No, I’m not a “Parrot Head.” Although I would like a cheeseburger in paradise.
We’ve been down here in Greenville for over a year, and during a recent trip back to VA to visit my mom, I can to a realization: the things I valued in my teens and twenties are no longer important to me. I’m not talking about my faith or family. I’m talking about things that I would spend my free time on–my hobbies.
I learned to play the drums at the age of twelve. I was never a great drummer, but I was good. I played in my middle and high school stage bands. I was co-first chair with my buddy Matt in concert band (yeah, I was a band geek–what’s it to you?). I played in several bands in college. When I planted Discovery Christian Church in VA, I doubled as our church’s drummer off and on for several years. I used to love drumming–it was great exercise and stress relief. Several years ago, I walked away from it. I was tired of playing because I had to for church. I haven’t played regularly in nearly five years. When we moved, I gave my drums away. We didn’t have room for them in our new house, and my passion for drumming had long since faded. Every once in awhile, I’ll daydream about jamming with my buddy Reber, but it quickly fades. Drumming was an important part of my life for half of my life. I no longer miss it.
I took up golf in high school. My buddy Percy took me to a par 3 course, and I was hooked. If I had the time and money to play at least once a week, I’d be really good. Not Tiger Woods good, but I could probably flirt with breaking 80. Instead, I was only able to play several times a year. I came really close to breaking 90 a bunch of times, but my short game killed me! I haven’t played a round of golf since I moved. I haven’t had the time. I took my pitching wedge and some balls to VA to hit around my father’s pasture land (I bet I lost thousands of golf balls in that field over the years). I was rusty, but that would have worn off in about an hour. I still hit some OK shots, but I realized something: I really haven’t missed golf. I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to play since I moved to NC, but I found that I really didn’t miss the game that much. It takes a lot of time and practice to get good at it, and even more money (golf is a rich man’s sport, and I’m not rich!). I’m not saying I’ll give away my clubs, and I’d still like to play, but with no time to practice (and nowhere to practice for free like I had in VA), I don’t think I’ll miss it.
Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes.
As I thought about how my hobbies have changed, a part of me mourned for about five minutes. I’ll miss those things of younger days, but I’ve got other things that have replaced them:
- Reading. I’ve always been an avid, approaching voracious, reader. Recently, I’ve wanted to broaden my reading. I’m going to start developing a list of books I want to read, and most of them won’t be church-related books. Some great American novels, some non-fiction, and some biographies. And, of course, Scripture.
- Writing. Last year, I wrote and self-published my first book, The Jumbo Shrimp Gospel (yeah, a shameless plug). I’m working on my second book now, but it will take some time to finish as I don’t have the time to work on it like I did with JSG. I also enjoyed (gasp!) writing poetry. I haven’t done that in years. I might just have to purchase a moleskine notebook and start. I can whip out some mean iambic pentameter verse!
- Grilling. My buddy Ned and I are currently obsessed with grilling the perfect pork loin. We’re getting close. We’re soon going to have to create our own rub and sauce to put on our pork loin wrapped in a bacon weave (yep, I said bacon weave).
- Brewing. I love root beer. Words cannot express how much I love root beer. I have a nerdy obsession with trying and rating new root beers (I have the spreadsheet to prove it). I want to brew my own sometime soon.
- Landscaping. I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m starting to put serious thought into “outdoor rooms”, paths, sidewalks–anything to get our yard into shape, because right now it’s just “full of potential.”
- Friends. We have a great group of friends that we’re sharing life with on a regular basis. We hang out regularly (always grilling an aforementioned pork loin), are starting to talk some theology with those who are curious about our faith, we watch each other’s kids so that each couple can have a date night more often than once every eight months, and just enjoy being together.
- Family. My ladies have always been important to me. Since I’ve worked in hospice, they’ve become even more so, because life is too fragile or short to take them for granted. I love snuggling with my daughters, and I love snuggling and spending time with my wife (who’s the best wife ever–be jealous, guys).
So am I sad that I won’t be laying down a sweet groove or hitting the links as much as I used to, if ever? No. I’m content. God has blessed me greatly.
So, how have your interests changed as you’ve (gulp) aged?