Un/productive hobbies

As a person constantly surrounded by ‘creative’ types – that is, people who spend their time making things, whether that’s art, music, computer programs, poetry or knitting – I feel my creative conscience weighing down on me every time I open my laptop to watch an episode of something after a long (or short, or I didn’t even get out of bed) day. I assume that everyone feels like they don’t have enough time in the day to do what they want to do, and I fall deep into this category. I’d love to fit university assignments, study, a job and my diverse and scattered hobbies all into one fat ribbon-tied day, with time left over to do some exercise and make a nice vegan meal for dinner. Instead, I barely have enough time to wake up, scoff some burnt fruit toast and rush to uni, and when that’s over I’m only capable of collapsing and shushing the screams of my mind to “GET UP AND DO SOMETHING USEFUL” with an episode of Seinfeld and a tin of baked beans. Pathetic.

TV shows are the ultimate hobby for an individual who wants to achieve nothing. To quieten the brain. Someone else has been through the grueling creative process and now you’re free to enjoy their pain through the form of a TV show. But don’t believe that I’m prejudiced – this is a lovely activity to do after a mentally-overwhelming day of thinking. However, since I’ve been observing my creative friends, guilt has been leaking drop by drop into my brain. The guilt that while other people are expressing themselves and feeling self-fulfilled, I’ve been laughing mindlessly along with the recorded audience of Seinfeld. The thing is, the inspiring activities my friends are doing are just as mind-numbing as watching TV – doodling on a piece of paper doesn’t require any thought, neither does reading a book, or strumming a guitar. Yet I always find myself visualising the tremendous effort it is going to take to fetch a pen and notebook. I’m not sure if I’m a grossly distorted version of a human being, or if this is just normal (outside the circle of my creative friends). Hopefully the latter.

Perhaps, like waxing, plucking, or pulling any other item from your body that should be there, the answer it to JUST DO IT. You’ll feel lost without your nightly meeting with your friends Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer – the only people who truly understand you – but at least you can be satisfied with the stick drawing you did of yourself blasting your lecturer with a bazooka. See? Creative.

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