Charlie's Blog: SOC 14


SOC 14

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

I have been away from the blog for awhile. My day job has been demanding more hours from me as a large group of people have left my company for greener pastures. Part of this is due to an improving economy, but I also see it as a consequence of the demographic cliff as Baby Boomers now exit the workforce. The cost of labor will rise as workers decrease. This will lead to price increases and a push for greater automation. Of course, the only prediction that I have ever made that was right was the one where I predicted that my predictions would be wrong. So, this is my speculation about future trends. Take it all with a huge grain of salt.

In the short term, my time is being eaten by the making of money which is OK. I don't make money from the C-blog, so it is a lower priority to me. Producing any sort of internet content takes some resources, but the biggest resource has to be time. There would be more time if the C-man didn't have to pay his own bills by the sweat of his brow, but I have never figured out the trick of making a living from my writing. In the world of writing, you are either a billionaire like J.K. Rowling, or you are destitute and on the dole like J.K. Rowling used to be.

Writing to me is akin to playing guitar or hunting ducks. It is a hobby. Some years ago, I made a conscious decision to focus my hobbies on what I thought was profitable in some way. I am good at writing and not so good at music. So, I write. That's about it. I do not own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I do not go sea kayaking down by the shore. I do not own a Les Paul or a Gibson though I could afford both at this point in my life. When it comes to the hobby and leisure thing, I am a minimalist.

I have gone back and forth about the difference between what is work and what is a hobby. For instance, I do not consider gardening to be a hobby especially if you grow your own food. Some people may dispute this, but I have yet to see anyone consider mowing the lawn to be a leisure activity. That is work. Gardening is just an extension of mowing the lawn. You grow food. You grow plants for aesthetic decor. It is work though it can be enjoyable.

A job is always work because it pays the bills. A hobby is not work because it eats resources. For instance, my guitar playing would be a hobby. Eddie Van Halen's guitar playing is work. This is why I got rid of my guitar a long time ago, and I don't waste my time playing it.

There are certain activities that occupy a place between a job and a hobby. Housecleaning is one of those. No one pays you to do it, but you would pay someone to do it. Likewise, the same applies to cooking, painting the house, and other activities that support your life. Then, there is exercise which is definitely work because no one wants to do it. Martial arts and firearms proficiency are also work in my book. They keep you alive.

Anything that promotes, extends, and enhances life in the physical realm is work to me. Everything else is leisure and hobbies. Watching television is a hobby. Reading books of a fictional nature is a hobby. Writing this blog is a hobby. Since hobbies consume instead of produce, you have to minimize them to a sustainable and reasonable level.

I don't like hobbies that require a lot of equipment. Golf would be a prime example. I'm also not interested in having one of those giganto jumbotron TVs in my living room. I do not own a bass boat which is the supreme status symbol where I live.

The writing thing is a ridiculously cheap hobby. The only regret to writing is that it takes time away from working. I could be making money working a second job washing dishes at Olive Garden. But life is more than work. I'm just not going to feel guilty about indulging my reading and my writing in the few leisure hours that I have. Life should not be reduced to the utilitarian.

I would write more if I didn't feel such guilt about it. But it does make me a better person. Writing makes me think better. This is why teachers outside of the English department require you to write all those term papers. The process of writing is the process of thinking. Writing paired with reading is a doorway to many worlds. At the very least, I believe I am smarter for being a writer.

I get asked every so often about other platforms. This would be podcasting and making videos for YouTube. Those avenues have intrigued me, but I have to admit that I don't have the voice for audio and certainly not the looks for video. I know my limitations, so I major in writing with a minor in art. The art thing comes from the fact that novelists benefit from a handsome dust jacket. I make eye candy to go along with the writing. I see it like the artwork in illuminated manuscripts.

In other news, I am nursing a turf toe injury. Unlike other injuries I have had, this one is a low grade nagging pain. It never leaves me. It is also a slow healing thing involving a joint and ligaments. I am now in my third week with this thing. I walk with less of a limp now, and I ask myself the obvious question. How did I do this to myself? I would chalk it up to old age except I remember having the same types of injuries in my twenties and thirties. To this day, I have no idea how I fractured my wrist back when I was twentysomething. It remains stiff to this day.

Injury comes from activity. When you are young, people just tell you to take it easy. When you are old, people just tell you that you are old. I've learned to just ignore people. If you want to get old fast, just stop moving. I don't intend to stop moving before I'm dead.

That's it for this blog post. I am just trying to get back into the swing of blogging after so much time away. I will try and keep this gig up. And, as always, thank you, Gentle Reader, for taking the time to read the ramblings of an injured old man.