A Hobby Is More Than A Horse

Go to your dictionary – paper or electronic – and look up ” hobby “. You’ll see it is either a leisure-time occupation or a small horse. The difference is immaterial – they will both leave deposits on the lounge carpet.

I raise this point because of a Facebook post yesterday. A lady who pursues the hobby of cos-playing is undergoing difficulties with other people within her coterie. She’s wondering if the hobby is worth the anguish. I wrote on her time line to re-assure her but I’d like to expand on the idea.

A hobby, being defined as a leisure-time pursuit for pleasure, is pretty specific…in a general way. It needs to be for spare time and spare money. It needs to be for pleasure. Remove or modify any of these characteristics and it becomes work, business, and stress. We are assaulted by these sadder experiences all the time, and from many sides. The hobby is our little fortress against them.

We must maintain the fortress ourselves. The world often seeks to take it away from us with legal restriction or social pressure. In my time I’ve pursued many hobbies – model building, cosplay, rifle shooting, etc. The shooting was strictly regulated by officialdom – so much so that it eventually removed the basic fun from the activity.

Social pressure from scoffers could have to spoiled the other two activities, but I never let it do so. Scoffers are people who cannot do what you do, and will not let you enjoy doing it yourself. The contemptuous cry of ” Is that good fun? ” is intended to make you ashamed of having what may, indeed, be good fun…because the scoffer cannot approach to your skills.

The thing to remember is that a hobby is personal pleasure. It may be shared with like-minded enthusiasts or enjoyed as a solo experience. You can suit yourself how much you engage with others. And you can take pride and pleasure in whatever you accomplish in your hobby. Often it will be far more than you thought you could do.

If people are mean to you, remember that their attitude proceeds from their personality – not yours. Divorce it from your enjoyment of your art, science, trade, or hobby. Carry right on.

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