To Hobby or Not

Here I sit in the heart of winter with nothing to do. I spend my free time contemplating the future. I have a little over two feet of snow outside, this Ground Hog day, and temperatures below 0°C. That’s freezing if you didn’t know. Most of my hobbies are outdoor, warmer weather, sunny day hobbies. Like, Gardening, Beekeeping, and herding my flocks.

This winter is different though. I am on the brink of retirement. Will it happen this year? I do not know. I am content to wait, but I’m not sure I can be as patient as I need to accept yet another winter. Still, there are a few more ‘dominoes’ I want to have in place before I tip that first one over; A few more ‘floaties’ before the big plunge. I can wait one more year, but I don’t want to.

If I pull my trigger too soon, I risk missing my target. That’s where my hobbies come. Hobbies Slow me down, and give me time to think and appreciate. They are a necessary distraction to the agony of waiting for retirement. I enjoyed last years turkey herding, and beekeeping. Gardening last year was a disaster, but I enjoyed the two previous years.

So here’s the dilemma, If I choose not to garden this year, I may grow too impatient for retirement and end up jumping the gun. If I choose to garden, and the opportunity for retirement arises, then I’ll have to abandon the garden and will receive no fruits of the labor. The same goes for the beekeeping, and turkey raising.

One has to outweigh the other.

There is also timing and cost to consider. If I choose to get more bees, and build up a few more hives, I have to commit now, like within the week. Committing now, means spending now. Hobbies are expensive. I want at least three new hives. That’s an expense of $375 for the bees, and another $225 in hive kits. Do I want to spend that much right now, on the off-chance my retirement plans do not fall into place this year?

The same goes for getting more birds. I love the chickens, and I did enjoy last years turkeys, even though it was a massive learning curve between raising the two. I learned my lessons, and this year I would like to take the opportunity to apply what I learned. Just like the bees, commitment is required now. The expense is $207 plus shipping (I presume) for the birds, and another $300 for a new coop. Do I want to spend that much right now, on the off-chance my retirement plans do not fall into place this year?

Its similar with gardening. You don’t realize it until you start, but gardening is expensive. I’m not going to add up the cost of seeds, though it is higher than you’d think. The main purchase I need this year, is a rototiller, $800 right off the bat. Do I want a rototiller? Yes. Will I have use for a rototiller on my catamaran? No. At least the rototiller won’t be needed ’till April (pun intended). Do I want to spend that much right now, on the off-chance my retirement plans do not fall into place this year?

I am leaning towards gardening this year, but not for canning. That’s the way I did it the first two years, and it worked out good. I am leaning toward getting the bees too, for pollination. For those two hobbies, once the money is spent, there is no farther monetary expense. After that, it’s all about managing time. Unless I install an automated sprinkler system, which I will be able to this year, watering the garden is the greatest tax upon my time. Moving the sprinkler every 15 minutes for 3 hours straight is also very disruptive.

At least my other hobbies are not time limited, and I can take them with me when I retire. I’m talking about amateur radio and beer-making…