Hi folks! I've been agonizing all night about what to go with for a Weekend Assignment this week. The one I've finally chosen is from guest professor Laura, slightly tweaked by me:
Weekend Assignment #257: Are there any hobby activities you've always wanted to try? What is their appeal? Also, what's stopping you from pursuing them?
Extra Credit: What was the last hobby activity you did?
Now to me, "hobby" is kind of an old-fashioned word. It conjures images of stamp collections and ballroom dancing, model trains and playing the accordion. Oh, and knitting. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
But it leaves me wondering what I do that counts as a hobby these days. Certainly I don't do anything on the list above, or anything like that. I'm not coordinated enough to knit or crewel or embroider or macrame, even iif I was interested, which I'm not. The last time I collected stamps was when I was eight or ten years old. In the same era, I collected pennies and nickels and dimes, only to raid the collection to buy Popsicles. Even now, I have a folder for state quarters that I haven't added to in over two years.
So what do I do as a leisure activity? I take digital photos, but so do many people, especially bloggers. Does that count? Maybe, but I don't have much to say on the subject that I haven't already said. Writing doesn;t count as a hobby for me, nor online activities, nor watching Doctor Who, nor reading. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't read nearly as many books as some of you folks anyway.
Oh! Birdwatching! That's a hobby. I haven't done much of it lately, but it's definitely a hobby of mine.
But that's not the assignment. The task at hand is to identify a hopy I want to do, but haven't. Okay, this is going to sound a little unlikely, but I've been intrigued by the idea of hang gliders since the first time I saw one on tv many years ago. It seems that would be about as close to flying as we can get, this side of our dreams. I expect it would take a fair amount of money to take up hang gliding, and the right terrain (not Tucson, methinks!), and a high degree of physical fitness, and good ankles for the landing, none of which I have. Also, I think if it came right down to it, I'd be too scared to try it. Ditto skydiving.
But I could parasail.
I saw parasailing on the beach in Puerto Vallarta in early 1988, when I was there with my mom on a brief vacation. I had just enough money to try it, but wasn;t sure I had the nerve, and my mom begged me not to do it, and then I sprained an ankle, and I ran out of time and money. But I should have done it.
Here in Tucson, the equivalent of parasailing is ballooning. I looked into the cost of a balloon ride two years ago for my 50th birthday, and it was more than we could comfortably afford. But I would totally do that if I could. And if I liked it and had the money, I'd probably take it up as an actual hobby. Well, maybe.
Now let's return for a moment to my musings about things I do that constitute a hobby, and try to identify one I've done recently to satisfy the extra credit. How about collecting Madeleine L'Engle books? That's definitely a longstanding hobby, and I still had that new (old, but unpublished until recently) novel of hers on my desk. That'll do. Yes, that's a recent hobby activity.
How about you? Is there a "hobby not taken?" Write about it in your blog, and please include a link back here in your entry. Then leave a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week with a roundup of responses. Like this:
For Weekend Assignment #257: Giving It Up, we asked about stuff you've tried to give up, for Lent or other reasons, and how that worked out. Here are excerpts from the responses:
I gave up sugar in tea and coffee, but not out of any particular conviction. One day we were out of the stuff, and I discovered I liked the taste better. The fact that it's probably better for me anyway is a bonus, but there ya go.
I tried going vegetarian in high school for one summer. However, when I went to donate blood in the fall my iron count was low, and I decided I was not doing a balanced job of the vegetarian diet and went back to eating meat. I should add that because I was kicked across the barn by a cow on my grandfather's dairy farm, I've never felt the slightest guilt about eating cows.
For at least the last ten years - and I can't recall exactly when it started - I have given up bookstores for Lent. I am not allowed to buy books for myself or order them on Amazon.com. I can buy books as gifts for other people, but sometimes the temptation in the environment is just too much. The fact that my birthday almost always falls during Lent - an event for which I often receive bookstore gift cards - really makes it tough to hold the line until Easter sometimes, and since most of the stores are actually closed on Easter Sunday, I still have to wait to release that pent-up demand.
About eight or nine years ago I gave up pop (soda for you people who call it that). I was drinking Sprite all the time, all day long. I mean, I was sweating lemon-lime. It was kind of cool when you think about it. So, I figured it would be a good idea to give it up. It worked out better than I though; I stopped drinking pop for good, though I would have one occasionally, with certain types of food. You cannot tell me that water tastes good with pizza. It just doesn't.
That's it for now! I may have a photo for this entry later, but for now I'm letting in go out nekkid. Meanwhile, I look forward to hearing about the hobbies you like to try someday! and while you're at it, please continue to supply me with topics for these Weekend Assignments. Thanks!