[stella] what hobbies are good for

Subject: [stella] what hobbies are good for
From: Glenn Saunders <mos6507@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 19:54:54 -0800

I don't know if this has any direct bearing on Chris' situation, but I think it's worth saying anyway...

I am a strong believer in the importance of hobbies to the human condition.

For me, it's very therapeutic to provide myself a little haven where I can crawl into and be creative and have 100% control over what I'm doing while I'm there.

If it weren't 2600 programming it might be music recording or another video documentary or a computer animation project. It would be SOMETHING.

That was why I did the first Starpath CD. My daily life at the time SUCKED and it was something I could focus in on and nudge forward and ultimately be proud of completing.

Most people's careers involve compromises of some type. When I was a kid I dreamt of being like Peter Jackson, being the Lord of the Rings auteur. That dream fizzled when I realized I didn't have the mettle to do the Hollywood shuffle. So what do you do with your sense of disappointment when you find yourself locked into a steady career that is not exactly your dreamjob?

A lot of people just allow themselves to get depressed about it. My approach is to maintain that tiny little space, even if it's just a few hours a week in the middle of the night, where I can focus on my hobbies. If you are single and childless and have any interests at all you have no valid excuse not pursuing them, I'll tell you that! Time is a terrible thing to waste, as the Pink Floyd song goes...

You know those stories about eccentric guys who spend decades building castles in their backyards stone by stone and things like that? I'm like that. People like that can be the butt of a lot of jokes while they are working on these things, but the bottom line is that they are transcending the limitations of their lives.

This is the kind of thing we used to do all the time when we were kids. We had to transcend being a kid. We built treehouses, did slot car racing, joined a garage band, whatever. But slowly the creative impulse gets beaten out of you where you are expected as an adult to do your dayjob, then go home crack open a beer and veg out watching Cops or something.

That's very stifling. When you have a hobby project you can see yourself passing milestones, ever so slowly, even when you are basically just counting days on the calendar at your dayjob. It really helps give your life more meaning. And beyond your kids (if you do have kids) it helps you build a monument of your works that can outlive you.

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