New Beginnings

I’m the type of guy who feels stagnant from time to time.

This tends to lead to somewhat questionable spending habits, or what I like to refer to as “hobbies.”

Now, when a middle-aged man goes out and buys random things, many might say he’s going through a mid-life crisis.

When a younger man buys random items, he’s thought of as fiscally irresponsible.

I would argue that both sets of men, despite the age variance and more than likely a difference in the amount of expendable income, are suffering from the same syndrome: boredom.

Unfortunately, my wife doesn’t have much patience for the boredom syndrome. She’s heard me vocalize a variety of wants and ideas, everything from “I think I want a kayak” to “We should buy a pool table” to “I think I want to take martial arts lessons.”

I can understand her skepticism. There was the basketball hoop that was going to help me regain my childhood splendor and keep me in shape. That was used twice and then placed under the house for three years.

A home gym that was going to save me money in gym membership fees over the long run quickly became a clothes rack and an excellent dust magnet.

I could go on with the examples, but you get the point.

Now, when a similarly arbitrary idea pops in my head, I try to keep it to myself and think it over for a few days. If I still think it’s a good idea in a week, I just may have a winner. After the “Let’s get a punching bag” and “You know, I’ve always wanted to learn the piano” fiascoes, I have somewhat learned my lesson.

I’m just trying to enjoy all the joys of life in my short time on this earth. Is that so bad?

I don’t think that giving up on these spontaneous endeavors so quickly, however, is necessarily an inability to stay focused. After all, I made a random decision to buy a guitar when I was 15 years old. I sat for hours day after day learning that thing until my fingers bled and the earsplitting sounds turned somewhat musical.

I still play on a regular basis, although the “real world” has gotten in the way of continuing to hone the craft.

Which leads me to the real problem: All of these fleeting hobbies in life disappear by the wayside because of the real world, not because of my irrational ideas.

Job. Commutes. Marriage. Family. These are the real culprits dragging me down. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

But I suppose you have to make sacrifices as you grow older. Besides, where would I get the money for all these sporadic hobbies without a job?

And how do I get to that job? By commuting. And what’s the point in having hobbies if you can’t share them with family?

Marriage is the only one I can’t seem to justify at the moment, so you can have that one.

Just kidding, honey. See what I did there – with the jokes?

Beardsley, a native of Loyalsock Township, is a former Sun-Gazette reporter. He may be contacted at