Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hobbies and labels


One of my areas of clutter is what I think of as “aspirational” clutter — stuff that I hang on to because it’s something I plan to do.  I feel like hobbies are good … men have them, women need more of them (I don’t know why I think this, I’m still analyzing this but I think it has to do with how my husband has this thing — golf — that he can turn to whenever he needs to let off some steam or get together with his friends.  I don’t have anything like this and most of my girlfriends don’t either.)

I pursue new hobbies with gusto for at least a couple of weeks  (maybe even months or years in a few cases) — and then I’m done.  I think of it as a “trial run.”

So far, I’ve “trialed;’


  • bought the book on best places for day hikes in Nashville,
  • took the family out each weekend for a month to new and exotic hiking spots;
  • decided the best one was close to home;
  • decided that it was just as pretty to walk in my neighborhood;
  • decided that I should walk my neighborhood every morning;
  • decided that was “exercise”
  • haven’t “hiked” since.


  • Took lessons
  • bought the bag, rackets and outfits
  • played twice with the family
  • decided I’m not a tennis player


  • took lessons
  • had clubs made
  • bought shoes, bags, outfits
  • golfed maybe ten times? (though I DID get a hole-in-one which was epic)
  • decided I’m not a golfer


  • Bought the guitars (four, one for each)
  • signed up for the guitar lessons
  • practiced twice
  • stopped lessons after six weeks (if you don’t practice what you learn, the lessons don’t help)
  • decided that I’m not a musician

Crafting – I’ve pared most of my crafting supplies down to what you see in the cabinet above, but it’s still clutter:

  • Scrapbooking — hundreds of dollars of supplies, a dozen scrapbooks, several weekend “retreats” with girlfriends … this lasted probably two years and then petered out for another five.  I finally got rid of all but one bag of scrapbooking supplies.
  • Stamping — more hundreds spent, monthly club joined, an entire cabinet dedicated … lasted probably six months with gusto and then petered out over five years.  Have another remaining small bag of supplies.
  • Jewelry-making — Took a class, bought some materials, bought an anvil, bought some head bandannas (because jewelers wear bandannas on their heads right?)
  • Crochet — took lessons, bought yarn and pattern books
  • Knitting — took lessons, bought needles more yarn and more pattern books
  • Sewing — took lessons (multiple times), still can’t follow a pattern)

What’s interesting is that I would still say that I like all of these things … in small doses.  I think it’s the pursuit of more that ends up spoiling it …

  • burn-out from over-doing something;
  • guilt over the cost of the materials;
  • rebellion against the created obligation to spend time doing a specific thing;
  • labeling” myself in a way that ends up not feeling authentic.

Still on the list of things I might want to try:

  • cyclist (not road cycling, but in-town cycling wearing normal clothes) — need to live in a flatter location or closer to town
  • yogini — I do return to yoga regularly, always starting from the beginning and I enjoy hatha-style in my own home (I do have at least six yoga mats!) — I would like to some day be good enough to stand on my head
  • dancer — I danced when I was young and enjoy it.  Would like to find some good country line-dancing or swing to do with husband, but so far none locally
  • upholsterer/home decor sewing — although I take sewing classes regularly, they are almost always focused on following patterns to make clothes so I’m not as enthusiastic … I would like to be able to make slipcovers or to modify existing clothing from the goodwill
  • Metalsmithing — jewelry is not really my thing to make, but I would love to learn how to solder and weld … again the ability to upcycle existing things is more interesting to me
  • Writer — I don’t think blogging is necessarily my gift, but do enjoy some type of writing … still down the road for me but getting closer

What do you think?  Have you developed a hobby that stuck with you?  How does it make your life better?  Should I keep trying?