Friday, September 19, 2014

Not a hobby, but an interest

I remember once when I was planning to take what I thought was a sabbatical, because I was burned out, a well-meaning friend at the time suggested that I just needed a hobby. Something to occupy my mind. He said his was cooking. I didn't say anything, but I had all kinds of hobbies at that time... I was simply suffering from burn out. I was running 5 or 6 miles a day, exercising, writing, playing guitar, reading quite a lot, among other things. Now I am no longer burned out, and I'm not doing any of those things - and hardly anything else. I pretty much just exist.

Now I am bored. I don't know what to do with myself before work. I am not overly stimulated by my work. And when I get home... I just don't know what to do. That's the biggest reason I was smoking, and drinking. I was bored.

It's especially bad when I get home from work. I come in the house, stand there, and... nothing interests me. There are tons of things I could do... I could play music, I could read, I could write (more seriously than this), I could make something, I could pray, I could study, I could go for a motorcycle ride, I could take a class, I could go visit someone, I could... I could do all kinds of things...... But I'm just not interested in doing anything. I WANT to do something, but I also don't. So I'm bored.

It occurred to me then that, I don't need a hobby..... I need an INTEREST in something. That's my problem now, there is simply nothing that interests me. And I want there to be. I want to do something, but more than that, I want to be INTERESTED in something.

I suppose it may be part of the healing process I am on. After being told by a group of people who's opinions I highly valued that I was never really any good at what I spent the bulk of my life doing, something I loved to do, something I thought I was MADE to do... it probably takes some time to get over that. If that's what it is... I don't like this part of the process.

So, that's where I am right now: bored with life; disinterested; sorta lost.



MR said...

I think I can quote my forlorn blog w/o looking: "I have a been-there, done-that attitude about places I have NOT been and things I have NOT done." I think I even used the term "world-weary". Then I decided doing nothing was a super power..haha. I consider it practice for when I retire, being good company for yourself.

Considering retirement did give me an idea, though. My neighbors are constantly on the go. They don't have lunch at any old place, they go to a little diner nobody knows about in the middle of nowhere, and they have a whole list of them. I told them I'm going to get that list from them someday and start hitting them systematically. Then there's this list of places people have told me I should go that I never get to, like the collectables place you mentioned to me. I keep meaning to just plunger my GPS to the windshield and drive somewhere. At the point where I'm Thoreau-ly lost in nature(haha, nerd literature joke) I'll tap "Go Home" and follow the line.

I think it was about that time that I made the distinction between what *I* think would be cool, and what would be cool to tell other people about. Again I used the acid test: "if I couldn't tell anyone I did it, would I still do it?" Of course, doing things and imparting them to others makes us healthy members of society. I must not have been interested in that, though.

I think desensitization is inevitable as you get older, since, no matter what it is you behold, it must filter through your five senses. But I don't know that it's necessarily a bad thing--maybe it brings focus, and makes us concentrate on ourselves, the interpreters of the data coming through those five senses. As an excellent example I would refer you to two scenes in Pulp Fiction: the $5 milkshake and the great cup of coffee at Quentin's house. Maybe that's what we're working toward, happiness within our reach. Just like all my friends who decided that success was "out there" and ascribed some geographical distance to it (in relation to their parents, no doubt). They left a city with a lot of job opportunities, and their family, because success is always "out there". I guess I did drive all the way across town to find my career.

bill Sloat said...

I think this malaise is a part of the healing process. You are too low down on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to do hobbies or have interests for the moment. I'm confident those will return in time. For now, you are battered and bruised.

Pete C said...

This goes back a ways, but if memory serves I came across the idea of "the beginner's mind" in the book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." In a nutshell: approaching a task as if for the first time. To stop already knowing all about it. At work, what difference in quality -- whether I think I'm good at it or bad at it -- if I'm already knowing all about it I'm missing the experience.

Pastor D said...

Remember your vocation. You are husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, co-worker, citizen, friend. You may not know it now but your labor is not in vain. Bloom where you are are a sermon in shoes.