Sunday, July 30, 2006

Expensive Hobbies

I just picked up my second expensive hobby, depending on how you count.

Last time I went to Hawaii, I swore I'd learn scuba diving. I went snorkeling and I kept kicking off my snorkel and diving down just holding my breath. So, yesterday, I signed up for a scuba certification course, since Underwater Sports was having a big sale and the course was half off. That was all very well and good, but the equipment is expensive too. Just for fins, boots, mask, snorkel, and gloves, I paid about five hundred bucks (and that was with the stuff being on sale). I will still need to get tanks and a wetsuit and/or drysuit. Thus, I called it my second expensive hobby (the first was photography).

It occurred to me afterward that my bike had cost a lot more than that - so was that first, photography second, and scuba diving third? What about Burning Man? What about seeing concerts? Or taking massage classes? Those are all expensive things, but are they hobbies?

Being a hobby means some kind of active participation and gaining some kind of skill or knowledge associated with the activitiy. Cooking counts, but eating out doesn't. Maybe wine appreciation counts to some people; I'll leave that to them. Likewise, singing or playing an instrument is a hobby, but going to concerts is not. Burning Man is just in its own category, so I'm not going to count it either.

Massage I'm not sure about. I've probably spent almost a thousand on it so far, between two classes and a table. If I do the licensing program, then it goes from hobby to profession, and I would really like do to the licensing program... not even to do it as a profession, but because it would be interesting, and so I could give really good massages to my friends.

Biking counts, I think. You're certainly putting in energy, and it requires at least a little bit of specialized knowledge. So I guess I'm up to three. Singing and playing piano will probably count as expensive hobbies when I take up lessons again (especially if I get my own piano, which I probably will).

Last weekend I was actually considering getting sky-dive certified. That's a bit much. I might do it again, though. That'd probably be enough.

I'm not sure why I care about counting this sort of thing. Maybe because, after growing up in a moldy shed in a jungle, thinking the poverty line would be doing really well, I'm still trying to figure out how I feel toward money. Being a student was a step up in lifestyle. This whole not being broke thing is really foreign and awkward to me. I don't want to turn into one of those people who shows off how not-broke they are, but I sometimes catch myself thinking along lines that could only be prompted by trying to make up for something, and that bothers me.

I spend too much time thinking, really. At least I'm getting to do a bunch of things I've wanted to do for years, and for that, I really am grateful, even if parts of it are uncomfortable.



Blogger Mike Machenry said...

It's too bad scuba diving is so expensive. It's sooooo much fun. Luckily I have money now but for so many years I remember fantasizing it were possible to just breath into a paper bag. Nice blog.

9/26/2007 12:19 PM  

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