I need a hobby

The benefits of hobbies:

1. You do them just for fun. (Usually) there is no financial profit, thus alleviating any obligations
2. They are relaxing. If not, you may be doing it wrong.
3. They generally force you to remove yourself from a prone position.

My hobbies as they currently stand, according to those three points, are: Driving to work, which is debatable under point #1; reading, debatable under point #3; soapmaking, which I don’t really feel like doing as I end up with rubbermaid bins full of lovely bars of soap and no idea what to do with them all, and finally, crocheting. Which I don’t really do because it’s boring and aggravates my wrists and I only know how to make ever-enlarging squares. Writing…writing is a little bit like a job, in that I commit to it, and in that I do hope to sell the product of it some day.

I need a (new) hobby.

I have so far come up with woodworking and/or refinishing things that already exist. The latter is more appealing because I wouldn’t have to drive to my friend’s house all the time, and I think that would be a barrier to me actually doing anything. I like working on things, making them new. I used to like working on my car, but now I have a newish truck and a)it rarely breaks, b) I don’t want to fix it myself, when it does.

What I want to do, really, is buy a bunch of oil paints and sit in front of an easel and paint with Bob Ross, because his voice is so soothing and I’m quite sure that under his tutelage I could learn to paint happy little trees everywhere. It’s just that I can’t fully commit to the concept of a hobby that doesn’t produce anything useful.

I’m going to try refinishing my kitchen table and see how I like that. I’m spending a lot of time watching TV lately, and while it’s lovely to know ALL OF THE FRINGE ALL OF THE TIME, it’s not making me feel happy. It’s making me feel like someone who goes to work, comes home, watches TV, goes to bed stupid-early, has a shitty sleep, and wakes up feeling rather maudlin about doing the whole dog-and-pony show all over again. All of those things are red flags for me.

It’s been two months today since I went off the meds. I feel like I’m settling in to a dysthemic pattern, and I am hoping to settle at a slightly higher level. I realize that to achieve that, I have to do certain things – eat well, be social, exercise, have hobbies. But I have trouble, in the midst of feeling like there are clouds in my brain, actually doing any of these things.

So I’m going to pick a hobby and start small. It doesn’t feel like a big committment; if I refinish the table and I hate it, I just won’t do things like that anymore. It’s not like having to actually talk to my friends, which is clearly a mountain I don’t wanna climb.


Anyway. In conclusion: Ladies and Gentlemen, Bob Ross!


5 thoughts on “I need a hobby

  1. My hobbies have gotten me through many a time without my meds (for example: the last six months). Painting miniatures, even as badly as I paint, is so relaxing as to be addictive. On bad days I could find myself painting for five hours plus just to work up the nerve to go to grocery store. But I made it, most of the time.

    I wholly endorse doing what you want in this category. It is immediate positive feedback by taking action on something you want to do. So buy those paints and load up some Bob Ross!

  2. Have you thought that perhaps your wish to take up oil painting might spring from a subconscious desire to specifically create something not of immediate use? 😉

    Speaking as someone who’s an artist by profession, it’s when I work on something that’s purely for my own pleasure that I feel most relaxed and happy.

    I know that’s not true for everyone…but don’t totally count out the oil painting. Mr. Ross will be disappointed if you don’t try to make some Happy Trees at least once! 😉

    P.s. try the Windsor & Newton water-soluble oil paints. Much easier clean-up.
    P.p.s. no, I’m not kidding. Mad art scientists convinced a bunch of oil molecules that they really liked water. They dry faster, too.

  3. First of all – Bob Ross should be knighted, or whatever equivalent we can come up with.

    Otherwise – I agree completely. I’m lucky that I enjoy the gym, so I can consider fitness a main hobby – without that I would be a total couch potato unless I HAD to go somewhere. I find with other things I start off strong but then when the real work starts (I’d get about halfway into that refinishing) I start just wanting the damn results.

    You could always build sheds – I think you’d find yourself naturally gifted… Dangerous road to start down though.

  4. Since moving here from the East Coast, I’ve finally regained all my old hobbies – and acquired some new ones. It feels great. I especially enjoy my fencing and dancing. I think physical hobbies are some of the best for the mind. I’d highly recommend taking up dance if you’ve never tried it. Surprisingly un-girly and physical.

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