MANNO: Old hobbies die hard – resurrect them

At this point, a lot of people seem frustrated with their free time. You can see it in their eyes. Sometimes there’s just too much to do, and sometimes there’s not enough, the result of both being a complete IQ shutdown. Want to get outside and toss a Frisbee? Same here. Not enough time to take a bus ride and grab a bite? Back of the line. Sick of snarky demands to read for fun? Join the club.

Hear me out about that last one, right-brainers. I love reading – there’s nothing like getting sucked into a good book. Reading is a portal into the imagination and all that jazz, etc., etc. When I’m free and motivated, stick me in the public library and I’ll wander all day. This is all true.

But with a laundry list of neglected interests and so much time taken by the mundane, where can I make the time?

I wonder how I’ve let all of my favorite things fly out the window. Sometimes I feel like a shell of a Tony, a robotic do-nothing programmed to be a student for all eternity. When I was a kid, I filled up sheets of notebook paper with stick figures. In high school, I spent an hour or more a day on the guitar. Coming into college, I spent lots of time filling the void with movies old and new. And last year, I worked on a couple of stop motion clips in my room.

Now these hobbies are replaced with a brain drain – midday napping, bouncing a tennis ball and 30 splendid minutes of pounding my head to the wall. Where does the time go? Straight into the toilet.

I guess old habits die hard. The excess now gets filled with last minute history reading and watching water boil.

I’m determined to fix this garbage, and I have a few solutions.

The first goal is to consolidate time spent on class work by condensing it. Admit it: half of that time is spent on Sporcle and staring at people in the library anyway. It would behoove you to just cut to the chase.

But sometimes it’s one of those “not enough hours in a day” problems. A friend in high school freed up some of this time by listening to books on tape while he slept, banking on subliminal study habits. This is not recommended – a sleeping brain’s translation of “Beowulf” doesn’t come out quite right, for some reason – but it’s worth a shot.

The next goal is to re-spark old interests – whip out the sketchpad or dust off the old oboe. These things used to be relaxing, so you might as well give them a second chance.

The last one is to work new interests. Priorities change as time goes on and reveal new hobbies. When the time comes, I’ve got a pile of graphic novels waiting for me.

Well now, that all seems like a lot to tackle. Where can one find the time for it all? I’ve fallen into my own mouse trap. Do what you can, I guess. The cycle continues, but at the end of the day, it’s worth a shot.

Speaking of “Die Hard,” my housemates and I will continue our premature holiday celebrations soon with Bruce Willis’s top-three Christmas spectacular. Hobby and brain drain can find a happy medium, sometimes.

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