Monday, 28 August 2017
If you have done any reading here at length, you know that we believe that hobbies are an integral part of who we are and our life style. We don’t spend a lot of money on clothes or going out to eat; we are slowly working our way out of debt.
For us, the area which has expenses is always the area of hobbies. Mr. 182 likes to brew and shoot off rockets – monthly brew sessions need yeast and hops and malt. I enjoy photography, painting, and writing. Photography requires film and developing – I scan my own film, and seldom print. A digital camera is a one-time investment (unless you get a bad case of G.A.S. – gear acquisition syndrome). Writing needs paper and pen, or a laptop, or a chrome book. Painting, though, needs supplies, and usually all at once it seems!
Painting is not, for me at least, a digital art done on the computer. It needs paper and brushes and colors. Luckily, I have a lot on hand. Instruction books are also enjoyable and need to be books, not a digitized version. I spent Sunday afternoon painting and practicing watercolors, something I always enjoy. Very seldom does paper go bad. If it does, or I don’t like it, it is perfect for practice. Brushes can last for years with proper care. Watercolors, in the tube, need to be replaced as they are used up. If they aren’t used, they can dry out and become hard as a rock. Then, I open up the tube and use what paint I can salvage, not by squeezing it out, but by forcing the tube open and putting the paint in a small plastic square, which then goes into a paint box.
Monthly costs for hobbies vary all the time. $25.00 a month for each of us gets us our basic needs. A batch of beer, if there is malt on hand, needs fresh hops and yeast, and this amount covers both. At times, the amount goes up with the need to buy bulk malt or specialty grains, but we find this is a really good average amount for brewing. My $25.00 sometimes is used, such as $6.00 to develop a roll of film. For July, I spent about $114 for supplies, from water brushes to paper to whatever. August expenses are about $15.00 for more paper.
Hobbies are experiential, and really cannot be replaced by anything else. They provide activities for the hand and brain and heart. Connections with people of similar interests also occur, and new friends can be made. I feel grounded and sane after a long creative session – there is something that makes a soul shift which changes attitude and perspective. The intense focus of a hobby changes our brain waves, I am sure, much as does meditation or physical activity.