Hey, Dame: what are you doing indoors on a gorgeous fall afternoon?Go outside! Don’t hang around reading blogs because you’re too lazy to get up.

I’ve finished a decent writing stint. It would be a good thing to go cram some yard waste into bags, and take the leaves Sir John raked and spread them in the flower beds to be mulch. And if I were not a professor who can always find something to write, read, or prep, and if I were not afflicted with more garden than I actually want (eyes-bigger-than-stomach syndrome is not limited to food), what would I do with myself?

I’m bad about hobbies. I enjoy reading about the Desert Knitter‘s creations, but having made more than a few attempts at handwork, and hanging out with knitters pretty regularly IRL, I’m quite sure needlework is not something I want to pick up. I like jigsaw puzzles. I like going for walks outdoors, and admiring scenery/other people’s gardens. (Just because you like to look at something doesn’t mean you need your own one. Why didn’t I realize that sooner?) I don’t particularly enjoy activities that get my hands dirty or banged up. I enjoy coloring in coloring books for adults, but I don’t seem to spend much time on the one I have, even though I can think of one or two coloring books on different themes that I’d like to acquire. Sometimes I listen to music and think I should do that more often, and then I completely forget to do it for weeks or months. Does waving feather toys for the cats count as a hobby?

Probably my favorite “hobby,” apart from reading, is studying foreign languages, which could also be classified as “professional development,” since languages are a medievalist’s stock in trade. Even if I took up a language that was in no way connected to my research it could probably be useful in teaching or student outreach, somewhere along the line.

So I’m off to tidy the garden, which I have come to think of as a task, much like housework, rather than a hobby, as I once hoped it would be. I’ll enjoy being outside, and doing the clean-up will probably make me all the happier to get back to my computer or a book. I prefer to think of myself as ideally suited to being a professor, rather than as lacking the imagination or initiative to take up hobbies.



2 thoughts on “Change activities

  1. They’re both good choices–congrats on getting writing done! I went on a good-sized hike, the first time all year, instead of writing, but I have high hopes for tomorrow.

  2. Daily dog-walks are my real “hobby” the last several years. That and going to the gym two to three times a week.

    I miss my cross-stitch. I used to have that as a very productive and fulfilling hobby. Then the kids came along. I lost the free space to leave projects out and the ability to focus for an hour or two. Now, if I have an hour or two of time, I spend it marking or prepping or writing, if I can.

    I’m thinking of taking up crochet again. I can take that to meetings and do it fairly mindlessly. I used to tat and bead in grad seminars back in the day. I have a colleague who knits through meetings and I’m aspiring to that same level of productivity.

    I hope the garden treated you kindly. It’s hard at this time of year to keep up with all the falling leaves and the winterizing chores!

Comments are now closed.