My forties can best be described as acquisitive. Plus, I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence. I have accumulated more hobbies and interests in my forties than I did over the full thirty years prior.
My twenties and thirties were too busy for hobbies. Those years were about education, trying out several crappy jobs, overachieving in those crappy jobs to the point of burnout and an ultimate “I quit” within months, trying out potential spouses, and squeezing in basketball games once a week followed by beer and laughs at Eddie’s Attic, back when Eddie was still the man in charge, and the bartenders knew me by name.
The entire focus of my twenties and well into my thirties was on either finding a sugar mamma (or daddy, it didn’t really matter), or finding a good paying job so that the sugar part didn’t matter. Oh, and exercising just enough so that I could generally eat and drink what I wanted without ballooning back up to 200 pounds.
By the time I hit forty, I lucked out and hit the jackpot on both, or as I like to say: Kaching! I had hooked a sugar mamma, who would now probably prefer to be called sukha mamma, and I found a good paying employer. That employer has “let me” have 4 different jobs during my almost ten year tenure and that’s allowed me to ward off the dreaded burnout – most days anyway.
I’ve slowed down in my forties. My body has slowed down, my brain has slowed down, my social life has slowed down and I’ve pretty much just plain hunkered down – finding myself more and more happy to just be in the house with our feline iterations, quiet home-cooked meals and some porches to sit my butt on.
In my forties I replaced keeping up with my much younger teammates in basketball with lighter gym workouts and ultimately yoga – where I only have to keep up with myself (and when a 20-something slinky, limber, skinny girl shows up at yoga, I have to remind myself that I really do only have the energy to keep up with myself). I replaced putting packs on my back for strenuous hikes up mountainsides with putting binoculars around my neck for jaunts down leisurely bird-watching trails. I replaced Jaegermeister and Bud Light with martinis, wine and microbrews. And I started dabbling around at hobbies that would suit me better as I aged. First blogging, then birding, and more recently bonsai.
I started my Blue Mailbox Blog Spot on September 16, 2005. I was 40. On September 13, 2012 I switched over to Tipsy Yogi in WordPress. Now, as I’m about to turn 50, with 293 posts behind me, I’ve been reassessing my interests, including this time-consuming but fun hobby of writing. Why? Because I’m curious if having too many hobbies is actually keeping me from being good at any of them.
So I decided to ponder it while on my recent “one month to 50” birthday trip across Michigan. According to the odometer, I had 263 miles of secret alone time in a bright red salsa Chevy Spark rental car so trust me when I say I had time to think.
I’d pretty much decided to say bon voyage to some of my “B” hobbies so that I could focus on Doc. B, bonsai, birding with binoculars, bumbling through yoga and book reading. It was going to be bye bye blog, hello birdies flying through bonsai; so long booze, cheers dry drunk; and adios to being bi-lingual tambien.
But then I was reminded that National Novel Writing Month is coming up. NaNoWriMo is a creative writing effort that starts on November 1st and ends, if you’re persistent, with a 50,000 word novel on November 30th. Money-wise it’s free (though they love donations) but time-wise it’s a fortune. Last year over 300,000 people hit the word count requirement.
So now I’m wondering if I can play with all of my B’s during the month of November by starting a novel that includes them?
I’ll let you know…whether you want me to or not.