Monday, December 30, 2013

Let's Talk Hobbies!

I love my hobbies, and I love learning about other people’s hobbies. The things we do for the sheer love and joy of them make us who we are. So many times, people get stuck in their jobs or their daily routines, those ruts created out of necessity rather than love. Ruts are tedious and trying. They lower our energy level, our natural curiosity, our spontaneity, our joie de vivre. But our hobbies stem from our passions. Engaging in them helps us transcend our daily lives, climb out of those ruts, and celebrate life in our own special ways.

I consider myself one of the really lucky ones, because one of my favorite hobbies is also my day job: writing. I get to make stuff up for money. How cool is that? But because it is my job now, sometimes it starts to feel more like work. When the words don’t flow the way I want them to, when my characters misbehave, when the plot doesn’t work… then writing feels like a serious drag, and I’d rather do almost anything else than make myself sit back at that computer and pound out more torturous words, one by one by one. That’s when my other hobbies can save the day.

Side note: I didn't include anything specifically about Harry Potter in this post (for once, LOL--well, except for the movie photo...), because Harry doesn't fall under the heading of "hobby" for me, that's more of an obsession. An upcoming post on collections might have a few references, however...
Reading is one of my very favorite activities. I’m not sure if it qualifies as a hobby, exactly, but it definitely takes me away from the daily grind. I have my favorite authors—JK Rowling, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Nora Roberts, and Celeste de Blasis to name a few—and I reread them often. I also love discovering new favorites. Now that I have a Kindle, that’s gotten both easier and harder. There are so many low-priced ebooks that I can gorge on books without breaking the bank, but now my To-Be-Read pile is ginormous! Sometimes I start to panic that I’ll never make it through the books I already have stored on my Kindle, never mind all the new ones waiting out there, and will miss an undiscovered gem lurking in the list. But then I think, Nah. I’ll get through them all. I read enough that I know I’ll catch up one day! And in the meantime, I have a slew of awesome books to keep me company.

Movie watching probably falls into the same not-quite-a-hobby category as reading, but it’s another love, and something my family and I do together a lot. I love action-adventure movies, romantic comedies, animated films, mysteries, and big block-buster films like the Bourne movies, The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes, and Star Trek. I’m not as into the classics. I do love Gone With the Wind, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Wizard of Oz, and others like those, but I’ve been told by friends who are very much into the classics that my movie tastes are hopelessly pedestrian and my film appreciation education is seriously lacking. That’s okay, though. I’m happy with my popcorn flicks! Just don’t try to take me to a horror or slasher movie. I have terrible nightmares and am liable to get sick from the gore. Ick.
Another favorite hobby is scrapbooking. I got hooked on it when my family and I lived in Wisconsin. We had an amazing scrapbook store not too far from where we lived, and they offered a lot of fun classes, plus the store was well-stocked with all the coolest gadgets, papers, stamps, and stickers, everything a scrapbooker could want. I don’t want to think about the amount of money I spent feeding my habit in that store—and many others—over the years, but suffice to say I will never need to buy another single item to scrapbook every photo and memento currently in my closet, plus those yet to come. That won’t stop me, of course—there’s always something new! But we’ll just keep that between us and leave my husband and my checkbook out of it.
These days, I don’t get to spend too much time scrapbooking, mainly because our three cats won’t leave me alone any time I try. My scrapping center is in our loft upstairs, and the furballs have commandeered my paper trays as places to sleep (I’ve covered the trays with beach blankets to protect the papers), and as soon as I break out any materials, they’re all over everything. Until I have a space where I can scrapbook behind closed doors, that’s a hobby that is going to have to wait. That’s a problem, because I’m already so far behind I’ll never finish.
In my youth, I was a dancer and a cheerleader, and I still LOVE to dance. Now that my husband and I are old fogeys, and his schedule is unreliable, we don’t have much opportunity to go dancing, but I still spin around my family room when the mood strikes. Someday, when the hubby is retired and can keep a regular class schedule, we’ll take some ballroom or swing dancing lessons. I also love to swim, but
I’m refraining from inflicting my bathing-suit-clad body on the general population for now. (You’re welcome.) I hope to get back to it someday, though.

Music is an important part of my life, as well. I love to sing, but since I could make a living by being paid not to, I try to refrain from singing in front of other people. Alone in my car, though, I rock out with the best of them. Since singing was never a viable option, I became a band geek in school. I started off playing the violin in third grade, but it wasn’t my instrument (to the immense relief of my poor parents.) After that, I took piano for a few years, which I enjoyed—and still noodle on once in a great while—but it wasn’t until seventh grade that I found my instruments: the flute and piccolo. I played all through junior high and high school, as well as in college, and even played for some of my friends’ weddings. I don’t have a piccolo any more, but I still play on the same flute I’ve had since I was twelve. I love it.
I’ve mastered a few online obsessions—namely Castleville and Spider Solitaire. I had to quit both of those cold turkey, as I was doing nothing but playing pretty much 24/7. Now I try to avoid online games as much as possible, because I do get sucked into them so easily, but I'm active on Pinterest. It’s a time suck, too, but I rationalize the time I spend on the site as being productive because I have found several new recipes and a whole bunch of organizational tips I’ve put to use, not to mention the makeup and hair tutorials, the health and safety tips… Eh-hemm. Yes, I know I spend most of my time pinning Harry Potter related items, shoes, tiaras, and other forms of bling, but still. Those recipes turned out really well!
So those are a few of my favorite hobbies. Now it’s your turn—what do you love to do? Tell me in the comments!

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