Are our hobbies a little...crazy?

With all due respect to all of my fellow players, airsoft has to be one of the craziest hobbies ever created by humankind. For the uninitiated, airsoft is where a bunch of people (usually guys, although my wife enjoys it) get together with fake guns that they paid way too much for, wear uncomfortable gear including goggles that are impossible to prevent from fogging up, and shoot plastic pellets at 400 feet per second at each other. Oh, yeah, and we usually pay for the privilege of getting the whelps and injuries resulting from this past time. I played my first airsoft game a couple of years ago along with my wife, introduced my friend to it, and recently introduced my son to it. By all indications, I must be crazy, right? Of course, when you look at almost anything that someone does for a hobby, it never really makes sense. One of the most common types of hobby is to collect something. The types of things that people collect can be staggering. Yes, you have your more traditional collectibles like stamps, coins, baseball cards, and porcelain dolls. However, people end up collecting anything and everything. Remember beanie babies? I've known people who collect cast iron cookware, patches, shoes, toys, and pressed pennies. I even used to collect camouflage jackets from around the world. The unusual thing about all of this is that, with the exception of my jackets, most people collect things that they never have any intention of using. Sure, they may try to tell you that they are collecting it because it may be worth something some day, but don't hold your breath waiting for them to sell it. The impracticality of it all is enormous.

I found myself asking recently why we have so many hobbies that make no sense. I bristled at the very question I was asking at first because one of my other hobbies is writing, and I like to think that it makes perfect sense. Then I realized that, as a hobby, it might not. I don't plan on making a living writing. Honestly, I don't know if I will make any real money writing. I am fortunate that I am getting the opportunity to try, but I had written a lot of short stories before then, and they were only seen by a small number of people. Why put so much time and effort into something that yields very little that is practical? I looked back at some of the things that I had written and found my answer. Much of what I wrote consisted of things that I either wished that I could do or that was completely opposite of anything I would or could ever do. I was living out another life in my mind and putting it onto paper. A little bit crazy, right? And that is why it works.

Every hobby that humans take part in tend to be impractical, somewhat pointless, and a little wacky. That is exactly why we do them. Everyday life is one heck of a challenge. We are constantly bombarded with new difficulties and problems and good news and bad news and so on. Hobbies give us an opportunity to step away from reality for a brief time. We give ourselves what educators refer to as a brain break. We need it. Honestly, we deserve it. So whatever your hobby, don't worry if no one else understands it. It is your excuse to get a little bit crazy on a regular basis.

Now I have to work on putting together a new set of gear to go with some new airsoft equipment I purchased. It'll look cool. Don't judge me!

Airsoft gear