Greetings, dearest blogosphere. I write to you today in the midst of a conundrum. Or what I’ve been told should be regarded as a conundrum, though it did not occur to me as such until yesterday evening whilst dining on the couch with my husband, carrying out our nightly tradition of watching the Food Network. As I recall, I was reprimanding him for staring at his phone (in a manner which suggested that looking away would surely kill him), incessantly refreshing his eBay page to track the bidding on several records he hoped to add to his collection.
You see, ever since we acquired an old record player from Craigslist, my husband – bless his heart – spends our “quality time” obsessively perusing eBay and other relevant sites in search of rare pressings of highly acclaimed musical masterpieces whose conditions must meet his inconceivably strict qualifications. It’s a process.
Our exchange proceeded as follows:
“Hellooooo?” I repeated. “You’re supposed to be actively watching an hour of mindless television with me as I recount each riveting detail of the very important office work I did today. This requires your undivided attention.”
“What? Oh. I’m watching. I’m listening.”
Two minutes pass. “Hellooooo?”
“YES? Okay babe, listen. Enough with the nagging. Not that I don’t enjoy vegging out with you on a nightly basis, but have you ever thought about…getting a hobby? Like, an actual hobby. And religiously watching New Girl and gushing over how awesome it would be to be best friends with Zooey Deschanel” – Pause. Let’s be real. Wouldn’t it be, though? – “does not count.”
Commence internalized self-loathing and doubt. Suppress brutally defensive and accusatory remarks.
Instead, smiling, “I have plenty of hobbies, my love. You can go back to what you were doing.” Aaaand back to watching Guy Fieri attempt to fit an entire foot long hoagie into his mouth.
While existing in a perpetual state of eBay-comatose seems to me to be a bit of an odd hobby, I must admit the hubs had a point. What with the limited free time that having a full-time job and keeping up with household chores, not to mention the responsibility of caring for two animals, provides, it does beg the question “What could I – or should I – be doing with this precious time?”
So many things, blogosphere. The possibilities flood my mind to such a capacity I fear my head may explode at this very moment. Oh God. He’s right. I SHOULD BE DOING ALL OF THE THINGS! But where to begin? Which things are the things I should do first? Which things are the most important? Or the most rewarding? Or…
Do you now understand my conundrum, beloved blogosphere? Please know, I am not to be mistaken for a woman who lacks ambition. Oh, I have loads of ambition. The issue here is my tendency to let my ambition…let’s say to learn how to play the guitar, for example…manifest itself in a way that is, well, insane: “I am going to master the guitar! And become a singer/songwriter! And get discovered during an open mic night at a small, picturesque cafe and become an overnight sensation! And…” Whew. I apologize – I know it can be overwhelming inside my head. I’ve been there. This is the trouble with all of my could-be hobbies. They are hijacked by the evil warlord Ambition and subsequently shot down by the self-proclaimed hero Laziness.
Upon realizing that I cannot, in fact, become a master-knitter (yes, blogosphere, this was a real-life aspiration of mine) or an award-winning photographer or a Wimbledon-bound tennis player or the next Julia Child within the allotted 10 or so hours of free time bestowed upon me each week, I so often find myself saying “Screw it,” and plopping back down on the couch in hopes that, through osmosis perhaps, I can soak up the talents and life experiences of the people living inside my television.
This has yet to take place, but I’m still hopeful.
Maybe it’s not my unrealistic ambitions holding me back, but rather my sheer indecisiveness – my inability to stick with something long enough for it to hold my interest and fuel my desire to continue improving. If overnight success was a real thing, I would have hundreds of hobbies!
Or, come to think of it, maybe it’s just plain laziness. Maybe I subconsciously concoct these “larger than life,” unattainable and obviously over-ambitious goals so that I can quickly and inevitably fail, chalk it up to a “poor fit,” say “Well, at least I tried!,” and return to my spot on the couch before the imprint of my butt has a chance to fade.
Am I proud to spend the majority of my weeknight down time as a couch potato, blogosphere? Not really. Do I hope to one day muster up enough motivation to discover my extraordinary gift for interpretive ice dancing? Of course. But after a tedious work day, a 30 minute bus commute confined in the midst of smelly strangers, a forced workout, 18 loads of laundry and a mountain of dishes that, unfortunately, will not wash themselves, sometimes my brain feels like this:
And all I want to do is this:
So there you have it. High praise to those of you who have the time, energy and talent to overcome the monotony of the work week and lead highly interesting and productive lives. As for me, I’ll have a nap.
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