Sunday, July 14, 2013

How many hobbies?

How many hobbies do you have?  Do you think variety is the spice of life, or do you restrict your free time to just one or two activities?

I've applied the minimalist approach of less is more to my free time activities, and currently focus on just two things- backpacking and aerial dance (i.e. trapeze and aerial silks).   It's not that I don't enjoy other activities, but I like how it feels to specialize and be fully immersed in something.  I like to geek out and take things to a PhD level.  

During my vacation in Michigan and Wisconsin, I left behind my backpacking stuff, and took advantage of the opportunity to kayak and bike every day.  It was fun being a beginner and not being so goal-driven.
Paddling on Lac Vieux Desert at 5 AM.
I used to pursue broader interests, but have pared down.  Giving away my bike, selling my car camping and scuba equipment, quitting yoga class, and resisting the urge to take up climbing or buy a kayak.  Not having extra gear allows me to live in a small, inexpensive space and I enjoy a more uncluttered life.
Pedaling into town on a borrowed bike and stopping to see the columbine.
But I also really enjoy what I get from specializing-- there is a tradeoff and I think I enjoy my two main hobbies more because I have developed expertise in my chosen areas. 

On the other hand, it was refreshing to see some beautiful sights along the road and on the water.  I'm certainly not about to go and buy a bike or kayak anytime soon, but I'll keep an eye open for more chances to take little vacations from my two main hobbies.
Watching the bald eagles near the source of the Wisconsin River.


  1. The paring down of hobbies was something I loved when we were backpacking and doing field work for two years. While I missed some activities I really loved being able to only focus on a few.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one. But it does seem to go in cycles of paring down and then expanding interests-- when I have a house again, doubt I'll be able to resist having a garden again.