My Life Has Seen A Series Of Hobbies
My life has seen a series of hobbies, interests and passions come and go, ever changing, evolving and, I hope, growing. It seems like I start something, but once I become fairly accomplished at it, I either become frustrated with it, lose interest, or decide something else is more interesting, and go on to the next exciting project. I admire the people I have known who zero in on a hobby, project or cause and have stuck with it through thick and thin over their lifetime.
The first hobby I recall was collecting salt shakers. I think it began when my family was making occasional trips to the Washington, DC area from western New York to visit my aunt and uncle. We often stopped along the way for lunch at restaurants that had an Amish theme. There I found little salt shakers representing Amish characters. That set me off on a life-time fascination with all things Amish, but also, for a time, collecting salt shakers. I must have had 50 sets in my collection by the time I sold it at auction (for peanuts) when I sold my home after my husband died.
I became fascinated with genealogy at a rather early age, but never pursued it as a passion until the 1980′s. My grandmother passed on to me, a scrapbook that she had been putting together for most of her life, with family and local articles of interest. When I finally decided to get involved in family research, I along with an aunt, jumped in with both feet. We traveled al over New York State in search of cemeteries and records that would give us a clue as to our ancestry. It proved to be a very fruitful venture, and my research eventually compiled ten three-ring -binders of material on the various lines. But, it seems that I finally got burned out by all the research and decided to leave the hard tasks to someone in the next generation to follow through on. However, I still brake for cemeteries.
Another, rather short lived passion, was quilting. The first thing I did when I retired from my job at St. Bonaventure University was sign up for a quilting class. I really enjoyed working with all the lovely fabrics and making a beautiful piece of fabric art to pass on to family members, some of whom did not share my enthusiasm for this “old timey” craft. This time, it was old age that got in the way of my hobby. It didn’t take long before I found I was developing nerve pain in my thumb and wrist from working with the needle and thread. So, once again, I put the hobby aside and began searching for something else to while away the time.
Bird watching caught my fancy for a while, a hobby I still enjoy, but now it is from the view out my window. I joined a local bird club and went on outings to find unusual species, and participated in the twice-a-year national bird counts. Then I met Chuck who, although he shared my interest in birds, did not share my interest in counting them or searching out their hideaways. So I backtracked and became a window watcher. Other things have held my interest for a while, but disappeared for various reasons. Golf – loved it until my knees and back began complaining. Calligraphy – used it for my Christmas cards one year and I’m sure the recipients thought I was showing off. I was; enough of that. Various forms of needlework, embroidery, crocheting, etc. went the same way as the quilting – became painful.
My volunteer activities have come and gone as have my other interests. I have been a docent at the St. Bonaventure Fine Arts Center, worked for the Friends of the Library, volunteered at the local historical society, and worked in the library as a volunteer in the technical services department. These all held my interest for a while, but I eventually began to feel burn-out and a need to step back and re-evaluate whether or not I wanted to continue these projects. Maybe I’m just a fickle person. I guess I am always looking for a new challenge once I have become accomplished at something.
Now, it seems, it is writing that is consuming me. It has always been something I enjoyed, but in the past year it has become the one thing that I have enjoyed more than all the rest of the hobbies, with the possible exception of genealogy. Yes, my life has seen a series of hobbies, passions and interests come and go, but I think this one will stick with me to the grave; or until my fingers and brain give out and I find myself putting gibberish on paper, or in this case, the computer. Please let me know when it becomes unintelligible.
There are a few things left on my bucket list to try: photography, cake decorating, painting. I don’t think I am going to live long enough to attempt those hobbies. But, you never know.