Day 939: Not-Sewing Monday

Yesterday turned out to be more a “print things out and tape them together and then cut them up” day than a sewing day; I mean, it’s part of sewing, but there’s a lot of pattern-preparing work that I had sorely underestimated.

That and change rolling. We had a lot of change!

Speaking of rolling, things are rolling along nicely. Weight’s stable, exercise is on point M-F, I’m not eating stupid. Setting it up nicely for a good run into autumn.

Day 725: Pick A Thing for 2019

Here it is: I have too many things. I have vegetable hobbies… things I do but that involve effort, aren’t always enjoyable, and lead to growth:

  • Music (learning uke/banjo/music software)
  • The radio show
  • Running training and skills sessions for podcasters
  • This blog/podcast
  • Upgrading CSS
  • The small web side hustle
  • Thinking about pursuing a Master’s degree
  • Woodworking and small woodworking projects
  • Food-making beyond sustenance
  • A long-neglected novel / other writing
  • Freelance writing

And then there are the candy hobbies — things I enjoy, but don’t have any mental strain and frankly probably don’t make me a better person:

  • Video games
  • Comic books
  • Crap movies (or even good movies)
  • Non-educational reading
  • Dumb internet browsing

Clearly, this is too many things. Equally clearly, I’m going to have to choose a couple of them. This is one thing the Full Focus planner was good for — making me choose a few key goals for a quarter to chase after, and letting me, er, focus.

So I gotta pick some.

For the new year.

Time to talk to my friends and spouse!

Day 721: I Love Garbage

The fantasy rolling around in my mind recently has been what if I were a Serious Man. Like, I didn’t play video games. I watched Real Movies with subtitles, etc. I read academic articles instead of comic books.

Now, I do all those Serious Things already. I just do them in, say, a 1:2 ratio with the frivolous things. But I know and respect some people who seem to be 100% Serious People all the time, and they seem… fine. They’re interesting, fun people who really have a focused approach to life.

What if I were a Serious Man?

It gets back to the “candy hobby and vegetable hobby” thing I were batting around a while back. And ties to the “digital vacation” I took for three days at the end of November. I’m pretty much back to my old bad digital self, playing games on my iPhone and watching junk TV while I do chores around the house. What can I say? I enjoy that stuff. But if I were a Serious Man, I would not need that stuff. I’d be nourishing my brain with the whole wheat and spinach smooties of brain things, rather than my current brain diet of Chiclets and spam.

I’d be lying if I said Serious Man was not an attractive notion, in the same way that the whole “purge your house of everything you do not love” is an attractive notion. Extremes are attractive! They make you feel like Things Are Happening. You’re making big decisions.

And Serious People are kind of cool. I’d like to be a Serious Person sometimes.

No decisions, just noodling around for the new year. Serious Man. Hm.

Day 667: Perfect Pastimes

Discussed a bit on Sunday, but what are perfect hobbies? I find it hard to draw the line between work, semi-work and pure fun.

Work is easy! I have to be there. I do some things I enjoy and a lot of stuff I don’t particularly enjoy, but that has to get done.

Pure fun is easy! I play video games, I watch dumb crap. I’m distracted and I’d imagine recharging while I do it.

Then there’s the middle stuff.

Learning to play an instrument. Building furniture. Taking courses. They’re all in a continuum between “work” and “fun”; they take mental effort, they’re not enjoyable in the sense that it’s frequently frustrating, if I mess up it has consequences (with the furniture and the courses, at least).

So there’s kind of, I don’t know, candy hobbies and vegetable hobbies.  I like the candy hobbies! Netflix, games, naps. Is napping a hobby?

And I like the end result of the vegetable hobbies, but I don’t always want to do them. Because it takes more mental energy, and my work that I get paid to do and have to do already takes a lot of that.

There’s a whole nest of stuff underneath this — a need to define myself and accomplish things beyond my work, the need to recharge versus the satisfaction of growth, we can probably get all the way down to a decision not to have kids if we want to take a whack at it.

I suppose Perfect Me would have some sort of mix of the two; we’ll continue to call them candy and vegetable hobbies. Alternating time between the two. Continuing to take courses for brain growth (and the courses are good because they force me to stay on the rails), and make time for the improvement hobbies while still letting myself dip into the candy hobbies. By the hour, or by the evening.



Day 544: Hobbies

Short run this morning, partly because I wanted to get back to the house and hacksaw through a steel pole as part of the sign renovation project.

My eyes may have been bigger than my head on this one.

Not in terms of the project. It’s doable. Heck, it’s done.

In terms of where I’m going to put this sign. It’s six feed wide, 56″ tall with the hooks, and needs about 18″ of clearance to at least get the glow off the non-facing side.

There are three places in the house that can accommodate this behemoth. One is right out for aesthetic reasons — my wife likes the painting on that wall, and so do I.

One is deeply impractical.

The other is my office and would require a couple of days of work to prepare for. On the other hand, I do need to replace the ceiling, soooo…

Anyway — projects are good. This keeps me sane and gives me focus, it’s also a good way to learn new things and try new stuff. Is it a practical use of my time? Ultimately, no. But it’s fun, relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of hobbies, and will be cool as all hell when I’m done…