January 3rd

Today is the day before I turn 57 and it’s the day before I go back to work, after a week off. I’ve definitely reached the age when I don’t want people making a thing out of my birthday. No doubt some busybody at work will bring up the subject. I’ll get lots of “happy birthdays” on Facebook, which is fine since those are easy to ignore.

I was on the phone with Maya yesterday who told me she would miss some work because she just cut a huge gash in the palm of her hand while fileting a steak. The wound required nine stitches. She texted me pictures of it.

We got to talking about other things and I told her I’d just had a cello lesson and I was thinking of adopting cello playing as a serious hobby. I told her I hadn’t had a serious hobby since I stopped my training in traditional karate 12 years ago.

She disputed my claim to lack a hobby by telling about my gardening and bike riding. Aren’t those hobbies enough??

I thought about that and wondered if she was talking some sense into me. Do people really need serious hobbies when they’ve got a lot on their plate as it is? It’s true I once said my fallback position, if anyone asked me what my hobby is, would be gardening.

I do garden and I do enjoy it. But in the end it’s more a task than a passion. Tending the garden is a lot like cleaning and tidying the house. Someone has to it. I’ve gotten some knowledge of which plants work in this environment and what you do to keep them vigorous. But if I joined a gardening society I’m sure I’d be quickly humiliated, due to my minimal know-how and the shortage of time I actually devote to it.

No, a true hobbyist is like those people I see on my favorite reality TV show the Great British Baking Show. They work at other jobs but they are really good at baking. Most of them do it every day and they are renowned for their baking skills in their circles of friends and acquaintances.

So in my newly revised view of life, biking and gardening are not hobbies. They are simply stuff that I do. I bike for transportation and I garden to maintain my property. Yes, they are fun and they are good exercise but they’re not hobbies because I’m just not good enough at either one. We’ll see if I have the time and passion to make cello music a serious hobby.

There’s not much else on my mind this January 3rd. It’s a another day of gray skies after several rain storms. This is a strange thing in San Diego and it makes you eager to see the sun in spite of your better judgement. With the holidays past and the days starting to get longer, I’ll reenter life’s routine tomorrow, when I’ve become 57, and look forward to new days of planning and wondering.







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One Comment on “January 3rd”

  1. Michael Says:

    Tom, I really enjoy your blog posts. The content of what you write about is simple and although not always a match to my life, always feels very “familiar” and at least relate-able. The tone of all the posts are – and this is going to sound very stupid and dramatic, but nonetheless true – exactly how my soul feels every day.

    Please keep posting.

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