IMO: When to Give Up. And When Not To.


Today’s post is about perseverance. When to stick to it. And when to not to.

No, I’m not planning on giving up on anything. But that is not to say that I have never given up on stuff. Once, I dreamed of being an artist. I still have pictures that I drew in the 6th grade, and they are not bad. I stuck it out all through high school, mostly because I already had signed up for the courses. But then something happened after I left high school.

I discovered that it was not my passion.

So, I stopped doing it. Well, not entirely. I still have extensive art supplies and I still occasionally use them. I have a discount card to my local art store. And I keep up my calligraphy skills. But, I no longer actively pursue art as a career or even as a serious hobby.

More difficult to give up was music.

When I was in my 20s, I rediscovered music. I retaught myself how to play piano and I started taking violin lessons. For two years, music overtook my life. I was a very serious violin student. I practiced for hours each week–probably 2 hours a day (in addition to working full-time) and 10 hours over the weekend. I was also still writing my Trunk Novel Epic, so I was also a very serious aspiring writer.

And then I went back to school.

And at the ripe age of 27, I realized that with the demands of a full-time class schedule, I’d have to pick one serious hobby. I asked myself, which hobby do you honestly have a shot at turning into a career? So the violin went into the case.

Why? As a musician, I really did start too late. And I was inspired by an old woman I knew in my community orchestra who had re-taken up the violin at the age of 60. I knew I would not lose my ability to read music–at least not permanently. I may temporarily forget how to tell the difference between E-major and A-major on the musical staff, but I’ll never forget how to play them, and I’ll never forget the theory behind them.

Although I didn’t play for about 15 years, I did take it back up again, and I did brush off my piano skills. (I would have brushed off my violin skills as well, but the danged thing keeps eating my D string.) Still … it’s not a serious hobby. It can’t be, until I can quit my day job.

What about writing? I’ve had some successes, but nothing career-changing. I think it’s the one thing that I won’t ever give up. At least, not for long.

What hobbies or interests have you had, that you eventually lost interest in?

8 Thoughts to “IMO: When to Give Up. And When Not To.”

  1. Interesting post!

    For me, I only have room for one serious hobby/second career right now. I’ve dabbled in piano, gardening, crocheting, embroidery, and drawing. Of those, the one I did consistently for a long time was piano, due to taking lessons for over two years. Then we moved, I had little to no time, and lessons were just to expensive in a high-cost-of-living area. I still haul out my piano books from time to time, trying to get the old skills back. But it’s just not something I can fit in with all my other have-tos. I’d rather play piano than exercise, for instance, but I know I need to take care of my body and health.

    So, writing is it for me at the moment.

    1. Yes, music really takes hold, doesn’t it? I’m in the same boat. I do have my daughter playing around with a new Yamaha Keyboard and Piano Meistro on her iPad, so she’s actually learning something.

      Have-tos are an interesting way to put it. Yup, I have a lot of those as well!

  2. Piano. I took lessons as a kid, and learned to read music that way, but I didn’t really keep it up. I love the violin -Love the way the movement of the bow lets you feel the music, almost like singing= but I’m horrible about practicing unless I’m actively taking lessons. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting up again, but so far haven’t committed. Oh- and I don’t think I’ve done any embroidery since I started college. I didn’t make an active decision to stop. I just got busy and didn’t happen to start any new projects. I think my sewing basket is hiding in the dark recesses under my bed.

    1. Yes, I remember you saying you played the violin as well. Bow mastery is hard, but once you can wrestle some decent notes out of the violin it does feel like singing in that you put your whole body into it.

      I’ve never gotten into any type of needlework except basic sewing. I like to sew, but it’s hot work, so I only do it in the fall, really. I’ll probably break it out in a few months. I still need to finish another apron, and we were going to make a skirt, I think. Very basic stuff!

  3. {Sigh} At this point, I’ve tabled just about every hobby except reading because of illness. I’m just finishing up catching up with my regular internet activities after falling sick almost two weeks ago. (I’m rather proud of how far I’ve come back; I expected this to take a little longer. {Smile})

    Playing the recorder (bloc flute) hasn’t quite left entirely because of recorder society meetings, but that’s been on minimal maintenance for a long time, whether I’m sick or not. {smile}

    Writing will be the first hobby to come back, but I’m not up to that yet. I forget how much energy concerted thought takes until I’m too sick/hot/tired to do it properly. It takes more than I’d ever think. {small smile}

    Eventually I hope to get back to some of my textile hobbies as well, especially sewing and plaiting/braiding, but we’ll see what happens. Like you, writing comes before that for me, and I can only do so much in a day. {resigned smile}


    1. Recorder society sounds fun. I never learned how to play. Is the recorder society like a jam session for a bunch of recorder players?

      You do have a lot of interesting hobbies. I like the posts that you put up about your bookbinding.

  4. P.S. The hobby I miss the most is table-top role-playing. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough players to keep our group going. I wish I could find a group, but transportation would be a big problem if I found one. Sometimes I wonder about computer games, but those just aren’t the same. {smile}


    1. We’ve played some very fun games with as few as three people. For a long while, I was running my husband and his friend through a superhero game. It got to be a rather epic story. But that was long ago. I don’t know about you, but we have a hard time finding people that we’d even want to play with, and now we don’t bother trying. A compatible group is important. Otherwise, it can just get weird.

Comments are closed.