When I tell people that I play Dungeons & Dragons, it is not uncommon for me to come across skeptisism. I'm sure many of them visualize pentegrams, evil chants, demons, holocost cloaks... maybe a wheelbarrow or two.... (Princess Bride pun).
I won't say that you can't summon satan through a D&D game, if you take it too seriously. But, really, and as I have found for myself, D&D is a way for the players to participate in social experiements... aka, "playing pretend". It's just like what kids do when they play house or go on imaginary adventures, learning how to react to different senarios, people, and problems, but D&D's "playing pretend" is in such a way that an adult can enjoy it and feel "adulty" doing it.
I'll not use any more time to detail what this TEDx Talk explains so beautifully, so I'll just leave this video right here and let you guys check it out and form your own opinions.
I was watching a video on YouTube about "getting a new puppy". I was just watching it for fun (I am not getting a puppy any time soon), but one of the trainers in the video made a good point for potential new puppy owners to consider: write down your 5 favorite hobbies, and then figure out how a dog can fit into those hobbies (if they can fit into them), and pick out a puppy/pet accordingly.
It hit me right then: What are my 5 favorite hobbies? Do I have any hobbies? Do I even know what a hobby is?
I finally figured out 5 things that I like to do that could be considered hobbies:
Now, you have to understand something - where I live makes a huge impact on what I do for fun.
I live in the middle of the middle of nowhere. Seriously. There are no malls, no biking trails, no decent swimming pools, no horse camps or riding lessons, and no gardening centers near me.
Keeping a bicycle tire from going flat out here in goat-head and sand burr central is a big joke. I don't even have a bike right now. My last one went "missing" after I sent it off to get the brakes repaired and I haven't been able to make the trip to the city and buy a new one (with solid tires).
Finding a decent horse that I don't have to break and train myself costs a LOT of money, and I can't just rent one. I also haven't been on a horse in so long, I'm afraid to get back on one without having a riding instructor nearby, and those are not easily found out here... in fact, I think they went extinct in Oklahoma about 300 years ago.
Swimming is a little more doable. But it's not something I can do year round, and the nearest non-chlorine infested swimming hole I can swim in is 30 minutes away, and I can't take my dog to it... which is okay, because my dog hates water anyway. He won't touch it unless he thinks I'm drowning, then he'll swim out and help me back to shore (Yes, I have tested that. My dog does have a little bit of the Rin-Tin-Tin/Lassie/White Fang spirit in him, which makes my heart happy).
Gardening is great! Except we are in a drought. And our water well is sucking mud. If we give fresh water to all of the farm animals, which I think you'll agree is very important, then we have red dirt in our shower that night. FORGET watering plants, even potted plants, and don't even try to start a garden. You'll just be wasting seed.
I do have a green house, which I love, and I did use it year round until the Oklahoma wind blew the top off a couple of years ago. I haven't been able to afford to get a new top since.
As far as dog training - yes, I already do that! I spend a lot of time training my dog, Pilot. But Pilot is only ONE dog. I help my sisters with their dogs, and my brother with his dog, but that's only part time, and none of them are interested in making their dogs super star trick dogs.
Now, let me stop you before you suggest "Start dog training classes!". I've tried that. Where I live, nobody wants to put any serious effort into their dogs, even for free. They "just don't have time". All they want is a living doorbell, thief repellent, and cuddle buddy. For a dog, those three requirements are not hard to meet. So nobody out here has any need for obedience or behavioral correction classes as long as their dog meets the three basic country dog requirements.
Do you see my problem? I need a new hobby.
I've tried hiking. But hiking in the Great Plains is a whole new level of boring, mixed with dangerous. The land is flat and uninteresting for miles and miles. We have no hiking trails, but we do have a dozen different types of biting bugs and poisonous snakes. Besides that, hiking in Oklahoma can only be done in the Fall, the Spring (watch for tornadoes!), 5 AM on Summer mornings (it still might be 95 degrees outside though), and sometimes during the winter (how well acquainted are you with frostbite?).
Jogging, running, training for a marathon... My mind says "Yes! I like it!" but my asthma says "Let me put you in the hospital for a week, so you never try this again."
Indoor projects are a no-go. I still live with my parents and siblings. We live in a small house. Everyone who has a hobby has it sitting out all the time, and my adding to the monster is not a good idea. Besides that, I write for a living. I need a hobby that gets me outside, away from the chair and computer.
And for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT mention quilting. Or sewing. But definitely not quilting. Just don't.
My nearest friend that I like to hang out with lives 3 hours away. I think she's actually my nearest friend PERIOD. So, I can't just "go hang out with friends".
Going to the mall is just as impossible. The nearest mall is 3 hours away. Besides that, shopping should be illegal as a hobby. I mean, who really has the money just to go out and spend it? That's wasteful. And DO NOT expect me to walk into a mall and NOT buy anything. Not gonna happen.
Right now, I'm starting a remodeling project on an old trailer house (which I plan to make a video of), so I imagine that "hobby" will keep me plenty busy for a while.
As soon as I get a bike with solid tires, and when I make a million dollars and build my own indoor pool, those will be two hobbies I can finally enjoy.
Till then, though, a new hobby would be nice to have... if there is one to have in this area.
If you have a hobby, consider yourself lucky. I think I'm suffering mentally and physically without one. Seriously! I mean, what are hobbies for, really? They give us something enjoyable to do, something out of our regular everyday work that allows our brain to focus on something different. They refresh us. They give us something to look forward to. They allows us to express ourselves in a different way.
So, does anybody have any ideas for a new hobby? Or am I outta luck?
Well, don't all of you rush to the comment section at once! (Note the sarcasm in my cyber voice)
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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