It's 11:30 at night and I am actually supposed to be getting ready for bed- have been sleeping rather late the past few days and so I thought I should have an early night in before a long day at work tomorrow. But since I have my laptop out, which happens less often now that I do not have to complete assignments or work, I decided that this blog has been neglected for far too long for me to ignore.
After all, writing is one of the things that I enjoy a lot. I used to say that I would like writing to remain a hobby, for me to pursue in my own leisure time, but I am increasingly being doubtful about whether or not this is actually feasible. Firstly, looking at my work schedule now, I really do not have much time for myself anymore. And secondly, this article I read over the weekend was a real eye-opener for me.
In the years BC (before children) I used to have a range of mind-broadening pursuits with which to regale people at weddings. There was book club, which I've had to leave because I got rumbled pretending I'd read Wolf Hall when I'd only skimmed the synopsis on Amazon. And skiing, which I love, but have curtailed because it's cheaper to do a kitchen renovation. Surfing I've abandoned because I'm too unfit to get up on the board. Thankfully, I still play hockey every Saturday but that's because I like hitting things so it's more anger management than a bona fide pursuit.
"A hobby - what's that?" laughs a friend, a 29-year-old make-up artist who works from 5am til 6pm seven days a week running her own business. "I have a pot plant - does that count as gardening?" enquires another. "Ooo, I have a hobby," claims one mum. "It's such fun - I drive my son to rowing at 5am and sit in the car with the engine running and the heater on until 7am. If I close my eyes I can almost pretend it's meditation."
Hobbies pursued for enjoyment, relaxation or curiosity have been usurped by child ferrying and activities designed for self-improvement: fitness, cooking, home decoration, personal grooming. Men like my dad who whiled away hours sailing, and building model trains, now cycle. And talk about cycling. And have coffee after cycling. And shop for cycling pants. "No, it's not a hobby," laughs a mate, "call it a beer tax because it offsets the drinking."
I find that to be quite true, even though I do not have any children of my own. I already work 6-7 days a week, and add to that my fitness goals, which means time spent at the gym, and then factor in my time for social engagements and running errands and doing chores, and I'm stuck with no extra time at all.
If the author is talking about hobbies being lost because of more responsibilities such as parenting or to maintain a good appearance, then I could most certainly compare my life pre and post studying. As a teen, I definitely lived the good life- nothing to worry about. In uni, results were obviously a concern but beyond that, there was nothing much else as I was shielded in the bubble of being a student.
Now that I'm no longer in that world, I do find that I'm forced to adapt to a vastly different situation- I'm now a uni graduate at the beginning of my career. It is, arguably, the start of my adult life. It's not an easy ride, but I do find that there are days when I have to tell myself that I need to get used to this sometimes tough situation and suck it up. Which means that to ultimately, when I finally do get into bed, I normally feel so exhausted that I have no interest whatsoever in reading or writing.
This makes for an interesting conversation because when asked about what my hobbies are or what I do in my spare time I always say reading and writing. Yet, it is ironic that I barely find time to do any of them at all. I must say, even though I am exhausted and am struggling to write a nicely crafted post, I do still think that this whole experience is a lot better than remaining at uni.
I would write for a little longer but my eyelids are being absolutely heavy so you'll just have to wait till the next post (hopefully in a couple of days). Good night!