I wrote this a few years ago and kind of forgot about it. I wanted to share it with you today. Hope you enjoy it. :-)
My New Hobby
People have told me, "You work too hard. Why don't you get a hobby."
I thought about it. I used to paint. I remember painting various ways and I even had a favorite paintbrush. I also did some drawing a little bit when I was in college so I started looking on Amazon and other stores for art supplies and I thought about it, "Maybe I ought to take this up again." And then time went on and I kind of forgot about the hobby idea.
It came up again though when I decided that I needed to improve the quality of the food I was eating. So, it happened that they opened a Whole Foods Market near where I'm living - and I'm living out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii. The opening of a store like that causes a considerable amount of excitement here - and I decided to join in on the excitement and go out and give it a try.
Well I have to say that it certainly is an improvement in the quality of the food I've been eating however there is one catch. The food I was eating before, I was ordering from various restaurants through a delivery service and the food would arrive and I could keep right on working. You know that one, those of you work a lot. So now I had to cook for myself.
So I thought, "Well, I used to do this." I worked at a restaurant long ago and I did. I learned how to cook. It shouldn't be so hard.
I soon discovered that I had forgotten every last bit of what I had learned and had to use my intuition, which fortunately is fairly sharp, to know how long to cook a hamburger so that it would come out the way I liked it rather than coming out every way but the way I liked it and I had quite a few of those. Now I can kind of hit the general area that I like on a hamburger.
Recently I discovered they were selling lamb patties at Whole Foods and I thought, "Oh boy. I know that this will be better for me because even though I love eating beef because it really gives me energy and it's also grounding which supports the work that I do and… what the heck - stop apologizing - I love eating beef when I can do it - but now the challenge is cooking it eh?" However every time I eat lamb, well… it's so easy to digest and I was kind of hoping that it would be easier to cook since my burger cooking still left a lot to be desired.
So I thought, "Well, how hard can it be. The lamb patties are already made." So I got the frozen ones, brought em back home and started cooking them. Well as usual I had to figure out how many minutes to cook them on each side and that was a challenge but now I've kind of got that down.
Only there's one little factor that's kind of nagging at the back of my head. Is this really a hobby - this cooking that I'm doing? I'm not sure because after all it's purposeful. It comes up with something that is absolutely essential. I'm eating. I'm eating better quality food - but it's still work.
Anyway, in recent days I have discovered the most amazing thing. I have in fact now, a hobby that is totally unexpected - completely unplanned for and is an outgrowth of my new sort of hobby - cooking. And that new hobby is skating!
It never occurred to me that I could actually go skating in the place that I lived but it turns out that I have a floor in the kitchen that's very smooth - almost like glass and it's easy to keep it clean. It's not too much trouble. Sweeping it or just going over it with a cloth really seems to do the trick.
However it's also the floor of the kitchen … you get it out there don't you - but I didn't. And cooking all those burgers and lamb patties and cleaning up afterwards hadn't extended too much to the floor yet.
So after having just cooked and eaten a wonderful lamb patty on some great bread that I got from my new favorite store Whole Foods, I noticed something kind of funny. Even though I had cleaned up and I was standing in front of the stove admiring the cleanliness of what I had just done I noticed that standing without moving I was still moving. I didn't understand it and I looked down.
There wasn't any water on the floor and yet I was sliding on the floor. And there you have it. I now have the hobby that people were encouraging me to develop. I have a skating rink in my kitchen and I can just take a few steps and slide with ease across the floor.
I'll bet I'm the envy of all the local children here in Hawaii. They'd love to come to this kitchen and slide but - I think their parents would wisely choose to not do that since the kitchen is fairly small and one or two seconds of sliding would immediately stop with the abutment of counters and cabinets that are in this rather small kitchen.
So I guess I have to develop a new hobby and that's cleaning for real!
Now what did I do with that paintbrush?
© Robert Shapiro, 10-23-10