How many hobbies can one person have? This is a question that I am dealing with personally in my own little world. I seem to have a lot of hobbies and it has me rethinking many of them. Do I really have time to devote to this thing or that? Is it really a hobby if I can’t devote the level of time to it that I want to? Does the level of participation, enjoyment or satisfaction I gain from the activity warrant the expenditure of time and funds? Another matter is the time spent with my children. Can they be involved in the matter with me and still enjoy the time?

So what hobbies am I dealing with? Well, first and foremost, there is the camping/hammock/hiking thing. This is 100% off limits for any discussion of eliminating this hobby. I love it too much. I get far too much enjoyment from the process and the monetary investment to enhance and participate in this hobby is always seen as monies well spent.  There are few things that bring me as much joy as getting out into the woods and just being still and quiet. I suppose it’s the same for hunters sitting in the tree stand as the sun rises over the ridge waiting for that buck to come into range. The sounds of the world waking up are at once invigorating and soothing. I feel small and yet part of a much larger plan and process. The paradox is delightful.

There is the DIY hobby to consider. This is likely not going anywhere any time soon.  The beauty of DIY whatever is there is an end result to be had from the process. It may be new suspension parts for the hammock, a new alcohol stove, or some other bit of kit to make the hiking or the hanging or the camping more interesting, more enjoyable or more simplified. I have found that confidence breeds more confidence if not more courage to set off into other areas.  I was allowed some years back to attend a training school for furniture touch up and repair. I was terrified at the process. The thought of attempting to repair something only to destroy it more was daunting, near unto paralyzing. Within a few minutes into the training the light bulb went off concerning one particular fear, of the many fears I harbored, and it was as if a ton of dining tables had been lifted from my shoulders. I realized then that much of life is just being willing to listen, look and learn. I’m willing to try anything so long as either someone can show me the proper methods and tools or I have clear enough instructions and proper tools to attempt the task. Note that there is a complete lack of folly here. I refuse to think too highly of my skill sets but trust that with time, study and effort, I should be able to manage if not master many things. Suddenly, I’ve become handy. As has been said, if a woman can not find you handsome, she should at least find you handy.

I suppose the one hobby on the chopping block at this point is the banjo. I had, as is often the case, dove into the deep end of the pool on this one and was supremely blessed with a beautiful banjo, professional case, and all the accouterments to both learn and play the silly thing. What is most in short supply is time. If you’ve never attempted to learn to play the banjo, time is the most important ingredient. It is not like playing guitar, not that playing guitar is a cake walk by any means. However, it is a different set of skills and thinking that goes into playing banjo. I started off well and had good intentions, but alas, the fickle finger of time has poked me in the proverbial eye. I was even more disheartened when looking at the calendar for 2015 and realizing there was sincerely not going to be any “free” time to devote to yon banjo.

In truth it is about passions. Passions and truth to tell all of it. We are slaves to our passions whatever forms they take and my personal philosophy is marked by a distinct and profound desire for honesty. Honesty with myself, about myself and with all aspects of my life. You can be whatever you choose to be, just own it. Don’t tell me you profess to be X when so little of your speech or actions denote someone who is an X. Feel free to fill in the blank with whatever you wish.  It is equally okay in my thinking to not be X so long as you own that as well. The incessant desire to lie to oneself about who or what we are is ridiculous to me.  Why waste that much energy on not being real to yourself or others. That same level of expenditure of energy could be just as easily devoted to being completely yourself or a better version of yourself.  As I age, I have a truer sense of who I am and am not, how I want to share that with the world and more importantly, how I want to enhance the lives of my family and friends in that process.

So, there goes the banjo. Looking for a good home and someone who will genuinely enjoy its beauty and tone. Better yet, have the unction to spend the time with it and bring forth its deeper truth in music. I’ll toddle off for a hike or hang in the piney woods or maybe build some alcohol stoves and send them off to friends in the far reaches of the world to enjoy or…… look for a new hobby. I hear video production is a lot of fun.

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