Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Well, I have to admit my life has not exactly been a state of Zhen-like balance.  My daily schedule is not a rhythmic flow of work and leisure.  Mostly it feels like work, then chilling out in front of a screen of some kind.  Mea culpa.

The wife and I were talking about this lately.  In her free time she likes doing arts and crafts, writing letters, and sewing.  Me, blogging, Netflix, and the occasional stroll in the yard.

When you've been around enough to see 7 presidents in office, at my age it's a bit of a challenge to acquire new hobbies, or any new habit for that matter.  Many years ago, it was a regular habit to go hiking, backpacking, camping, and fishing.  Now at most I take out the outdoors gear sporadically throughout the calendar year.

Truth be told, what I really enjoy is:  reading, writing, movies, cooking, gardening, and outdoor recreation.  Did have a Summer and Fall garden last year.  Do sometimes pull out an old recipe and roll up my sleeves in the kitchen.  Still maintaining this blogging hobby...But I guess what I'm confessing is I've seldom managed to weave the habit of these regular hobbies into my weekly schedule.  

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I'm thinking of the kind of talent-oriented, mindful hobbies that often sustained our forefathers after a hard day of work.  And I don't mean sitting around drinking beer.  I mean things like woodworking, automobile restoration, bee keeping, and such.

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...well there's no time like the present.  It's still early enough to plan that summer garden.  I've got 5-10 recipes I'm fond of making, and I can start doing a couple a week.  Plus the Sun is out longer and the Spring temperatures are ideal for hiking.

Case in point.  Relative to the plain and rough landscape of Oklahoma, there is a pristine piece of Colorado-like public land reserved for hiking called Red Bud Valley State Park.  The main trail is a a big loop, with a few miles of trails total.  

I usually go clockwise, getting the hard part out of the way, climbing up a rock staircase of sorts to the top of a hill where the habitat shifts to a desert-like landscape of small cacti, lizards, and sandy soil.  Then it's down some cliffs, passing under some shady overhangs (a huge deer with gigantic antlers once stared down at me from one of these overhangs) and past a few caves that give rise to springs.  The last part is a winding path along a raised platform trail through a moist, cool valley of moss and fern trees.  For the Okie who yearns for more majestic natural beauties, this hour long hike is a pretty good fix.

That'll make a good start for kick-starting more hobbies in my daily life.  Plus making some smokey, bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers.

So do you have hobbies?  What are they?  The comment box is open!


  1. I don't have hobbies and it is not good.
    I'm a convert to Catholicism (I grew up leftist novus ordo followed by a "conservative" Novus Ordo parish in my late teens)
    Catholicism and novus ordo are 2 separate distinct religions.I have mostly self taught myself the last 6 years.
    My spare free time has been learning the faith and learning how to practice the faith.(insomnia and 45-60 hour work weeks run a close tie for 2nd)
    Sorry if this sounds like sarcasm or satire.
    I am serious and apologize if this offends anyone.

    1. I'll challenge that. I forget in which book of the New Testament, I think it was St. John who taught we need to take time to relax and renew ourselves with leisure. He made the example of shooting a bow and arrows. If we keep pulling back on the string, but not let go, it will eventually snap.