From Fandango, here’s the question:
Today’s theme is “your hobby or hobbies.” Do you have a hobby? Do you collect things? Do you work on model airplanes? Do you whittle things from wood? Do you paint, take photographs, make pottery, create homemade greeting cards? Are you a Twitter troll?
In theory, the definition of a hobby is pursuit outside one’s regular occupation for relaxation. But the reality isn’t necessarily like that. For many people whose work is done to earn a living, a hobby is more than relaxation. It’s a chance to do something valuable and meaningful when professionally, your work can seem dull and ordinary. Of course, sometimes in the course of my profession (writing), I used my own photographs. Nothing you learn in life is a waste. Somehow, it will find it’s way into the work you do. No learning is a waste.
I’ve been taking pictures “for fun” since I was 22. I know the year because it’s the year my son was born. A friend gave me a camera and the love affair began. Despite often not having the money for obvious necessities, I managed to get some great cameras and amazing lenses. True a lot of them are and were second-hand, but it’s amazing what great deals you can get on the second-hand market. The lens someone got as a gift or bought for himself and then discovered he never used it. It was too heavy, not fast enough … or duplicated other lenses. Cameras too. All my cameras were supposedly second hand, but effectively all of them were pristine and in their original boxes.
I have had other hobbies. I gave them up because they required space. I couldn’t keep all my pottery. Not unless I got a second house in which to house them … and wealthy people often do exactly that. Not being wealthy, I’m happy enough to still have a house to call my own. Garry and I also collected original art until we ran out of walls, shelves, mantels, and cabinets. We even ran out of friends to whom we could give the overload. I opened a business just so I could sell off all the stuff we had. In the end, I basically traded what I had for much nicer stuff … and made some money in the process. But still, these days when anyone is buying me something, I tell them that the are not allowed to get me anything that requires a piece of wall, a place to stand, or a cabinet for containment. In other words, how about a lovely card? Although I admit, that guitar owen got me was something else!
Hobbies are expensive. Cameras and lenses, even at discount prices, cost money. Art is even more expensive. Antiques can kill you. At one point, I swear i owned a hundred teapots, but to be fair, 99 of them were gifts. I bought one, so everyone leapt on it and figured “She must love teapots! Let’s get her a teapot!” One day, I donated all of them to a shop that sold them to raise money for a children’s hospital.
Enjoy the photographs in this post. I just spent this entire day processing them. We are currently overrun with woodpeckers — Downy, Hairy, and Red-Bellied — as well as house sparrows, House Finches, baby squirrels and now, red squirrels. I think the birds and critters are another hobby. It has taken me awhile to acknowledge that it’s not just because I want to save the environment and take pictures. I love the birds and all the creatures. My palms get sweaty when I begin to run out of food. At least the birds and beasts give me a reason to have the cameras and lenses!
I think a hobby is whatever you do that brings you joy. It might actually be the work you do that earns your daily bread and monthly mortgage. Garry always felt privileged to be doing work he loved and there were times when the work I did filled me with joy. I read for relaxation, but I take pictures and write — and sometimes, make music — because I love it.