On the Dusty Drawers Full of Abandoned Hobbies

Raspberry Pis

Raspberry Pis are pretty cool aren't they? An all in one computer with a GPIO header to allow easy integration with circuitry. A great way to learn programming and electronics all in one.

One year I decided as a birthday treat i would order myself a Raspberry Pi 400, with good intentions to learn new things. I got some circuitry to play with and then set out doing some basic programming.

But now, years on, my collection of various raspberry pis and electronics components all lie dormant in a drawer gathering dust.

My poor Raspberry Pi Sense HAT, taken out the box to look at how cool it was, then never used.

My camera modules, one of which was used once, the other lying dormant.

The RGBW LED strips, waiting for somebody to make a cool light sequence out of.

The servo kit, destined to be a pen plotter, only used a few times and for nothing resembling it's envisioned end point.

Abandoned Hobbies

This is a common theme amongst Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, we purchase boards and components and then just don't really have the drive or creativity to do anything with them.

Maybe I say I don't have time, but the fact of the matter is that I just don't really think of playing with my Pis when I do have time.

I never used them to learn programming, I never spent more than one day on my PICO-8 game, I never used DragonRuby Toolkit (probably the only game engine with a Raspberry Pi build), I never made my LED light show synchronised to Wizards in Winter, I never made my cat cam to see what my cats get up to in the day, I never made that pen plotter.

I am more than capable of doing these things I just...don't.

A stack of sad, unused Raspberry Pis and electronics equipment

The Fate of Adult Hobbies

It's a lot easier to buy things with the intent of taking up a hobby than it is actually learning and practising the hobby itself.

Buying things is not a hobby.

Such is the fate of many adults trying to start something new.

My watercolour set I got for Christmas, only used for less than a week when I realised watercolour was hard and required a lot of dedication.

My stacks of plastic model kits, which I find enjoyable, albeit frustrating, but don't ever feel any drive to work on.

My animation books, scarcely explored.

And of course my Raspberry Pis.

It's all just lying in some drawers uselessly, being ignored.

The crushing reality of feeling so enthusiastic at the point of purchase, only for that enthusiasm to fade away to nothing when the time comes to actually use my things.

The Flipside

This is quite a doomy blog, but let's take a look at the other side of things.

I always loved the idea of being able to rollerskate. I thought rollerskates were really cool and would make a novel mode of transport.

I ordered my first pair of inline skates (second hand, incase I abandoned it like so many other things) and set going.

It was horrible. Unlike many adults taking up inlines in their 30s, I had never learnt to skate as a kid. My first day i stood up and was completely cemented to the spot because i didnt know how to move.

But somehow I pushed past all that. I found the motivation to go out at 6am so nobody would see me, and learnt to skate properly.

It's nearly a year on and I love it. Although I found out they are an incredibly impractical mode of transport for various reasons

So I ordered a surfskate to get around instead, which again sat gathering dust for a while - I did have an excuse this time because I had a bad leg injury.

Eventually, after about 6 months, I managed to push myself to actually learn properly on my cheap, terrible Charger-X board. If you're going to get a surfskate, do yourself a favour and get a reputable brand - they're a lot easier to use and thus you will have a much more enjoyable time.

I now surfskate to get around and it's immensely enjoyable, albeit incredibly tiring and I have to carry around a heavy board with me. Impractical in a different way to roller skates.

Going Outside

An outdoor scene

You know what I think the difference is? Why I learnt to take up something like inline skating at 30 years old, when I'm usually so scared to do something new, when I have stacks of failed attempts at hobbies?

Because it involves going outside to do it. If I'm trying to learn to draw, or paint, or whatever, I'm at home. There are millions of distractions at home and I can instead take the path of least resistance - sit down on the sofa and waste time on the internet.

If I'm going to the park to learn to skate, that's all I'm doing. There is nothing else to do. If I want to give up, I have to go home again.

Maybe I should take those watercolours out with me.

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