Time and Hobbies. Do you have them?

I’m currently writing this blog post from the beautiful city of San Diego, CA, which is where I’ve had the immense pleasure of staying for the past week while on tour with The Bookouts. I love this city for a number of obvious reasons, and it’s always a joy when I come back. Actually, we’ve had the pleasure of playing here in this same venue for the past three years and I look forward to this week EVERY summer.

Because I get to surf.

Now, don’t go getting any crazy ideas; I’m a horrible surfer. Just terrible. I might not even catch ANY waves while I’m surfing, I mostly just wear myself out trying to time the waves just right, or getting myself out to where they’re breaking. And IF I do get out to them and time them right, I just eat it most of the time. In fact, yesterday I got demolished by a wave that was WAY too big for me. I’m still chewing on sand today, and water pours out of my nose every time I bend over. Good times.

So even though I’m just an awful surfer, I love being on the open sea and connecting with the ocean. It’s magical to me. But I’m not going to go on about how horrible of a surfer I am, but I’d like to talk for a bit more or less about hobbies. Cuz here’s the thing; I only ever surf during this one week. This ONE WEEK out of the entire year is the only time that I go to the beach and wreck myself.

And every year I say to myself, “Man! I gotta get out and do this more often!” I live in Southern California and the beach is always just a 30 minute drive away, so you’d think it would be easy to make such a commitment. But every year it goes like this:

– I’m gonna surf at least once a week for sure!

– Definitely, surfing once a month, just as soon as I get some extra time.

– As soon as it gets warmer, I’m gonna try to go surfing.

– I can’t wait for the San Diego leg of the tour this summer so I can surf!

It’s funny how LOW on the priority list this hobby falls into, considering how much I REALLY ENJOY IT. It’s easy to squeeze a few waves in while I’m on the road because there’s always gigantic blocks of time between travel, load-in, soundcheck, and the actual gig itself that it’s easy to sneak away for a few hours. But if I like it so much, why don’t I ever do it throughout the year?

The truth is that I just don’t have the time. My day begins at 5 am every morning, and I go pretty solid, pummeling through daylight into the night, work work work work… I’m so busy with other things that I have “no time” for my hobbies.

Come to think of it, I don’t even have any hobbies!

Between teaching, practicing, recording, touring and performing, filming lessons… I don’t do much for “fun,” really. And this is a terrible thing, believe me. I trick myself into justifying it by saying “I just love my job so much that it’s like a hobby in and of itself.” Not true. If you’re always working then you’re always AT WORK. You need to get away, and I’m as guilty of this as the next guy.

So where’s the lesson to be learned here? Well, I know that I need to get out more and do things that aren’t music related. I’ve known that for a lifetime. Hopefully I’ll make it out and catch some more waves this year. But how does this apply to you? What are some things that are getting in your way of LIVING? Because your work is not your life – you work so that you can HAVE a life. Don’t get the two confused.

Maybe you have the same problem that I have, doing so much music that you feel like you’re missing out on what’s happening around you. Maybe it’s the opposite – you’ve got so much going on that you don’t have time to spend with your bass, or perhaps as much time as you’d like to. Maybe you’re somewhere in between.

To be honest, you have to do more than just try. It’s not about saying, “I’m gonna try and do more _______.” It’s about making time for _______. Carving out hours in your day/week/month so that you can _______. Yoda said it best; there’s is no trying.

So, what are you gonna do?

I’m gonna start by getting all this salt water out of my sinuses 🙂

  1. I have fond to be good at anything you need to do it for long enough to be good at it. For me this was immersion over years. Completely and utterly hammering away at it day after day. I found that what I did I actually got better at by stopping it for period of time.
    I think this had something to do with if you’re looking at something for too long you loose perspective. So getting out and getting hobbies away from the skill your trying to develop is essentially really good for the ultimate goal that you are trying to achieve.
    For me at the moment I go and exercise it may only be for half an hour but I train hard enough for it to get me thinking about something else. I also take a day off sit down and watch a movie find anything else to be engrossed in. I don`t really like training hard but it helps clear our mind and body then I can go back to focusing on what I am trying to do.
    Therefore, I make getting away part of my plan for doing well at the thing I `m trying to do.
    I also make a point of getting away for 2 weeks every 2 to 3 months were in those 2 weeks I just do anything but music.

    • Excellent advice, I agree whole-heartedly. I took a 24 hour retreat about a month ago just to relax and it did wonders for my business and perspective. I highly recommend taking your mind off things in order to get into them!

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