Is it okay to quit a hobby? The short answer: yes.

by Lesley on April 4, 2013 · 8 comments

in gardening,lessons learned

gardening

I have a love/hate affair with backyard gardening.

{Clears throat.}

To be honest, I only love the idea of gardening but I hate everything else.  I hate the planning, I hate the prep work, and I even hate harvesting.

The beautiful vision of strolling out to my yard every time I need a summer salad ingredient fueled prior seasons’ efforts. As I dig up our little beds each spring, I cuss and complain while trying to channel Barbara Kingsolver’s convictions and Martha Stewart’s passion.  Those two ladies have a lot of power over me because somehow I find myself at Green Acres every spring saying, “How about we try FOUR kinds of tomatoes this year! Wouldn’t that be so FUN?!”

I also blame the change in weather for my temporary insanity. I’m usually so thrilled about warm afternoons that I forget I’d rather be doing many, many over gardening. (Like sleeping. Or reading. Or eating gobs of chocolate chip cookies while watching Nashville or typing a blog post.) About 15 minutes into my weeding efforts I remember I hate the whole process.

If I’m going to get confessional, I might as well get everything out in the open. I’d rather sweep and scrub toilets than dig up dry dirt. 

And OH the STRESS as I try to determine out how far apart to space tomato plants! Last year I finally checked out gardening books from the library in an attempt to make a fair shot at my hobby. The books were very inspiring and educational, but I exchanged them for a lighter read before seeds actually went into the ground.

Here’s the very worst part… ready?…

When the plants actually grew—and miraculously they did, no thanks to my terrible watering habits—I didn’t pick most of the bounty. We had tomatoes coming out of our ears, and I left most on the vine to rot.

Last summer, as everything began to brown, I gave a sign of relief.  For the first time I admitted just how little I enjoyed our summer gardening efforts. I wanted to love gardening, and I thought for many years that I did, but really I liked the idea more than the actual effort.

The thing is, I have a lot of hobbies I do enjoy but there never seems to be enough time in the day to pursue them all. So unless gardening is necessary for survival, which it’s not, I can hit up our city’s amazing farmer’s markets for the same fresh, delicious food without the work.  Instead, I’ll fill those extra hours doing things I love. (Or, to be realistic, nurse a new baby and chase a butt naked toddler through the sprinklers.)

Have you ever liked the idea of a hobby rather than the hobby itself? Did you quit? Still doing it? Scrapbooking queens and knitters… I know you’re out there!

photo credit: Chiot’s Run via photopin cc

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8 comments
san
san

I am one of the persons that want to do EVERYTHING... I literally think that everything is or could be fun and I want to try it out. Realizing that something is not for me is a necessary step in this whole thing because a day only has 24 hours after all. I think it's totally ok to admit that you love the IDEA of something but not actually DOING it. Priorities, friend, priorities!

Laura
Laura

Lesley, I think you read my mind. I have suffered from the desire to like gardening for many years. I have listed it as a hobby for quite some time, and finally I have come to admit that I am lying to myself. Each summer I go, with great excitement, to the nursery and purchase many starts. I take them home and they sit outside on the patio as I walk back and forth past them dreading having to plant them. If they don't die after a week or two they find their way into the ground, where I may or may not water them, once in a while. This year is no different, I really want to have tomatoes bursting with fruit, right out my door, but it is April and no steps have been made. Looks like it is a farmer's market summer for me. Good luck to Jonathan!

Janna
Janna

This is me with couponing. I actually love the reward, which would be akin to your bountiful harvest, but the prep involved in making it worth while is agonizing. I am still getting two papers every Sunday, pulling the coupons out and storing them in the closet. I keep telling myself that I will pull them out, cut the ones I might use and get back into it. Probably not going to happen unless I find myself unemployed. Sigh.

Seeca
Seeca

YES! this is awesome (although I love gardening)...but I realized that I hate knitting!! I totally gave it up - donated my extra yarn. Poof. no more guilt. it feels great!

Ashlee
Ashlee

This is funny. I had the opposite experience with gardening and loved it from the start....well, everything but the weeding part. I don't know if this counts as a hobby, but this post is how I feel about running. I LOVE the idea of running, and the identity of being a "runner" but no matter how hard I try, I absolutely hate it. I like how I feel after I do it, but the actual DOING it is horrible for me. Maybe I can garden for you and you can run for me? ;)

PC
PC

It was many of these reasons which drove me to go solely Topsy Turvey. Never looked back!

Allison
Allison

Oh my goodness--this is so funny to me. For months now, I've been dreaming of planting a garden when we have a backyard of our own again, but I have a sneaking suspicion after reading your post that if/when I actually start gardening, I'm going to wind up in the exact same boat as you. :)

Lindsay
Lindsay

Haha! This is great. I am not a scrapbooker despite multiple attempts. Like you, I love the idea, but not the process. I am thankful for other people who do enjoy it and have gifted me wonderful scrapbooks. I have finally owned the fact that I am not the scrapbooker girl and I am okay with that.