Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy ˈhäbē

Once or twice a year, we revisit the topic of hobbies.  What happens is that we get to wondering and pondering precisely what actually ARE our hobbies and whether they are hobbies or something else.

If this sounds strangely esoteric and arcane, well...it is.

Lately, our minds have been occupied with whether our activities are hobbies or if they are a retired-guy career.  Before retirement, activities that weren't strictly work-related would meet the traditional, classic definitions of a hobby: A) "An activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation" and B) "An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure."

But what about the role former hobbies play in one's life AFTER the so-called "main occupation" becomes a distant memory?  Since retired peoples' lives are filled with so-called leisure time, are hobbies really hobbies or do they assume a different mantle?

We are beginning to form an opinion that hobbies actually morph into life and what we do with our so-called hobbies becomes how our life is defined in your retirement.  Somehow, they aren't really hobbies any more--they segue into becoming our "main occupation."

Yes, we know this discussion is splitting hairs. We are well aware of that.  It would seem there are perhaps several ways to define our retired life:  A) His Life is consumed by his hobbies; B) His retirement career is a hobby or perhaps C) He works at his hobbies.  Hopefully, our DF & LBRs will add other observations to this hair-splitting (and brain-numbing) discussion.

The last time we took up this discussion, we were wondering what the heck our hobbies actually were.    Other than normal life-management and social activities common to all creatures, our so-called Hobbies include:

  • Blogging
  • Walking & Hiking
  • Shooting Sports
  • River Sports
  • Camping
  • Camp fire mgmt.
  • Happy Hour
  • Chess
  • Darts
  • Bowling
  • Cribbage
  • Golf
  • Hunting
  • Croquet
  • T-store shopping
  • Volunteering
  • Studying weather
  • Suzuki Samurais
  • Driving back country roads

That's a pretty long list, actually, so long that when taken together on any given day one or more of the above completely occupies practically every waking hour of our retired life.

Are they then hobbies which are supposedly "done regularly in one's leisure time" or have they become our life, our career or our "whatever" as a retired guy?  Somehow at this juncture of turning 65 a couple of weeks ago, all of the above don't really seem like hobbies any more so much as they seem like an aggregate that has become the "main occupation."

On any given day there never seems to be enough time to do all the things and activities that we would love to do with regard to the list above.  Some of those activities can completely consume entire days, sometimes days on end.

We're beginning to distance ourselves from thinking of them as hobbies.  Instead, we're viewing them as our life--like when we had a job.  You get up, get dressed and go to work.  We get up, get dressed and go to play.  It's kind of the same thing, only a whole lot more fun at this age than all the "work" things were in our various past lives.

Susun is getting a chuckle out of this mental hand wringing over whether they are hobbies or just our life.  In the end, it doesn't matter what they are called, simply that they are an integral part of what we do.

Perhaps we are now simply "Career Hobbyists."  Who knows?  More importantly, who cares?

Well, now it's time to get back to work at one of the above, so we will leave this topic alone again for a few months.

If you've read this far, you are definitely a "real trooper!"  Thanks for reading.  Have a great day & Many Cheers, jp


Wayne Ranney said...

I think you have actually touched on a huge philosophical discussion. What is the difference between life and hobby? Perhaps the term hobby was invented for activities performed while not at work. You know something you do but don't get paid for. WR

Marti Spudboater said...

I think Wayne is on to something here. When you make a hobby your work, well, then it becomes work. I associate work with drudgery, which is unfortunate. That's why I decided being a river guide was not a good thing for me. It became tedious work instead of being fun. You rock, John, and I'm glad we share some of our hobbies together like camping, hiking, rivers, thrift stores, and our love of coleman stove conversions. Among others.