Back in my university days, I read something about the psychology of women and hobbies. For men, doing the same thing is just awesome. As in, what they loved when they were twelve, they will still love when they are in their fifties.
Woman on the other hand have a much more complex relationship with hobbies. They might take up a hobby for six months and then try a new hobby or six, eventually swinging back to an old hobby. Take crafting for instance. A man might enjoy woodworking or building scale models. Generally speaking though, men do not take up sewing, quilting, needle point, soap making, scrap booking, and all the other things. Thus while women might dream of a crafting room filled with supplies to do all the things, men dream of a room filled with all the supplies to do one thing very well.
It's funny now to think about this. When I moved to South Korea, I gave up baking, painting, drawing, horseback riding, fishing, and all the other things and reinvested the energy into to writing. I dreamed of making an income as a writer. Said desire stemmed a lot from hating my job and then, after I came to South Korea and became an ESL teacher, it seemed that I should want more out of life than to be an ESL teacher.
"Why are you still doing this?" one of my peers asked. "You're super smart... smart enough to do a lot of other things."
She was right to a great extent. Being an ESL teacher was a cakewalk for me, never mind that I thoroughly enjoyed it and still enjoy it. In fact, I never tire of teaching and getting better and learning more. The disparity of what I did and what I could do drove me back to the United States where I tried my hand at being many things, but without the joy. Thus, 11 months after landing in the States I headed back to South Korea content to do work that I loved and keep writing, no longer driven by dissatisfaction or the thirst to do something more with my life, in hobby-ville.
And yet in doing so, the desire to write rides the tide of impulse to do that is the core of every hobby. The upswing hobby impulse these days is horse riding, horse training, and gardening. Specifically weed eating. I love to cut swaths of order out of overgrowth taller than my head and then force submission by not letting the weeds and vines grow back
In the meantime, my computer sits idle, my oven does not bake cakes, my coloring book remains uncolored and my nail polish coagulates in their bottles.
But I washed Rex, the German Shepherd, last week and we got him into the truck and took him to the vet for his shots. And the chicken house got repaired and brush burned so it was a good week.
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018