I was having a semi-philosophical discussion with a friend about hobbies, which inspired this post.
In my mind, I have a long list of things I want to learn. Technical things for work, technical things for personal projects, fun stuff, hobbies, etc. The ADHD brain in me makes it difficult to prioritize what I spend my time on. My friend mentioned that they’ve been spending so much more personal time lately on doing things unrelated to programming. That resonated with me as well!
We started riffing on hobbies. My dad filled his house with woodworking tools, metalworking equipment, cameras and studio lighting, electrical components, and beyond. I grew up witnessing how my dad experienced hobbies and find myself as an adult somewhat mirroring that. When I get into a hobby, I have to fight the urge to buy all the accessories. How can you possibly do hobby X without all of the tools possible?
Here’s the thing – the absolute truth about most hobbies is you never really need much to start. Woodworking? A hand saw and a chisel is all you really need to create neat things. Photography? A disposable film camera is all you need. Cycling? A used bike is all you need. Running? Shoes and maybe non-chaffing underwear is all you need.
I hate having caches of tools for hobbies that sit there idle, unused, unrealized of their potential. It’s the same feeling I get having a bookshelf full of books I haven’t read yet. If I feel I need more accessories to want to do the hobby, it’s an indicator I’m more into collecting those accessories than doing the hobby. Otherwise, I’ll get overwhelmed with where to start with that hobby.
How do you like to manage your hobbies?
I run into the same issue. Right now I’m into learning macrame, and my way of handling it is to not start another thing until I use up the current cord. Even if I’m only using the last scraps to practice different knots. It’s oddly satisfying to not jump from one thing to another. Maybe a first for me.