Friday, June 21, 2024

A Lifestyle Not A Hobby Followup

 One of the traps that pontificators - professional or otherwise - have a habit of falling into that they either refuse or fail take to their own advice to others.  The famous phrase "Physician, heal thyself"  falls on deaf ears.  They - we, or me anyway - have a keen eye for seeing the issues in the lives of others but somehow miss the same issue that is operational in their own life.  Or equally as bad, they note something about their own lives which intellectually they agree with but has not impact and leads to no change on their part.

Thus, when I actually make of note something in my life and change it, no-one remains more surprised than I.

One of the outcomes of the entire discussion of A Lifestyle, Not A Hobby (which I am somewhat surprised to find I wrote only a week ago) was that whether or not I had realized it years earlier, I had selected the lifestyle of Iaijutsu - something made plain both by my headmaster's story as well as the realization of what it felt like when that normal habitual schedule of training and class was cut off.  I had done the thing for years, but now it became a conscious choice to continue and get better.

Somewhat to my shock, that simple series of thoughts has actually changed my living style.

Oh, it is in the smallest of ways, of course.  One is trying to be much more conscious about my training sessions and making the most of them in terms of time and focus.  Another are those secondary activities which support that primary activity, things like ongoing Japanese study and weight training and aerobics.  A third is finding some supplemental activities (mostly stretching related) to help increase my flexibility, which is rather abysmal.

Another - and this is a surprise - is looking at stopping some things.

Again, this falls into the category of the most minor of details:  a 10 minute daily activity here, a 10 minute activity there.  Now I am at the point where I am looking at each activity, asking "Does this actually advance my chosen lifestyle?"  If not, I am finding it is easier and easier to just stop doing that thing - for a week, I tell myself, just stop for a week and see how it goes.

My guess?  One week will turn into a month and carry on from there.

I am trying not to have high expectations of any of this - after all, I am famous for starting things that I never finish - but the fact that I can actually see the outcome of this thinking is rather somewhat exciting.

Sometimes - surprisingly - I may actually have good advice.

Even for myself.


  1. Anonymous8:14 AM

    We stay so focused on following a path of knowledge, we sometimes end up at a new line of reasoning and why we are who we are. Patterns we did not recognize we were doing suddenly come into focus.

    1. That is a profound statement, Anon. But that is exactly it. I wonder if it is simply allowing ourselves to see it where before we were convinced our previous position was the correct one.

  2. Nylon1210:58 AM

    Geeeez TB, you sound surprised that you CAN change.......... :)

    1. Nylon12, it is not so much a surprise that I can change - I know I can - but that I can actually sustain a change. I am pretty famous for having good intentions and never following them through beyond a short period of time. This time feels different.

  3. Stock-brokers are keen to tell you what stocks to buy but are loath to tell you what, and when to sell. You never take a loss until you sell.

    As we grow our gardens or improve our flocks, our culling decisions are at least as important as our seed-stock purchase decisions. If I grow this, I won't have room for that.

    If we live unexamined lives, we will find ourselves with too many activities to be fully-invested in any of them. Rust, rot, depreciation, forgetfulness...will take their toll.

    You are living with rare wisdom when you consciously jettison activities that are not congruent or pointing in the direction of your mission.

    1. ERJ, one of the things I think we may emphasize too much is the believe that we can do everything. Most people, while not being able to do anything, can usual do a great deal more than they imagine. But they cannot do it all. Choices have to be made.

      There is a fine line between experimentation and allowing that exploring to ensure that one does not actually move forward in anything - sometimes new things are revealed by that exploration. But at some point, we all have to make choices.

      And thank you. I do not know that I am where I need to be, but I am hopefully on my way.

  4. Ah. An excellent example of why periodic review and analysis of something is so important. Especially when paired with the all important question of whether or not a thing helps us achieve a chosen goal. It's amazing how much busy work can become part of a routine. We become so used to the routine that we don't really "see" how inefficient things have become.

    I really like your idea of setting something aside for just a week, to test its needfulness. I'm thinking that's a really good way to make changes (which are rarely easy for anyone).

    1. Leigh, I am not as skilled at this as I should be - some of that derives, I think, from the fact that I have often not been clear on what my goals are.

      I will say that having to uproot my life has given me a perspective on this that I have often lacked in the past, simply because I stop things and essentially restart all activities from zero in terms of involvement and practice. For the last two months I have had minimal things here with me. That has helped me focus in some ways on what it is I really want to do with the time.

      The thing that quite surprise me about this particular incident is the way I have almost subconsciously made these changes. They do not seem forced; they just seem very natural. Which, I suspect, means I am on the right path.


Comments are welcome (and necessary, for good conversation). If you could take the time to be kind and not practice profanity, it would be appreciated. Thanks for posting!