August 10, 2011

Time, And The Legend Of Wounded Ice Cream Hand

I can write a decent sentence (not that this site is any great testament to that skill), take a pretty good photograph and I can play a darn good guitar riff. The problem? Like most skills, if you don't use them, they start to fade. Like the Wounded Ice Cream Hand.

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Many years ago - before I started this site and before Beth and I were married - we had my parents over to our crappy apartment for dinner. The apartment wasn't terrible but our upstairs neighbors who had hardwood floors and played nothing but mariachi music at top volume 24 hours a day were. My parent brought desert. At midnight I decided that I needed more. Haagen Daas came with the deal but it was frozen and hard. Instead of doing what any right-thinking human would do - popping it in a microwave, letting it sit - I did what any dumb-ass would do. I grabbed a butter knife and tried to carve a scoop out. Unfortunately for me, I was too strong for my own good. The butter knife went right through the ice cream and into the hand I was holding the pint with. I ended up in the emergency room with a ripped tendon, stitches and an order to see a specialist the next day. I was, in short, an idiot.

The injury was bad but fell just short of requiring surgery. I wore a spint in my hand for a month and received regular treatments to ensure that the tendon didn't sever itself. When the splint came off, my hand was half the size of its companion and knew how to do nothing.

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The rare photos I managed to snap this summer were poorly composed. I haven't tried to write something - something more than just a snap judgment or weird bathroom tale - in quite some time. And I actually picked up one of my guitars the other day - the '68 Fender Stratocaster - and played. My fingers felt all wrong and I botched the blues scale I was trying to play.

The problem, my friends, is time. I simply don't have it. Sure, I'd like to be the next Ansel Adams, the next Joe Satriani or Dave Gilmour or the next Ernest Hemingway. But at this point I'm afraid I don't have the time.

What are your hobbies? And how do you find the time to do them?

Posted by Chris at August 10, 2011 7:21 AM

I was up until 12:45am finishing canning a batch of peach jam I started making late last night. Sunday was a crazed (but satifying) kitchen day of preserving, canning, and making a ridiculously complicated roast that I could have just popped in the crock pot.

In short, I don't know how "find time" to do the things I enjoy either. But sometimes I just do them anyways...even though I know I'll be up way too late... even though I know I'll feel like crap in the morning... who needs sleep anyways?

Posted by: varinia at August 10, 2011 8:29 AM

Does driving my kids to their hobbies qualify as a hobby itself? Because it seems like that is what I do with most of my free time.

Posted by: COD at August 10, 2011 8:42 AM

I used to really love scrapbooking but I never have time for that. I do try to write at least a page a week on this novel I think I might some day finish. But it's really hard to squeeze it in with kids. The only hobby that gets done is cleaning. Not really a hobby but I like to say it is, since then I'll actually accomplish one!

Posted by: Claire at August 10, 2011 9:14 AM

I have hobbies I can't keep up too... and guitar is one of them. I have several sitting right next to me and there are stretches of weeks where I am too busy to pick them up. I also play golf, just whenever. But my passion is hockey. Despite being busy, I make time to play hockey twice a week. When I started playing 10+ years ago I knew that if I stopped, it would be really hard to start again. Also, I'm not getting any younger and unlike guitar or golf, I won't be able to play hockey forever.

Posted by: Brad at August 10, 2011 9:43 AM

My wife and I realized early on that if we just tried to let our hobbies (scrapbooking for her, gaming and brewing for me) just happen, we'd never have time to do any of it. So, lame as it sounds, we actually schedule time during the week for our hobbies. I get Thursday nights, and the occasional Sunday afternoon to do what I want to do (no laundry, cleaning, etc.), while she'll do her thing on Wednesday nights. It doesn't always work, things frequently preempt our scheduled personal time, but in general the system works for us.

Posted by: J at August 10, 2011 9:45 AM

My husband and I talk about this all the time. He is having a hard time dealing with the fact that he cannot do all of his hobbies the way he would like now that we have a child. I keep trying to remind him that is one of the sacrifices. Plus, he has about a million hobbies and normal people can't keep up with them in the best of circumstances. He can't have running, chess, photography, wood-working, painting, guitar, etc., etc., etc. Pick a couple and do the best you can.

Posted by: Ashley at August 10, 2011 10:38 AM

I have the blessing of quite a bit of free time now, but that won't last much longer, and I don't know how I'll fare or how much my hobbies (photography, incessant reading, music) will suffer.

Posted by: Heather at August 10, 2011 11:30 AM

My hobbies are also writing and guitar and I don't really find the time to do either, although I did pick up my Les Paul two or three times last week. I make the time for that lately because I have to: I committed to playing in a student showcase and my rendition of Lou Gramm's "Midnight Blue" is not quite top-notch yet.

Posted by: Brooke at August 10, 2011 12:20 PM

I used to have a lot of hobbies. Scrapbooking, embroidery, medieval recreation, knitting and playing hockey being the big ones. Now, I make time for hockey because it's only a few hours a week and it means enough to me that I schedule around it. Knitting is the only other thing I still do, and sometimes I only get a few rows in a week, usually late at night while watching tv after work. I'm about to start paralegal school in my already limited free time, so we'll see how finding time goes come October...

Posted by: Judy at August 10, 2011 12:43 PM

My primary hobbies are cross-stitch (but very detailed, advanced patterns, not simplistic designs) and dancing but I seldom have time for either these days. I have been wanting to learn to play the cello for the past 2 years but I still need to save up for one. Hubby likes to paint miniatures (I want to try that too sometime). He is also into gaming on his PS3. We both enjoy strategy & adventure board games like Descent and Game of Thrones & we try & play at least once a week. Currently things aren't very balanced as he still gets time to game a few times a week, and goes out to board gaming meets every second week and I don't have any time to spend on my hobbies - when I do have 'free time' it is spent on either housework or studies. I am hoping once our son is a bit older I can start clawing back some time for myself.

Posted by: Delia at August 10, 2011 2:11 PM