Monday, November 12, 2007

In Search of a Hobby

I NEED a creative outlet! My brain and purse have been telling me this for a few weeks now. I was even prompted to go to the craft store. I did. I wandered about Roberts waiting for the THING to jump out at me and claim me as its hobby. Nothing did. The closest I came was the beading section. I, in fact, picked out several kinds of beads. I picked out tools and spacers and wire. And then reality struck. Why would this make a good hobby? Tedious stringing of beads. Expensive supplies. Mounds of beaded things. Do I give them to my friends? Do I . . . what? I just don’t know. So, I abandoned the beading aisle and dream.

Nothing else in the craft store really grabbed my attention. The scrapbooking stuff looked kind of fun, but I tried that once when I was fifteen, and I just don’t have the motivation for it. I liked to cross stitch once, but the patterns were all dumb and I think you can go blind doing that. My grandma was going to teach me how to knit once, but that presents the same production problem as the beads. I don’t want to be the one giving my relatives ugly sweaters for their birthdays (see Mrs. Weasley).

I thus abandoned my craft store search and moved on to the vast resources of the internet. I Googled “hobbies.” About.com divides the vast genre of hobbies into five categories:

arts/crafts

collecting

electronic games

non-electronic games

pastimes

I could immediately cross “electronic games” off of the list. While I am a Guitar Hero, and no one can beat me at Mario Kart, I just don’t think that qualifies as the hobby/creative outlet I’m craving. Similarly, “non-electronic games” had to go. I love to play board games, and especially card games. I’m a mean pinochle player, but again, they just don’t qualify as creative.

That left me with three categories: arts/crafts (with which I had a shaky start), collecting, and pastimes. Okay, I think “collecting” can be kicked off the hobby island. I do have one collection of state quarters. And I have a damn lot of books (remember this, people, when I need help moving). I also collect accolades, but . . .

“Pastimes” kind of threw me off. What does that mean? Baseball? About.com listed birding/wild birds, casino gambling, cigars, dance, freshwater aquariums, gardening, genealogy, guitar, home theater, magic and illusion, motorcycles, photography, radio controlled vehicles, saltwater aquariums, and sports gambling. Shockingly enough, we might have some takers here.

But first, the losers. Birds are nasty (see childhood experience raising emus); casino gambling, while sometimes fun, is dumb and far away and dumb; freshwater and saltwater aquariums: nope (Orlando the beta fish will have to fulfill all my fish needs); cigars = nasty; dance is probably not a good idea (plus Matt won’t go to ballroom dance lessons, so . . . that’s on him); gardening involves dirt, therefore I’m out; as a magician and illusionist I would turn out something like Gob; motorcycles are for people well past my demographic; I don’t even know how to respond to “radio controlled vehicles” as a pastime; and sports gambling would involve some know how about sports and a bookie.

That left me with genealogy, guitar, home theater, and photography. Okay, I’m probably not in the genealogy demographic, but I did get into it as a teenager and enjoyed it. Plus, it has the added benefit of counting towards my salvation, so, I'll keep it on the short list. I’ve thought about learning how to play the guitar (I’m sure I’d be a natural since I ROCK at Guitar Hero). My dad plays the guitar and it seems fun. I’ve also always wanted to learn how to play the violin, but I think that falls under “arts,” not “pastimes.” Home theater is definitely already within the realm of my life, since Matt’s main hobby is movies, but I think I’ll leave the home theater to his domain.

Photography seems the most intriguing of the pastimes. I have a camera, so, check. (In fact, I have a 35mm AND a digital camera.) I’m pretty sure I even have the book “Photography for Dummies,” so I have all of the gear. My friend at church just finished a photography class. I’m officially inspired. Plus, photography has the added benefit of lending the finished product to the arts/crafts side of things. AND you can incorporate puppies.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

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