Indulging in Hobbies

My latest Warhammer 40K project in progress

One of the very few blogs I read regularly, The Art of Manliness, had a good article today entitled "45 Manly Hobbies", which starts with the following:

Back in the day, leisure time was not thought of as a chance to “veg out,” but as opportunity to pursue one’s passions and interests, an outlet for the sides of a man that were not stimulated in one’s career. Unfortunately, we now often spend our leisure time camped out in front of the TV or computer. We say that modern life has become too stressful, that when we have free time, laying on the couch is all we can manage.

The truth is that spending our leisure time in satisfying pursuits, “fun work,” will refresh us far more than a non-stop marathon of playing Call of Duty. Hobbies can bring you joy, increase your eye for detail, keep your mind sharp, expand your creativity, and help you meet friends and learn valuable skills. They add interest to your life and help you become a more well-rounded man. If you’ve been feeling depressed, restless, or apathetic, the problem may be the lack of having something in your life you feel passionate about, something that brings you needed fulfillment.

I definitely endorse the above, and would apply it to my very geekish hobby playing with "toy soldiers" (Warhammer 40k). Although it's becoming more mainstream, it's still something that's viewed, at best, as a curiosity or at worst something silly and childish. But it does bring me a lot of entertainment and satisfaction at seeing a job well done. I believe in using the talents one's been given and I am pretty good at painting these little guys -- it certainly expands my creativity in a way that I cannot do with my work. But most of all it has opened up a source of good friends -- and I find that the "group" that plays Warhammer 40,000 tends to be very decent people. And best of all, it is a hobby that I will be able to share with my sons. My oldest, who is 6, already has his whole army picked-out for when he's old enough.

1 comment:

Sophia's Favorite said...

I take issue with his characterization of video games. A good video game constitutes a hobby. Certainly I've put more than a little work into my Skyrim characters, and merely finishing any Japanese-style RPG or adventure game represents the investment of dozens if not hundreds of hours of very real work, level-grinding or treasure-hunting in between encounters that advance the plot.

Succeeding at any good video game requires the exact opposite of "vegging out". For example, as I said on my blog, Halo is some of the best practice for writing military SF you can find, because the only way to succeed is to have ironclad tactics (at least on harder difficulty levels). It certainly improves your eye for detail, keeps your mind sharp, and teaches valuable skills; as for creativity, well, I've replayed Halo 3 more times than I can count, and I'm still coming up with new ways to win the fights.

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