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Find a hobby and stick with it

Dear old mom, rest her soul, always made a point of stressing the importance of finding a hobby in one's life. Granted, most hobbies require time and that's not always possible, especially if you're a long-haul driver. But if you can, there are...


Dear old mom, rest her soul, always made a point of stressing the importance of finding a hobby in one’s life. Granted, most hobbies require time and that’s not always possible, especially if you’re a long-haul driver. But if you can, there are some real benefits in immersing yourself into something you enjoy.

When I was a teenager, I always wanted to play guitar like Eric Clapton (I still do, but it’s apparent it’s not going to happen).
I discovered in those early years that I had an 11 on my amp. When I’d crank out my version of Layla on my Les Paul knock-off, my bedroom windows would shake, the neighbours would head for the hills and poor old mom would protect me from my unappreciative sisters.

“It’s his hobby,” was all I could hear from the other side of the door. Perfect. Mom’s on my side and she rules.

It wasn’t long after both sisters married and moved away that I put my guitar down. I suppose I enjoyed tormenting them more than actually playing. After they left it wasn’t as much fun. It also could have been the fact that I sucked.

My ‘hobby’ didn’t end there. When I moved into my first house I discovered that my next-door neighbour’s son was a drummer. I’d often hear him pounding away on those skins in his basement and think ‘Here we go, I’m living next to a Neil Peart wannabe. What goes around comes around. Chin-up.’

One slightly foggy Friday night I arrived home early in the morning from a St. Patrick’s Day party and found my neighbour’s son had just done the same. Talking in the driveway, I mentioned that I played in high school. Next thing I know, I’m tuning that dusty old guitar up in his basement and we played until 5:30 in the morning. (Lucky for us, his parents were away that weekend).

That night turned into what has become my hobby. We continued to play, met other guys that played, formed a band and I now actually get paid to play. A side note, I still suck at playing guitar but discovered long ago that I could master four strings relatively well. I play bass and absolutely love it.

The other night we had just finished playing a bar in Barrie. Our drummer was kind enough to compliment me on my playing.
“You played great tonight Rob, did you turn up the pacemaker?” Fifty-three and still playing in a band, my mom would be proud.


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