Thursday, July 05, 2007

2Blowhards on Hobbies

We are pleased, as Her Majesty says, to be mentioned again at 2Blowhards! Steve's post on bully whippets made the latest round of blogrolling by team member "Michael." This regular feature (called Elsewhere) is something I watch for at 2BH, sure to provide a captivating sample of the Web in lighting-round format.

Tagged to the end of the list was a link to Michael's earlier post on hobbies. I missed this one first time around and was glad to catch up. Here's a snip:

...Middle-class people don't have careers; they have jobs, if more upscale ones than working-class people do. Careers are for other people, if not outright make-believe. (The idea of enjoying what you do during the workday -- and getting well-paid for it -- seems outrageous. We might as well imagine being movie stars.) If what a man spends his work hours on is A Job, then no doubt such a man needs A Hobby.

We know something about hobbies here at Querencia; in fact, I don't know much about anything else! Michael worries he may not have developed his own taste for hobbies sufficiently. Sufficient for whom, you ask? He wonders that too, although there seems to be pressure on us all to balance work with appropriate play.

For serious hobbyists, finding a balance between work and play is an equally pressing concern, if for entirely opposite reason. This is basically my dilemma, having learned long before my first earned dollar that flying hawks, running dogs and generally chasing small animals around trump just about every other human activity.

At one point Michael immerses himself in the Asian board game, Go, which reminded me of my own temporary compulsion for the game Mancala. Although the board game finally loses its magic for Michael, it hints at something maybe vital to a successful hobby, a mental state that insulates and focuses ones attention to a simple task. This task, I think, is improved by being part logical puzzle, part pretty to watch, and partly something one gets better at with practice. Within these three attributes it may be possible to list all the world's great pastimes.


Heidi the Hick said...

speaking of's come to our attention that in the years since my folks got out of the farming business, the definition of Hobby Farm has changed.

A Hobby Farm is now 50 acres and under. This blows my mind. Here my parents were attempting to make a LIVING on a HOBBY farm!!! It ain't the 70s anymore...

In our house there's a big thing about doing for a living what you love to do. Nobody would attempt a career in music unless they loved it. I want to (soon) make a tiny living on writing (start small?)
and we encourage our kids to get into a job someday that they don't hate. Not everybody can do this I guess. And people really do need to be involved in an activity that makes them feel good.

And I want to live on 50 acres and grow my own food. Cuz, like, that's a hobby, too, right?

Anonymous said...

I suppose there will be a few horses on that hobby farm of yours, Heidi? :-)