I’ve been thinking about how identify ourselves – both internally, and to others. Even in those past few years when I picked my guitar up maybe once or twice a month at most, I still liked to think of myself as a musician.
What qualifies as a hobby?
Are you a reader if you don’t have time to read more than a book a month?
Are you a muso if you only dust off your instrument every other week?
Are you a skiier if you only hit the slopes once in a season?
Are you a (hobby) photographer if you still don’t feel at home in manual mode?
Are you a baker if your cakes are hideous (but taste amazing)?
Are you a runner if you only ever run a couple of kilometres at a time?
For example, hiking seems to be the new thing now that we’re in our mid 20s. I go along to be social, and because sometimes we see cool stuff – waterfalls, sweeping views, etc. The workout is a bonus (mixing it up is fun, especially since I don’t really push myself when I go running). Going tramping with friends forces me to push my limits; if I keep this up I might actually have rock hard legs one day.
But I don’t know that I would call it a hobby. I mean, 90% of the time when we’re out in the bush, it’s not particularly fun. It’s an exercise in light pain – lungs and thighs on fire, sweat pooling in every crevice. Some of them are now doing overnight and multi-day trips, which I stay well clear of.
On the other hand, those among us who were really into music growing up have slowly drifted away from our instruments. I assume that’s because maintaining a certain level of skill takes a LOT of time and effort, and as we get older we have a lot more on our plate.
I’d always planned to replace our stolen gear, but the cost is putting me off – will it really be worth the outlay? Will we play enough to justify the cost? Wouldn’t that $2k or so be better put toward a house fund?