works out.

Apparently, I never really talk about my hobbies or interests. I've had people tell me, after knowing me for months; after talking with me, conversing me all that time, tell me "Andrew, after all this time I don't know you. Are you an athlete? Are you a musician?" I figure either they weren't listening, or I wasn't talking. I think that there are a few things about me that if you don't know then you can't really say you know me:

  • I am a Christian

  • I am a musician

  • I hate sports

  • I'm a (computer) geek

So, anyway, there isn't really much point to this post. Hence the "My fish died today" tag, signifying that this post is a pointless stream of consciousness that allows you to peer into my life.

I would like to pick up some more hobbies. But right now music keeps me pretty busy. I'm on two worship teams (read: music teams) at church right now. Between practicing at home, and practicing at church that keeps me pretty busy.

I am also really trying to learn French. Has anyone else noticed that learning Japanese is a lot easier than learning French?

However, I would like to hear what you have as hobbies. I find that people have interesting hobbies that I know nothing of. So, please, leave a comment with a few words of your hobby.


cnaphan said...

Are you still out in Embrun? That somewhat limits what you can do...

If you're in town, there's a few things I can think of. Even if you don't like sports, there's a number of "physical" activities that don't involve much competition: biking, martial arts, hiking, bird-watching, etc...

There are personal interest courses you can take at colleges and what-not. You can learn everything from wine-tasting (freak out your Baptist friends!) to languages to music to sewing to small engine repair. Plus, you meet people and you become more interesting to talk to, which again, helps you make friends.

If you're looking to do some "good works" for your soul and other souls, you can attend a Bible study, sacrafice some hours per week doing charitable work, adopt a more severe prayer and meditation regime, etc...

Or if you're looking for something bigger, you could look at volunteering overseas, either in the field of IT (much needed in Africa and Southeast Asia) or teaching English as a second language. Or you could look at a short- or long-term religious mission.

The choices open to us are practically endless. Therein lies yet another danger, but there's certainly no reason to complain about not having enough to do!

Andrew said...

Wow! You're full of ideas. That's great!

Hey, thanks for the suggestions!

Did it sound like I was complaining? I didn't mean for it to sound like that. Well, sort of. I wasn't complaining "there's nothing to do around here." It was "I haven't got much time to take on much else." I have forgotten what it's like to be bored.

Of course, you'll notice in my profile that I list "fine whines" as an interest. :)

One hobby you left out that I'd like to get into is geocaching.

Funny you should mention learning a second language as a hobby idea. That sort of is a hobby of mine. I'm working on French right now, and I have worked on Japanese off and on, and a bit of Biblical Greek.

One could also learn to be quite a good chef, a botanist, a flash cartoonist, or a ham radio operator. You're right. With a little imagination, a dash of ambition, and in some cases, a pinch of money, the possibilities are endless.

And if you do have money, sailing is great, and flying....well....nothing compares to it.