The transience of hobbies

I am a serial hobby abandoner. I mourn each and every one of them. What happened to them?

A very messy woodworking shop with scrapwood everywhere.

A few years ago my YouTube recommendations were full of mechanical keyboard videos. I have seven I think. I built one from scratch. And I mean I got the PCB with nothing soldered onto it. All of the resistors, capacitors, diodes, USB-C connector, chips, everything came in their original packaging, and I dutifully soldered all components onto the PCB, and then put together its acryclic layer case. It was super fun! Used it for a little while. Right now that particular keyboard is collecting dust behind me on top of some other things that are also collecting dust. I should organise that part of my room.

A little while before that I lost one of my watches. It was a Citizen EcoDrive Perpetual Calendar quartz movement with a gorgeous blue dial and soft round teardrop shaped markings. I was looking for a replacement watch. I bought 5, among them a Seiko Prospex solar dive watch, two Svalbard quartz watches with NATO straps that have 24h dials, a Casio F-91W because obviously, a Xeric NASA automatic dive watch with a hydrogen valve that’s good for 1000m underwater where the dial is made from actual Moonrock, and a limited edition automatic Seiko Kosuke Kawamura watch that I use for most places. The Casio sometimes gets used, but the others are behind me, collecting dust.

I bought a 3D printer. It’s a Prusa MK3. I used it actively for like 3 months, learning just enough fusion 360 to get by, occasionally customising a parametric CAD file in some other program I already forgot the name of. There I at least know why it’s just collecting dust: in order to produce consistently good prints, I need to keep the filaments in a climate controlled and dry environment, which means hacking some ikea box, adding rubber grommets, getting desiccant, and I just don’t have the patience to setup all of that. Right now the filament I have is brittle, I think. It gets stuck. So I stopped using it.

I have a lot of woodworking tools. I was, am (?), super interested in making things out of wood, but things and life get in the way: it’s cold, it’s wet, I’m always missing one other thing, there’s no time, and things just end up collecting (saw)dust.

I bought a DSLR and a film SLR camera, as well as a used manfrotto tripod so I can take pictures of the sky or other interesting stuff. I used the digital one for that purpose maybe 4 times. I’ve not used the film one at all. I don’t bring the cameras with me if I go anywhere because they take up space, they’re fragile, and I don’t go anywhere for the sole purpose of wanting to take photos.

I have a Porsche 911 LEGO set I bought more than a year ago. I still haven’t opened the box.

I feel weird about all of these. I feel like I’m abandoning my hobbies and I leave behind parts of me. Then again those parts make way to new parts. Are hobbies meant to be this transient, or is this an (undiagnosed) ADHD thing? I don’t even know whether I have ADHD, no professional has told me either way.

What have you stopped doing? Why? Do you mourn it? Are you relieved? Are you sad that you’re going to stop being interested in some of the things you’re currently interested in? Are you excited for the next hobby you’re going to pick up at the expense of one you currently have?

Is this the natural order of things where we go through a bunch of hobbies until we find the One True Hobby™ to give our life meaning? Or will they always be fleeting little curios?

Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash